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Profile: Daniel J. Nicholson (University of Exeter)
  1. The Concept of Mechanism in Biology.Daniel J. Nicholson - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 43 (1):152-163.
    The concept of mechanism in biology has three distinct meanings. It may refer to a philosophical thesis about the nature of life and biology (‘mechanicism’), to the internal workings of a machine-like structure (‘machine mechanism’), or to the causal explanation of a particular phenomenon (‘causal mechanism’). In this paper I trace the conceptual evolution of ‘mechanism’ in the history of biology, and I examine how the three meanings of this term have come to be featured in the philosophy of biology, (...)
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    Organisms ≠ Machines.Daniel J. Nicholson - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):669-678.
    The machine conception of the organism (MCO) is one of the most pervasive notions in modern biology. However, it has not yet received much attention by philosophers of biology. The MCO has its origins in Cartesian natural philosophy, and it is based on the metaphorical redescription of the organism as a machine. In this paper I argue that although organisms and machines resemble each other in some basic respects, they are actually very different kinds of systems. I submit that the (...)
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  3.  43
    Biological Atomism and Cell Theory.Daniel J. Nicholson - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 41 (3):202-211.
    Biological atomism postulates that all life is composed of elementary and indivisible vital units. The activity of a living organism is thus conceived as the result of the activities and interactions of its elementary constituents, each of which individually already exhibits all the attributes proper to life. This paper surveys some of the key episodes in the history of biological atomism, and situates cell theory within this tradition. The atomistic foundations of cell theory are subsequently dissected and discussed, together with (...)
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    Rethinking Woodger's Legacy in the Philosophy of Biology.Daniel J. Nicholson & Richard Gawne - 2014 - Journal of the History of Biology 47 (2):243-292.
    The writings of Joseph Henry Woodger (1894–1981) are often taken to exemplify everything that was wrongheaded, misguided, and just plain wrong with early twentieth-century philosophy of biology. Over the years, commentators have said of Woodger: (a) that he was a fervent logical empiricist who tried to impose the explanatory gold standards of physics onto biology, (b) that his philosophical work was completely disconnected from biological science, (c) that he possessed no scientific or philosophical credentials, and (d) that his work was (...)
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  5.  43
    The Return of the Organism as a Fundamental Explanatory Concept in Biology.Daniel J. Nicholson - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (5):347-359.
    Although it may seem like a truism to assert that biology is the science that studies organisms, during the second half of the twentieth century the organism category disappeared from biological theory. Over the past decade, however, biology has begun to witness the return of the organism as a fundamental explanatory concept. There are three major causes: (a) the realization that the Modern Synthesis does not provide a fully satisfactory understanding of evolution; (b) the growing awareness of the limits of (...)
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  6. On Nature and Normativity: Normativity, Teleology, and Mechanism in Biological Explanation.Lenny Moss & Daniel J. Nicholson - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 43 (1):88-91.
  7.  2
    The Concept of Mechanism in Biology.Daniel J. Nicholson - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 43 (1):152-163.
  8.  1
    Biological Atomism and Cell Theory.Daniel J. Nicholson - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 41 (3):202-211.
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    Emergent Philosophy of Biology in Europe.Francesca Merlin, Daniel J. Nicholson, Christian Reiss, Aleksandra Sojic & Joeri Witteveen - 2008 - Biological Theory 3 (4):391-392.
    In recent years, Europe has become a home to a thriving philosophy of biology research community. As part of the ongoing endeavor to raise the profile of the field on the Old Continent, five research institutions from across Europe § EGenIS, IHPST, KLI, MPIWG, and SEMM - gathered together in the small italian village of Gorino Sullam (Po Delta) in september 2008 to hold the first European Graduate Meeting in the Philosophy of the Life Sciences (EGMPLS-1).
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    Neither Logical Empiricism nor Vitalism, but Organicism: What the Philosophy of Biology Was.Daniel J. Nicholson & Richard Gawne - 2015 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 37 (4):345-381.
    Philosophy of biology is often said to have emerged in the last third of the twentieth century. Prior to this time, it has been alleged that the only authors who engaged philosophically with the life sciences were either logical empiricists who sought to impose the explanatory ideals of the physical sciences onto biology, or vitalists who invoked mystical agencies in an attempt to ward off the threat of physicochemical reduction. These schools paid little attention to actual biological science, and as (...)
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    Review of 'Philosophy of Biology' (Garvey, 2007). [REVIEW]Maureen A. O'Malley & Daniel J. Nicholson - 2008 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2008 (10).
  12.  25
    Review of 'Life Explained' (Morange, 2008). [REVIEW]Daniel J. Nicholson - 2013 - Annals of Science 70 (4):554-557.
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    On Nature and Normativity: Normativity, Teleology, and Mechanism in Biological Explanation.Lenny Moss & Daniel J. Nicholson - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 43 (1):88-91.
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  14.  23
    Review of 'Genesis Redux: Essays in the History and Philosophy of Artificial Life' (Riskin, 2007). [REVIEW]Daniel J. Nicholson - 2011 - Annals of Science 68 (1):136-139.
    Since antiquity, philosophers and engineers have tried to take life’s measure by reproducing it. Aiming to reenact Creation, at least in part, these experimenters have hoped to understand the links between body and spirit, matter and mind, mechanism and consciousness. Genesis Redux examines moments from this centuries-long experimental tradition: efforts to simulate life in machinery, to synthesize life out of material parts, and to understand living beings by comparison with inanimate mechanisms.Jessica Riskin collects seventeen essays from distinguished scholars in several (...)
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    The Machine Conception of the Organism in Development and Evolution: A Critical Analysis.Daniel J. Nicholson - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 48:162-174.
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    Knowledge of Life. [REVIEW]Daniel J. Nicholson - 2014 - Annals of Science 71 (3):434-437.
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  17. Kostas Kampourakis , The Philosophy of Biology: A Companion for Educators. Dordrecht: Springer, 2013, Xvii + 762 Pp., $279.00. [REVIEW]Daniel J. Nicholson - 2016 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 38 (1):155-160.
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  18. Kostas Kampourakis , The Philosophy of Biology: A Companion for Educators. Dordrecht: Springer, 2013, Xvii + 762 Pp., $279.00. [REVIEW]Daniel J. Nicholson - 2016 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 38 (1):155-160.
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