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Francesca Merlin
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
  1.  70
    Evolutionary Chance Mutation: A Defense of the Modern Synthesis' Consensus View.Francesca Merlin - 2010 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 2 (20130604).
    One central tenet of the Modern Evolutionary Synthesis , and the consensus view among biologists until now, is that all genetic mutations occur by “chance” or at “random” with respect to adaptation. However, the discovery of some molecular mechanisms enhancing mutation rate in response to environmental conditions has given rise to discussions among biologists, historians and philosophers of biology about the “chance” vs “directed” character of mutations . In fact, some argue that mutations due to a particular kind of mutator (...)
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  2.  66
    The Propensity Interpretation of Fitness and the Propensity Interpretation of Probability.Isabelle Drouet & Francesca Merlin - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (S3):457-468.
    The paper provides a new critical perspective on the propensity interpretation of fitness, by investigating its relationship to the propensity interpretation of probability. Two main conclusions are drawn. First, the claim that fitness is a propensity cannot be understood properly: fitness is not a propensity in the sense prescribed by the propensity interpretation of probability. Second, this interpretation of probability is inessential for explanations proposed by the PIF in evolutionary biology. Consequently, interpreting the probabilistic dimension of fitness in terms of (...)
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  3.  23
    Epigenetics: A Way to Bridge the Gap Between Biological Fields.Antonine Nicoglou & Francesca Merlin - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 66:73-82.
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  4. On Griffiths and Gray’s Concept of Expanded and Diffused Inheritance.Francesca Merlin - 2010 - Biological Theory 5 (3):206-215.
    Developmental System Theory is a theoretical reinterpretation of biological phenomena challenging the conventional gene-centered account of development and evolution. In this paper, I focus on Griffiths and Gray’s version of Developmental Systems Theory and I particularly analyze their reconceptualization of inheritance. First, I present their concept of expanded and diffused inheritance; then, I examine and criticize their refusal of the multiple inheritance system model; finally, I present and contrast Griffiths and Gray’s extension of what they call the “causal parity thesis” (...)
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  5.  54
    Emergent Philosophy of Biology in Europe. [REVIEW]Francesca Merlin, Dan 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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  6.  56
    Introduction: Reassessing Developmental Systems Theory.Anouk Barberousse, Francesca Merlin & Thomas Pradeu - 2010 - Biological Theory 5 (3):199-201.
    The Developmental Systems Theory (DST) presented by its proponents as a challenging approach in biology is aimed at transforming the workings of the life sciences from both a theoretical and experimental point of view (see, in particular, Oyama [1985] 2000; Oyama et al. 2001). Even though some may have the impression that the enthusiasm surrounding DST has faded in very recent years, some of the key concepts, ideas, and visions of DST have in fact pervaded biology and philosophy of biology. (...)
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  7.  7
    On Griffiths and Gray’s Concept of Expanded and Diffused Inheritance.Francesca Merlin - 2007 - Biological Theory 5 (3):206-215.
    Developmental Systems Theory is a theoretical reinterpretation of biological phenomena that challenges the conventional gene-centered account of development and evolution. In this article, I focus on Griffiths and Gray’s version of DST and particularly analyze their reconceptualization of inheritance. First, I present their concept of expanded and diffused inheritance; then, I examine and criticize their rejection of the multiple inheritance system model; finally, I present and oppose Griffiths and Gray’s extension of what they call the “causal parity thesis” from development (...)
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  8.  2
    Natural Kinds: A New Synthesis.Anouk Barberousse, Françoise Longy, Francesca Merlin & Stéphanie Ruphy - 2020 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 35 (3):365-387.
    What is a natural kind? This old yet lasting philosophical question has recently received new competing answers. We show that the main ingredients of an encompassing and coherent account of natural kinds are actually on the table, but in need of the right articulation. It is by adopting a non-reductionist, naturalistic and non-conceptualist approach that, in this paper, we elaborate a new synthesis of all these ingredients. Our resulting proposition is a multiple-compartment theory of natural kinds that defines them in (...)
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  9.  9
    Christian Sachse: Philosophie de la Biologie. Enjeux Et Perspectives: Presses Polytechniques Et Universitaires Romandes, Lausanne, 2011, Viii + 225 Pp.Francesca Merlin - 2014 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 36 (1):133-135.
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  10.  7
    Inheritance as Evolved and Evolving Physiological Processes.Francesca Merlin & Livio Riboli-Sasco - forthcoming - Acta Biotheoretica.
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  11.  17
    Monod's Concept of Chance: Its Diversity and Relevance Today.Francesca Merlin - 2016 - Comptes Rendus de Biologie de l'Académie des Sciences 338:406-412.
    n his famous book Le hasard et la ne ́cessite ́ (1970), Monod claims that natural evolution is based on the interplay between chance and necessity bringing about adaptive evolutionary change. This article addresses a set of related questions about Monod’s conception of chance: what does he mean when he uses the term ‘‘chance’’? Does he invoke one or many different concepts of chance? What are the implications of his conception about the issue of the deterministic or indeterministic nature of (...)
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  12.  27
    Randomness, Not Selection, as the Driving Force of Microorganisms’ Evolution: John Tyler Bonner: Randomness in Evolution. Princeton University Press, Princeton, 2013, 152 Pp, £19.95 Hbk, ISBN 978-0-691-15701-6.Francesca Merlin - 2014 - Biological Theory 9 (2):232-235.
    Review of John Tyler Bonner: Randomness in Evolution. Princeton University Press, Princeton, 2013, 152 pp, £19.95 hbk, ISBN 978-0-691-15701-6.
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  13.  7
    The Multi-Faceted Idea of Chance in Darwin’s Writings.Francesca Merlin - 2016 - Science & Education 25 (9-10):1159-1164.
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  14.  8
    Mapping Biological Transmission: An Empirical, Dynamical, and Evolutionary Approach.Livio Riboli-Sasco & Francesca Merlin - 2017 - Acta Biotheoretica 65 (2):97-115.
    The current debate over extending inheritance and its evolutionary impact has focused on adding new categories of non-genetic factors to the classical transmission of DNA, and on trying to redefine inheritance. Transmitted factors have been mainly characterized by their directions of transmission and the way they store variations. In this paper, we leave aside the issue of defining inheritance. We rather try to build an evolutionary conceptual framework that allows for tracing most, if not all forms of transmission and makes (...)
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