Mental disorders such as depression and anxiety are increasingly common. Yet there are too few specialists to offer help to everyone, and negative attitudes to psychological problems and their treatment discourage people from seeking it. As a result, many people never receive help for these problems. The Oxford Guide to Low Intensity CBT Interventions marks a turning point in the delivery of psychological treatments for people with depression and anxiety. Until recently, the only form of psychological intervention available for patients (...) with depression and anxiety was traditional one-to-one 60 minute session therapy - usually with private practitioners for those patients who could afford it. Now Low Intensity CBT Interventions are starting to revolutionize mental health care by providing cost effective psychological therapies which can reach the vast numbers of people with depression and anxiety who did not previously have access to effective psychological treatment. The Oxford Guide to Low Intensity CBT Interventions is the first book to provide a comprehensive guide to Low Intensity CBT interventions. It brings together researchers and clinicians from around the world who have led the way in developing evidence-based low intensity CBT treatments. It charts the plethora of new ways that evidence-based low intensity CBT can be delivered: for instance, guided self-help, groups, advice clinics, brief GP interventions, internet-based or book-based treatment and prevention programs, with supported provided by phone, email, internet, sms or face-to-face. These new treatments require new forms of service delivery, new ways of communicating, new forms of training and supervision, and the development of new workforces. They involve changing systems and routine practice, and adapting interventions to particular community contexts. The Oxford Guide to Low Intensity CBT Interventions is a state-of-the-art handbook, providing low intensity practitioners, supervisors, managers commissioners of services and politicians with a practical, easy-to-read guide - indispensible reading for those who wish to understand and anticipate future directions in health service provision and to broaden access to cost-effective evidence-based psychological therapies. (shrink)
The following paper continues discussions within this journal about how the work of Delueze and Guattari can inform radical pedagogy. Building primarily on Noel Gough's 2004 paper, we take up the challenge to move towards a more creative form of 'becoming cyborg' in our teaching. In contrast to work that has focused on Deleuzian theories of the rhizome, we deploy Guattari's work on institutional schizoanalysis to explore the role of group creativity in radical pedagogy. The institutional therapies of Felix Guattari's (...) schizoanalytic practice in the 1950s and 1960s and, before him, the Francophone educationalist Celestin Freinet, who founded the Modern School Movement, are explored and used to illuminate examples of some of our own attempts to set the classroom up as a space for collective engagement. We conclude by exploring how this understanding of the class as subject group may be used to mobilise action and de-stabilise the coordinates of existing academic divisions of labour. (shrink)
Professor Sutherland has argued that ‘God wills the good’ should be regarded as an analytic truth, with the consequence that any account of what is God's will in which it does not appear to be good is either a mistake about God's will or a mistake about what is good.
In his recent article 1 Stewart Sutherland rightly and trenchantly criticizes some accounts of hope which ignore, or radically misrepresent, how it is conceived in religious contexts. The most surprising, to me, is Chesterton's, that hope is ‘the power of being cheerful in circumstances which we know to be desperate’. Surprising, not so much for its content as for its source. However, this particular example could be of one who would risk giving scandal for the sake of wit; what he (...) could have had in mind is that ‘the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us’ . Sutherland also makes clear the unhelpfulness of the ‘Anglo-Saxon’ analysts' account of the concept; not least because it is given without reference to the religious concept, and often is irrelevant to the notion of hope ‘in its proper conceptual surroundings’. (shrink)
Wittgenstein always thought that he had not been understood, and indeed that it was very unlikely that many people ever would understand him. Russell not only failed to understand Wittgenstein's later work; according to Wittgenstein himself, Russell profoundly failed to understand even the Tractatus. Professor Anscombe says even she did not understand him, and that to attempt to give an account of what he says is only to express one's own ordinariness or mediocrity or lack of complexity. Certainly, most people (...) acquainted with the Tractatus, when that work was Wittgenstein's only published book, gave it what now seems a quite crass positivistic interpretation. Wittgenstein's own preface to the Tractatus, despite its last sentence, does not help. He does tell us that the whole sense of the work is that what can be said can be said clearly, and what we cannot talk about we must consign to silence: but this does not make it clear that what we cannot talk about is all that is really important. Even when one has realised all this, however, one is aware mostly of one's failure to understand; and that if one did get any distance in understanding the last sixth of the Tractatus, the process would be extremely difficult, and the results quite astonishing. (shrink)
