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  1.  2
    Biology’s First Law: The Tendency for Diversity and Complexity to Increase in Evolutionary Systems.Daniel W. McShea & Robert N. Brandon - 2010 - University of Chicago Press.
    1 The Zero-Force Evolutionary Law 2 Randomness, Hierarchy, and Constraint 3 Diversity 4 Complexity 5 Evidence, Predictions, and Tests 6 Philosophical Foundations 7 Implications.
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  2.  1
    Philosophy of Biology: A Contemporary Introduction.Alex Rosenberg & Daniel W. McShea - 2007 - Routledge.
    Is life a purely physical process? What is human nature? Which of our traits is essential to us? In this volume, Daniel McShea and Alex Rosenberg – a biologist and a philosopher, respectively – join forces to create a new gateway to the philosophy of biology; making the major issues accessible and relevant to biologists and philosophers alike. Exploring concepts such as supervenience; the controversies about genocentrism and genetic determinism; and the debate about major transitions central to contemporary thinking about (...)
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  3.  85
    Complexity and Evolution: What Everybody Knows.Daniel W. McShea - 1991 - Biology and Philosophy 6 (3):303-324.
    The consensus among evolutionists seems to be that the morphological complexity of organisms increases in evolution, although almost no empirical evidence for such a trend exists. Most studies of complexity have been theoretical, and the few empirical studies have not, with the exception of certain recent ones, been especially rigorous; reviews are presented of both the theoretical and empirical literature. The paucity of evidence raises the question of what sustains the consensus, and a number of suggestions are offered, including the (...)
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  4.  87
    Upper-Directed Systems: A New Approach to Teleology in Biology.Daniel W. McShea - 2012 - Biology and Philosophy 27 (5):663-684.
    How shall we understand apparently teleological systems? What explains their persistence and their plasticity? Here I argue that all seemingly goal-directed systems—e.g., a food-seeking organism, human-made devices like thermostats and torpedoes, biological development, human goal seeking, and the evolutionary process itself—share a common organization. Specifically, they consist of an entity that moves within a larger containing structure, one that directs its behavior in a general way without precisely determining it. If so, then teleology lies within the domain of the theory (...)
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  5.  35
    Functional Complexity in Organisms: Parts as Proxies. [REVIEW]Daniel W. McShea - 2000 - Biology and Philosophy 15 (5):641-668.
    The functional complexity, or the number of functions, of organisms hasfigured prominently in certain theoretical and empirical work inevolutionary biology. Large-scale trends in functional complexity andcorrelations between functional complexity and other variables, such assize, have been proposed. However, the notion of number of functions hasalso been operationally intractable, in that no method has been developedfor counting functions in an organism in a systematic and reliable way.Thus, studies have had to rely on the largely unsupported assumption thatnumber of functions can be (...)
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  6.  52
    Four Solutions for Four Puzzles.Robert N. Brandon & Daniel W. McShea - 2012 - Biology and Philosophy 27 (5):737-744.
    Barrett et al. present four puzzles for the ZFEL-view of evolution that we present in our 2010 book, Biology’s First Law: The Tendency for Diversity and Complexity to Increase in Evolutionary Systems. Our intent in writing this book was to present a radically different way to think about evolution. To the extent that it really is radical, it will be easy to misunderstand. We think Barrett et al. have misunderstood several crucial points and so we welcome the opportunity to clarify.
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  7.  30
    Machine Wanting.Daniel W. McShea - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4b):679-687.
    Wants, preferences, and cares are physical things or events, not ideas or propositions, and therefore no chain of pure logic can conclude with a want, preference, or care. It follows that no pure-logic machine will ever want, prefer, or care. And its behavior will never be driven in the way that deliberate human behavior is driven, in other words, it will not be motivated or goal directed. Therefore, if we want to simulate human-style interactions with the world, we will need (...)
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  8.  24
    Freedom and Purpose in Biology.Daniel W. McShea - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 58:64–72.
  9.  21
    Complexity in Evolution: A Skeptical Assesment.Daniel W. McShea - 1997 - Philosophica 59.
  10.  86
    A Revised Darwinism.Daniel W. McShea - 2004 - Biology and Philosophy 19 (1):45-53.
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  11.  52
    An Externalist Teleology.Gunnar Babcock & Daniel W. McShea - forthcoming - Synthese:1-26.
    Teleology has a complicated history in the biological sciences. Some have argued that Darwin’s theory has allowed biology to purge itself of teleological explanations. Others have been content to retain teleology and to treat it as metaphorical, or have sought to replace it with less problematic notions like teleonomy. And still others have tried to naturalize it in a way that distances it from the vitalism of the nineteenth century, focusing on the role that function plays in teleological explanation. No (...)
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  12. The Missing Two-Thirds of Evolutionary Theory.Robert N. Brandon & Daniel W. McShea - 2020 - Cambridge University Press.
    In this Element, we extend our earlier treatment of biology's first law. The law says that in any evolutionary system in which there is variation and heredity, there is a tendency for diversity and complexity to increase. The law plays the same role in biology that Newton's first law plays in physics, explaining what biological systems are expected to do when no forces act, in other words, what happens when nothing happens. Here we offer a deeper explanation of certain features (...)
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  13.  16
    A Post‐Modern Vision of Artificial Life. [REVIEW]Daniel W. McShea - 1996 - Complexity 1 (5):36-38.
  14.  33
    Bernd Rosslenbroich: On the Origin of Autonomy: A New Look at the Major Transitions in Evolution: Springer, 2014, 297 Pp, $129 HB, ISBN: 978­3­319­04140­7.Daniel W. McShea - 2015 - Biology and Philosophy 30 (3):439-446.
    What would a Grand Unified Theory of big-scale evolution look like? Here is one answer. It would unify the various trends that have been documented and suspected, the features of life that have been said to increase over its history—body size, fitness, intelligence, versatility, evolvability, energy intensiveness, energy rate density, and complexity-in-the-sense-of-part-types, and complexity-in-the-sense-of-hierarchy. It would show us how these putative trends are related to each other, how they are all the product of some single simple principle or some small (...)
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  15.  22
    Comments on “Evolutionary Complexity,” H. Morowitz, Complexity 3(6): Pp. 12–14.Daniel W. McShea - 1998 - Complexity 4 (2):11-12.
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  16.  14
    Gene‐Talk Talk About Sociobiology.Daniel W. McShea - 1992 - Social Epistemology 6 (2):183 – 192.
  17.  25
    Sense and Depth.Daniel W. McShea - 2000 - Biology and Philosophy 15 (5):751-758.
  18. Unecessary Complexity. [REVIEW]Daniel W. McShea - 2013 - Science 342:1319–1320.
  19. What is a Part.Daniel W. McShea & Edward P. Venit - 2001 - In G. P. Wagner (ed.), The Character Concept in Evolutionary Biology. Academic Press. pp. 259--284.
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