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  1.  73
    Three Kinds of Niche Construction.Bendik Hellem Aaby & Grant Ramsey - 2022 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 73 (2):351-372.
    Niche construction theory concerns how organisms can change selection pressures by altering the feature–factor relationship between themselves and their environment. These alterations are standardly understood to be brought about through two kinds of organism–environment interaction: perturbative and relocational niche construction. We argue that a reconceptualization is needed on the grounds that if a niche is understood as the feature–factor relationship, then there are three fundamental ways in which organisms can engage in niche construction: constitutive, relational, and external niche construction. We (...)
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  2. Niche construction and teleology: organisms as agents and contributors in ecology, development, and evolution.Bendik Hellem Aaby & Hugh Desmond - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (5):1-20.
    Niche construction is a concept that captures a wide array of biological phenomena, from the environmental effects of metabolism to the creation of complex structures such as termite mounds and beaver dams. A central point in niche construction theory is that organisms do not just passively undergo developmental, ecological, or evolutionary processes, but are also active participants in them Evolution: From molecules to men, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1983; Laland KN, Odling-Smee J, Feldman MW, In: KN Laland and T Uller (...)
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  3.  57
    The proximate-ultimate distinction and the active role of the organism in evolution.Bendik Hellem Aaby & Grant Ramsey - 2022 - Biology and Philosophy 37 (4):1-20.
    The validity and utility of the proximate-ultimate distinction in biology have recently been under debate. Opponents of the distinction argue that it rules out individual-level organismic processes from evolutionary explanations, thereby leading to an unfounded separation between organismic causation and evolutionary causation. Proponents of the proximate-ultimate distinction, on the other hand, argue that it serves an important epistemological role in forming different kinds of explanation-seeking questions in biology. In this paper we offer an interpretation the proximate-ultimate distinction not only as (...)
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  4.  29
    The Ecological Dimension of Natural Selection.Bendik Hellem Aaby - 2021 - Philosophy of Science 88 (5):1199-1209.
    In this article I argue that we should pay extra attention to the ecological dimension of natural selection. By this I mean that we should view natural selection primarily as acting on the outcomes of the interactions organisms have with their environment, which influences their relative reproductive output. A consequence of this view is that natural selection is not sensitive to what system of inheritance ensures reoccurrences of organism-environment interactions over generations. I end by showing the consequences of this view (...)
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  5. Organism-Environment Interactions in Evolutionary Theory.Bendik Hellem Aaby - 2021 - Dissertation, Ku Leuven
    This dissertation concerns the active role of the organism in evolutionary theory. In particular, it concerns how our conception of the relationship between organism and environment, and the nature of natural selection, influences the causal and explanatory role of organismic activity and behavior in evolutionary explanations. The overarching aim is to argue that the behaviors and activities of organisms can serve both as the explananda (that which is explained) and the explanantia (that which explains) in evolutionary explanations. I attempt to (...)
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