I am concerned with a very problematic concept of identity which one encounters in studies of practical problems concerning the adoption of children. The notion is problematic in the extreme, as I shall try to show. It seems to crop up not only in the work of researchers on this topic, but in the spontaneous and untutored accounts of themselves given by adoptees. The question is whether there is a concept here at all: by which I mean not, instead, a (...) family of concepts linked by family resemblances, but rather some disparate ideas linked only by verbal similarities, and run together for mistaken theoretical purposes. The notion arises crucially in attempts to deal with practical questions arising in determining policies with regard to adoption: with regard to the placement of children for adoption, and the advice to be given to adoptive parents and to adopted children, whether young or adult, who encounter, or perhaps do not even encounter, difficulties. (shrink)
In the past century, nearly all of the biological sciences have been directly affected by discoveries and developments in genetics, a fast-evolving subject with important theoretical dimensions. In this rich and accessible book, Paul Griffiths and Karola Stotz show how the concept of the gene has evolved and diversified across the many fields that make up modern biology. By examining the molecular biology of the 'environment', they situate genetics in the developmental biology of whole organisms, and reveal how the (...) molecular biosciences have undermined the nature/nurture distinction. Their discussion gives full weight to the revolutionary impacts of molecular biology, while rejecting 'genocentrism' and 'reductionism', and brings the topic right up to date with the philosophical implications of the most recent developments in genetics. Their book will be invaluable for those studying the philosophy of biology, genetics and other life sciences. (shrink)
Griffiths and Russell D. Gray (1994, 1997, 2001) have argued that the fundamental unit of analysis in developmental systems theory should be a process – the life cycle – and not a set of developmental resources and interactions between those resources. The key concepts of developmental systems theory, epigenesis and developmental dynamics, both also suggest a process view of the units of development. This chapter explores in more depth the features of developmental systems theory that favour treating processes as (...) fundamental in biology and examines the continuity between developmental systems theory and ideas about process in the work of several major figures in early 20th century biology, most notable C.H Waddington. (shrink)
The Narrow Evolutionary Psychology Movement represents itself as a major reorientation of the social/behavioral sciences, a group of sciences previously dominated by something called the ‘Standard Social Science Model’. Narrow Evolutionary Psychology alleges that the SSSM treated the mind, and particularly those aspects of the mind that exhibit cultural variation, as devoid of any marks of its evolutionary history. Adherents of Narrow Evolutionary Psychology often suggest that the SSSM owed more to ideology than to evidence. It was the child of (...) the 1960s, representing a politically motivated insistence on the possibility of changing social arrangements such as gender roles: " ‘Not so long ago jealousy was considered a pointless, archaic institution in need of reform. But like other denials of human nature from the 1960s, this bromide has not aged well.’ ) " This view of history does not ring true to those, like the authors, who have worked in traditions of evolutionary theorizing about the mind that have a continuous history through the 1960s and beyond: traditions such as evolutionary epistemology and psychoevolutionary research into emotion (Griffiths. (shrink)
In this essay, Morwenna Griffiths considers the effect of feminization on the practices of education. She outlines a feminist theory of practice that draws critically on theories of embodiment, diversity, and structures of power to show that any practice is properly seen as fluid, leaky, and viscous. Examining different and competing understandings of “feminization”— referring either to the numbers of women in teaching or to a culture associated with women — Griffith argues that concerns about increasing number of women (...) teachers are misplaced. She complicates the cultural question, observing that masculine practices have a hegemonic form while feminized practices have developed in resistance to these, and she ultimately argues that hegemonic masculinity, not feminization, is the problem because it drives out diversity. Griffiths concludes that the leaky, viscous practices of teaching would benefit from the increased diversity and decreased social stratification feminization brings to the profession. (shrink)
In this article Morwenna Griffiths argues that teacher education policies should be predicated on a proper and full understanding of pedagogical relations as contingent, responsive, and adaptive over the course of a career. Griffiths uses the example of the recent report on teacher education in Scotland, by Graham Donaldson, to argue that for all the report's considerable merits, it remains deficient because it does not attend to the complexity and contingency of pedagogical relations. The complexity arises from the (...) existence of (at least) four analytically distinguishable pedagogical relations, each of which interacts with the others. These relations are contingent on the embodiment of teacher and students and on the political and sociocultural context of the class. Therefore they are also contingent on time, as teachers age and as the political and sociocultural context changes. Griffiths concludes the article with suggestions for creating a teaching profession in which teachers are reflectively and critically adaptive during the course of their careers. (shrink)
