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Derek D. Turner [10]Derek Donald Turner [1]
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Derek D. Turner
Connecticut College
  1.  19
    In Defense of Living Fossils.Derek D. Turner - 2019 - Biology and Philosophy 34 (2):23.
    Lately there has been a wave of criticism of the concept of living fossils. First, recent research has challenged the status of paradigmatic living fossil taxa, such as coelacanths, cycads, and tuataras. Critics have also complained that the living fossil concept is vague and/or ambiguous, and that it is responsible for misconceptions about evolution. This paper defends a particular phylogenetic conception of living fossils, or taxa that exhibit deep prehistoric morphological stability; contain few extant species; and make a high contribution (...)
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  2.  14
    A Second Look at the Colors of the Dinosaurs.Derek D. Turner - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 55:60-68.
  3.  35
    Gould’s Replay Revisited.Derek D. Turner - 2011 - Biology and Philosophy 26 (1):65-79.
    This paper develops a critical response to John Beatty’s recent (2006) engagement with Stephen Jay Gould’s claim that evolutionary history is contingent. Beatty identifies two senses of contingency in Gould’s work: an unpredictability sense and a causal dependence sense. He denies that Gould associates contingency with stochastic phenomena, such as drift. In reply to Beatty, this paper develops two main claims. The first is an interpretive claim: Gould really thinks of contingency has having to do with stochastic effects at the (...)
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  4.  25
    Philosophical Issues in Recent Paleontology.Derek D. Turner - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (7):494-505.
    The distinction between idiographic science, which aims to reconstruct sequences of particular events, and nomothetic science, which aims to discover laws and regularities, is crucial for understanding the paleobiological revolution of the 1970s and 1980s. Stephen Jay Gould at times seemed conflicted about whether to say (a) that idiographic science is fine as it is or (b) that paleontology would have more credibility if it were more nomothetic. Ironically, one of the lasting results of the paleobiological revolution was a new (...)
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  5.  24
    How Much Can We Know About the Causes of Evolutionary Trends?Derek D. Turner - 2009 - Biology and Philosophy 24 (3):341-357.
    One of the first questions that paleontologists ask when they identify a large-scale trend in the fossil record (e.g., size increase, complexity increase) is whether it is passive or driven. In this article, I explore two questions about driven trends: (1) what is the underlying cause or source of the directional bias? and (2) has the strength of the directional bias changed over time? I identify two underdetermination problems that prevent scientists from giving complete answers to these two questions.
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  6.  8
    Biases in the Selection of Candidate Species for De-Extinction.Derek D. Turner - 2017 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 20 (1):21-24.
    Entrenched biases in favour of large, charismatic mammals, towards predators, towards terrestrial animals and towards species that have cultural importance can influence the selection of candidate species for de-extinction research. Often, the species with the highest existence value will also be the ones that raise the most serious animal welfare concerns.
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  7.  17
    The Past Vs. The Tiny: Historical Science and the Abductive Arguments for Realism.Derek D. Turner - 2004 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 35 (1):1-17.
    Scientific realism is fundamentally a view about unobservable things, events, processes, and so on, but things can be unobservable either because they are tiny or because they are past. The familiar abductive arguments for scientific realism lend more justification to scientific realism about the tiny than to realism about the past. This paper examines both the “basic” abductive arguments for realism advanced by philosophers such as Ian Hacking and Michael Devitt, as well as Richard Boyd’s version of the inference to (...)
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  8.  9
    Are We at War with Nature?Derek D. Turner - 2005 - Environmental Values 14 (1):21 - 36.
    A number of people, from William James to Dave Foreman and Vandana Shiva, have suggested that humans are at war with nature. Moreover, the analogy with warfare figures in at least one important argument for strategic monkeywrenching. In general, an analogy can be used for purposes of (1) justification; (2) persuasion; or (3) as a tool for generating novel hypotheses and recommendations. This paper argues that the analogy with warfare should not be used for justificatory or rhetorical purposes, but that (...)
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  9.  63
    An Evolutionary Account of Chronic Pain: Integrating the Natural Method in Evolutionary Psychology.Kenneth J. Sufka & Derek D. Turner - 2005 - Philosophical Psychology 18 (2):243-257.
    This paper offers an evolutionary account of chronic pain. Chronic pain is a maladaptive by-product of pain mechanisms and neural plasticity, both of which are highly adaptive. This account shows how evolutionary psychology can be integrated with Flanagan's natural method, and in a way that avoids the usual charges of panglossian adaptationism and an uncritical commitment to a modular picture of the mind. Evolutionary psychology is most promising when it adopts a bottom-up research strategy that focuses on basic affective and (...)
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  10.  13
    Monkeywrenching, Perverse Incentives and Ecodefence.Derek D. Turner - 2006 - Environmental Values 15 (2):213 - 232.
    By focusing too narrowly on consequentialist arguments for ecosabotage, environmental philosophers such as Michael Martin (1990) and Thomas Young (2001) have tended to overlook two important facts about monkeywrenching. First, advocates of monkeywrenching see sabotage above all as a technique for counteracting perverse economic incentives. Second, their main argument for monkeywrenching – which I will call the ecodefence argument – is not consequentialist at all. After calling attention to these two under-appreciated aspects of monkeywrenching, I go on to offer a (...)
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