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Barbara L. Horan [12]Barbara Lee Horan [1]
  1. Is Indeterminism the Source of the Statistical Character of Evolutionary Theory?Leslie Graves, Barbara L. Horan & Alex Rosenberg - 1999 - Philosophy of Science 66 (1):140-157.
    We argue that Brandon and Carson's (1996) "The Indeterministic Character of Evolutionary Theory" fails to identify any indeterminism that would require evolutionary theory to be a statistical or probabilistic theory. Specifically, we argue that (1) their demonstration of a mechanism by which quantum indeterminism might "percolate up" to the biological level is irrelevant; (2) their argument that natural selection is indeterministic because it is inextricably connected with drift fails to join the issue with determinism; and (3) their view that experimental (...)
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  2.  68
    The Statistical Character of Evolutionary Theory.Barbara L. Horan - 1994 - Philosophy of Science 61 (1):76-95.
    This paper takes a critical look at the idea that evolutionary theory is a statistical theory. It argues that despite the strong instrumental motivation for statistical theories, they are not necessary to explain deterministic systems. Biological evolution is fundamentally a result of deterministic processes. Hence, a statistical theory is not necessary for describing the evolutionary forces of genetic drift and natural selection, nor is it needed for describing the fitness of organisms. There is a computational advantage to the statistical theory (...)
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  3.  21
    Functional Explanations in Sociobiology.Barbara L. Horan - 1989 - Biology and Philosophy 4 (2):131.
    In this essay I defend functional explanations in sociobiology against the charge that they are exercises in speculative story-telling. I distinguish proximate and ultimate biological functions, and discuss their role in functional explanations. I characterize functional explanations as a kind of "consequence explanation", and argue that sociobiologists need to justify a "functional fact" in addition to a "consequence law". Two methods used to supply evidence for functional hypotheses, the technique of optimality analyses and the comparative method, are discussed and illustrated (...)
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  4.  24
    Concepts and Methods in Evolutionary Biology.Barbara L. Horan - 1998 - Philosophical Review 107 (3):483.
    This collection of essays by Robert Brandon spans two decades and most of the important problems in the philosophy of biology. Four of his five most important contributions to the philosophy of biology can be found here: the concept of relative adaptedness and its role in the propensity interpretation of fitness; the principle of natural selection; the use of the screening-off relation in defense of organismic selection; and the distinction between units of selection and levels of selection. The fifth major (...)
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  5.  33
    Theoretical Models, Biological Complexity and the Semantic View of Theories.Barbara L. Horan - 1988 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1988:265 - 277.
    In this paper I discuss how, given the complexity of biological systems, reliance on theoretical models in the development and testing of biological theories leads to an uncomfortable form of anti-realism. I locate the source of this discomfort in the uniqueness and hence diversity of biological phenomena, in contrast with the simplicity and uniformity of the subject matter of physics. I have argued elsewhere that the use of theoretical models creates an unresolvable tension between the explanatory strength and predictive power (...)
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  6. Inference to the Unobservable: Newton's Experimental Philosophy.Barbara L. Horan - 1994 - In Peter Achinstein & Laura J. Snyder (eds.), Scientific Methods: Conceptual and Historical Problems. Krieger Pub. Co..
     
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  7.  27
    Inductive Arguments.Barbara L. Horan - 1989 - Teaching Philosophy 12 (4):426-429.
  8.  16
    Inductive Arguments: A Field Guide, 2nd Ed. [REVIEW]Barbara L. Horan - 1989 - Teaching Philosophy 12 (4):426-429.
  9.  29
    What Price Optimality?Barbara L. Horan - 1992 - Biology and Philosophy 7 (1):89-109.
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  10. What Price Optimality? A Review of John Dupré , "The Latest on the Best: Essays on Evolution and Optimality". [REVIEW]Barbara L. Horan - 1992 - Biology and Philosophy 7 (1):89.
  11.  25
    Sociobiology and the Semantic View of Theories.Barbara L. Horan - 1986 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1986:322 - 330.
    The semantic view of scientific theories has been defended as more adequate than the "received" view, especially with respect to biological theories. However, the semantic view has not been evaluated on its own terms. In this paper it is first shown how the theory of sociobiology propounded by E.O. Wilson can be understood on the semantic approach. The criticism that Wilson's theory is beset by the problem of unreliable generalizations is discussed. It is suggested that this problem results from the (...)
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  12.  9
    Author's Response.Barbara L. Horan - 1989 - Biology and Philosophy 4 (2):205.