What does the politics of the self mean for a politics of liberation? Morwenna Griffiths argues that mainstream philosophy, particularly the anglo-analytic tradition, needs to tackle the issues of the self, identity, autonomy and self creation. Although identity has been a central concern of feminist thought it has in the main been excluded from philosophical analysis. _Feminisms and the Self_ is both a critique and a construction of feminist philosophy. After the powerful challenges that postmodernism and poststructuralism posed to (...) liberation movements like feminism, Griffiths book is an original and timely contribution to current debate surrounding the notion of identity and subjectivity. (shrink)
Ludwig Wittgenstein suggests that ?A serious and good philosophical work could be written consisting entirely of jokes?. The idea for this dialogue comes from a conversation that Michael Peters and Morwenna Griffiths had at the Philosophy of Education of Great Britain annual meeting at the University of Oxford, 2011. It was sparked by an account of an assessment of a piece of work where one of the external examiners unexpectedly exclaimed ?I knew Jean-Paul Sartre?, trying to trump the discussion. (...) This conversation is a dialogue about comedy and humor as a basis for philosophy, education and pedagogy that provides an introduction to recent works and a context for ongoing research. The concluding section provides further reflection on some of the main themes, drawing attention to the significance of humor in dialogues within philosophy and education, and suggesting that it has a particular role in resisting managerialism at all levels of educational institutions. (shrink)
Shepard has argued that a universal law should govern generalization across different domains of perception and cognition, as well as across organisms from different species or even different planets. Starting with some basic assumptions about natural kinds, he derived an exponential decay function as the form of the universal generalization gradient, which accords strikingly well with a wide range of empirical data. However, his original formulation applied only to the ideal case of generalization from a single encountered stimulus to a (...) single novel stimulus, and for stimuli that can be represented as points in a continuous metric psychological space. Here we recast Shepard's theory in a more general Bayesian framework and show how this naturally extends his approach to the more realistic situation of generalizing from multiple consequential stimuli with arbitrary representational structure. Our framework also subsumes a version of Tversky's set-theoretic model of similarity, which is conventionally thought of as the primary alternative to Shepard's continuous metric space model of similarity and generalization. This unification allows us not only to draw deep parallels between the set-theoretic and spatial approaches, but also to significantly advance the explanatory power of set-theoretic models. Key Words: additive clustering; Bayesian inference; categorization; concept learning; contrast model; features; generalization; psychological space; similarity. (shrink)
In behavioral ecology some authors regard the innateness concept as irretrievably confused whilst others take it to refer to adaptations. In cognitive psychology, however, whether traits are 'innate' is regarded as a significant question and is often the subject of heated debate. Several philosophers have tried to define innateness with the intention of making sense of its use in cognitive psychology. In contrast, I argue that the concept is irretrievably confused. The vernacular innateness concept represents a key aspect of 'folkbiology', (...) namely, the explanatory strategy that psychologists and cognitive anthropologists have labeled 'folk essentialism'. Folk essentialism is inimical to Darwinism, and both Darwin and the founders of the modern synthesis struggled to overcome this way of thinking about living systems. Because the vernacular concept of innateness is part of folkbiology, attempts to define it more adequately are unlikely to succeed, making it preferable to introduce new, neutral terms for the various, related notions that are needed to understand cognitive development. (shrink)
John Maynard Smith has defended against philosophical criticism the view that developmental biology is the study of the expression of information encoded in the genes by natural selection. However, like other naturalistic concepts of information, this ‘teleosemantic’ information applies to many non-genetic factors in development. Maynard Smith also fails to show that developmental biology is concerned with teleosemantic information. Some other ways to support Maynard Smith’s conclusion are considered. It is argued that on any definition of information the view that (...) development is the expression of genetic information is misleading. Some reasons for the popularity of that view are suggested. (shrink)
The etiological approach to ‘proper functions’ in biology can be strengthened by relating it to Robert Cummins' general treatment of function ascription. The proper functions of a biological trait are the functions it is assigned in a Cummins-style functional explanation of the fitness of ancestors. These functions figure in selective explanations of the trait. It is also argued that some recent etiological theories include inaccurate accounts of selective explanation in biology. Finally, a generalization of the notion of selective explanation allows (...) an analysis of the proper functions of human artifacts. (shrink)
