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  1. The Gaia Narrative and its Link with Symbiosis and Symbiogenesis.Emanuele Serrelli - manuscript
    First, we will address the unnecessary link between symbio-studies and Gaia, asking for the historical and epistemological reasons why they become associated. In particular, we contend that the association is mediated by the common interest in large-scale physico-chemical and biochemical patterns, rather than by an emphasis on harmony, equilibrium, and cooperation (Visvader 1992). Second, we will ask what Gaia is in a metatheoretical sense: is it a scientific hypothesis, a theory, a metaphor, an inspired invention, or a resurgence of antiscientific (...)
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  2.  5
    Metascientific Views: Challenge and Opportunity for Philosophy of Biology in Practice.Emanuele Serrelli - 2017 - Acta Philosophica 26 (1):65-82.
    In this paper I take evolutionary biology as an example to reflect on the role of philosophy and on the transformations that philosophy is constantly stimulated to do in its own approach when dealing with science. I consider that some intellectual movements within evolutionary biology (more specifically, the various calls for 'synthesis') express metascientific views, i.e., claims about 'what it is to do research' in evolutionary biology at different times. In the construction of metascientific views I see a fundamental role (...)
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  3.  66
    Evolutionary Genetics and Cultural Traits in a 'Body of Theory' Perspective.Emanuele Serrelli - 2016 - In Fabrizio Panebianco & Emanuele Serrelli (eds.), Understanding cultural traits. A multidisciplinary perspective on cultural diversity. Springer. pp. 179-199.
    The chapter explains why evolutionary genetics – a mathematical body of theory developed since the 1910s – eventually got to deal with culture: the frequency dynamics of genes like “the lactase gene” in populations cannot be correctly modeled without including social transmission. While the body of theory requires specific justifications, for example meticulous legitimations of describing culture in terms of traits, the body of theory is an immensely valuable scientific instrument, not only for its modeling power but also for the (...)
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  4.  66
    A Conceptual Taxonomy of Adaptation in Evolutionary Biology.Emanuele Serrelli & Francesca Micol Rossi - manuscript
    The concept of adaptation is employed in many fields such as biology, psychology, cognitive sciences, robotics, social sciences, even literacy and art,1 and its meaning varies quite evidently according to the particular research context in which it is applied. We expect to find a particularly rich catalogue of meanings within evolutionary biology, where adaptation has held a particularly central role since Darwin’s The Origin of Species (1859) throughout important epistemological shifts and scientific findings that enriched and diversified the concept. Accordingly, (...)
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  5.  61
    The Extended Evolutionary Synthesis: A Metascientific View of Evolutionary Biology, and Some Directions to Transcend its Limits.Emanuele Serrelli - manuscript
    To approach the issue of the recent proposal of an Extended Evolutionary Synthesis (EES) put forth by Massimo Pigliucci and Gerd Müller, I suggest to consider the EES as a metascientific view: a description of what’s new in how evolutionary biology is carried out, not only a description of recently learned aspects of evolution. Knowing ‘what is it to do research’ in evolutionary biology, today versus yesterday, can aid training, research and career choices, establishment of relationships and collaborations, decision of (...)
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  6.  61
    Traits and Functions in the Evolution of Morality.Emanuele Serrelli - manuscript
    This paper is about evolutionary explanations. They come in different kinds but mostly need traits and functions. Evolutionary theory requires traits to be inheritable although not in a strong genetic sense: ideas of “inheritance pattern” and “inheritable pattern” are explored. Function is also a necessary concept, but complex and diverse, and it lacks causal power on traits. The debate on the evolution of morality is cautious and already far from naive “just-­‐so story” explanations, but theoretical analysis fleshed into morality-­‐related examples (...)
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  7.  1
    Cultural Traits and Multidisciplinary Dialogue.Fabrizio Panebianco & Emanuele Serrelli - 2016 - In Understanding cultural traits. A multidisciplinary perspective on cultural diversity. Switzerland: Springer. pp. 1-20.
    Every discipline poses its research questions in specific ways and thus uses concepts that are suited to find answers in its well defined disciplinary frameworks. Accordingly, the idea of cultural trait has been used and developed in several disciplines, often without any reference to each other. The result has often been non-communicability across different fields. We first show, by means of two examples, that the lack of deep interdisciplinary dialogue and reciprocal understanding has generated some harsh controversies. We argue that (...)
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  8.  5
    Eco-Phenotypic Physiologies: A New Kind of Modeling for Unifying Evolution, Ecology and Cultural Transmission.Fabrizio Panebianco & Emanuele Serrelli - unknown
    Mathematical modeling can ground communication and reciprocal enrichment among fields of knowledge whose domains are very different. We propose a new mathematical model applicable in biology, specified into ecology and evolutionary biology, and in cultural transmission studies, considered as a branch of economics. Main inspiration for the model are some biological concepts we call “eco-phenotypic” such as development, plasticity, reaction norm, phenotypic heritability, epigenetics, and niche construction. “Physiology” is a core concept we introduce and translate differently in the biological and (...)
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  9.  76
    Understanding Cultural Traits. A Multidisciplinary Perspective on Cultural Diversity.Fabrizio Panebianco & Emanuele Serrelli (eds.) - forthcoming - Springer.
    UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity (2 November 2001) defines culture with an emphasis on cultural features: “culture should be regarded as the set of distinctive spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional features of society or a social group”, encompassing, “in addition to art and literature, lifestyles, ways of living together, value systems, traditions and beliefs”. Cultural traits are also the primitive of mathematical models of cultural transmission inspired by population genetics, imported and refined by economics. Any serious evaluation of the (...)
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