The proposal that the concept of innateness expresses a 'folk biological' theory of the 'inner natures' of organisms was tested by examining the response of biologically naive participants to a series of realistic scenarios concerning the development of birdsong. Our results explain the intuitive appeal of existing philosophical analyses of the innateness concept. They simultaneously explain why these analyses are subject to compelling counterexamples. We argue that this explanation undermines the appeal of these analyses, whether understood as analyses of the (...) vernacular concept or as explications of that concept for the purposes of science. (shrink)
We outline three very different concepts of the gene—instrumental, nominal, and postgenomic. The instrumental gene has a critical role in the construction and interpretation of experiments in which the relationship between genotype and phenotype is explored via hybridization between organisms or directly between nucleic acid molecules. It also plays an important theoretical role in the foundations of disciplines such as quantitative genetics and population genetics. The nominal gene is a critical practical tool, allowing stable communication between bioscientists in a wide (...) range of fields grounded in well-defined sequences of nucleotides, but this concept does not embody major theoretical insights into genome structure or function. The post-genomic gene embodies the continuing project of understanding how genome structure supports genome function, but with a deflationary picture of the gene as a structural unit. This final concept of the gene poses a significant challenge to conventional assumptions about the relationship between genome structure and function, and between genotype and phenotype. (shrink)
I defend the view that many biological categories are defined by homology against a series of arguments designed to show that all biological categories are defined, at least in part, by selected function. I show that categories of homology are `abnormality inclusive'—something often alleged to be unique to selected function categories. I show that classifications by selected function are logically dependent on classifications by homology, but not vice-versa. Finally, I reject the view that biologists must use considerations of selected function (...) to abstract away from variation and pathology to form a canonical description of a class of biological systems. (shrink)
In earlier work I have claimed that emotion and some emotions are not `natural kinds'. Here I clarify what I mean by `natural kind', suggest a new and more accurate term, and discuss the objection that emotion and emotions are not descriptive categories at all, but fundamentally normative categories.
A number of philosophers and ‘evolutionary psychologists’ have argued that attacks on adaptationism in contemporary biology are misguided. These thinkers identify anti-adaptationism with advocacy of non-adaptive modes of explanation. They overlook the influence of anti-adaptationism in the development of more rigorous forms of adaptive explanation. Many biologists who reject adaptationism do not reject Darwinism. Instead, they have pioneered the contemporary historical turn in the study of adaptation. One real issue which remains unresolved amongst these methodological advances is the nature of (...) ‘phylogenetic inertia’. To what extent is an adaptive explanation needed for the persistence of a trait as well as its origin? (shrink)
It is unreasonable to assume that our pre-scientific emotion vocabulary embodies all and only those distinctions required for a scientific psychology of emotion. The psychoevolutionary approach to emotion yields an alternative classification of certain emotion phenomena. The new categories are based on a set of evolved adaptive responses, or affect-programs, which are found in all cultures. The triggering of these responses involves a modular system of stimulus appraisal, whose evoluations may conflict with those of higher-level cognitive processes. Whilst the structure (...) of the adaptive responses is innate, the contents of the system which triggers them are largely learnt. The circuits subserving the adaptive responses are probably located in the limbic system. This theory of emotion is directly applicable only to a small sub-domain of the traditional realm of emotion. It can be used, however, to explain the grouping of various other phenomena under the heading of emotion, and to explain various characteristic failings of the pre-scientific conception of emotion. (shrink)
This article examines and rejects the claim that 'innateness is canalization'. Waddington's concept of canalization is distinguished from the narrower concept of environmental canalization with which it is often confused. Evidence is presented that the concept of environmental canalization is not an accurate analysis of the existing concept of innateness. The strategy of 'biologicizing the mind' by treating psychological or behavioral traits as if they were environmentally canalized physiological traits is criticized using data from developmental psychobiology. It is concluded that (...) identifying innateness with environmental canalization can only result in adding unhelpful associations from 'folkbiology' to the relatively precise idea of canalization. (shrink)
Philosophical discussions of biological classification have failed to recognise the central role of homology in the classification of biological parts and processes. One reason for this is a misunderstanding of the relationship between judgments of homology and the core explanatory theories of biology. The textbook characterisation of homology as identity by descent is commonly regarded as a definition. I suggest instead that it is one of several attempts to explain the phenomena of homology. Twenty years ago the ‘new experimentalist’ movement (...) in philosophy of science drew attention to the fact that many experimental phenomena have a ‘life of their own’: the conviction that they are real is not dependent on the theories used to characterise and explain them. I suggest that something similar can be true of descriptive phenomena, and that many homologies are phenomena of this kind. As a result the descriptive biology of form and function has a life of its own—a degree of epistemological independence from the theories that explain form and function. I also suggest that the two major ‘homology concepts’ in contemporary biology, usually seen as two competing definitions, are in reality complementary elements of the biological explanation of homology. (shrink)
This chapter describes a perspective on emotion, according to which emotions are: 1. Designed to function in a social context: an emotion is often an act of relationship reconfiguration brought about by delivering a social signal; 2. Forms of skillful engagement with the world which need not be mediated by conceptual thought; 3. Scaffolded by the environment, both synchronically in the unfolding of a particular emotional performance and diachronically, in the acquisition of an emotional repertoire; 4. Dynamically coupled to an (...) environment which both influences and is influenced by the unfolding of the emotion We draw heavily on ‘transactional’ accounts of emotion proposed by some contemporary psychologists. Although these authors do not, to our knowledge, conceive their work as a contribution to the ‘situationist’ literature that is the focus of this volume, we contend that their proposals constitute a fairly exact, affective parallel to situationist ideas about cognition. The primary aim of this chapter is to demonstrate that a situated approach to emotion already exists and is backed by a substantial experimental literature. (shrink)
The Developmental Systems approach to evolution is defended against the alternative extended replicator approach of Sterelny, Smith and Dickison (1996). A precise definition is provided of the spatial and temporal boundaries of the life-cycle that DST claims is the unit of evolution. Pacé Sterelny et al., the extended replicator theory is not a bulwark against excessive holism. Everything which DST claims is replicated in evolution can be shown to be an extended replicator on Sterelny et al.s definition. Reasons are given (...) for scepticism about the heuristic value claimed for the extended replicator concept. For every competitive, individualistic insight the replicator theorist has a cooperative, systematic blindspot. (shrink)
In _What Emotions Really Are: The problem of psychological categories_ I argued that it is unlikely that all the psychological states and processes that fall under the vernacular category of emotion are sufficiently similar to one another to allow a unified scientific psychology of the emotions. In this paper I restate what I mean by ?natural kind? and my argument for supposing that emotion is not a natural kind in this specific sense. In the following sections I discuss the two (...) most promising proposals to reunify the emotion category: the revival of the Jamesian theory of emotion associated with the writings of Antonio Damasio and a philosophical approach to the content of emotional representations that draws on ?multi-level appraisal theory? in psychology. (shrink)
Experimental philosophy of science gathers empirical data on how key scientific concepts are understood by particular scientific communities. In this paper we briefly describe two recent studies in experimental philosophy of biology, one investigating the concept of the gene, the other the concept of innateness. The use of experimental methods reveals facts about these concepts that would not be accessible using the traditional method of intuitions about possible cases. It also contributes to the study of conceptual change in science, which (...) we understand as the result of a form of conceptual ecology, in which concepts become adapted to specific epistemic niches. (shrink)
I adopt a cladistic view of species, and explore the possibility that there exists an equally valuable cladistic view of organismic traits. This suggestion seems to run counter to the stress on functional views of biological traits in recent work in philosophy and psychology. I show how the tension between these two views can be defused with a multilevel view of biological explanation. Despite the attractions of this compromise, I conclude that we must reject it, and adopt an essentially cladistic (...) conception of biological traits. (shrink)
Dobzhansky argued that biology only makes sense if life on earth has a shared history. But his dictum is often reinterpreted to mean that biology only makes sense in the light of adaptation. Some philosophers of science have argued in this spirit that all work in ‘proximal’ biosciences such as anatomy, physiology and molecular biology must be framed, at least implicitly, by the selection histories of the organisms under study. Others have denied this and have proposed non-evolutionary ways in which (...) biologists can frame these investigations. This paper argues that an evolutionary perspective is indeed necessary, but that it must be a forward-looking perspective informed by a general understanding of the evolutionary process, not a backward-looking perspective informed by the specific evolutionary history of the species being studied. Interestingly, it turns out that there are aspects of proximal biology that even a creationist cannot study except in the light of a theory of their effect on future evolution. (shrink)
The historian Raphael Falk has described the gene as a ‘concept in tension’ (Falk 2000) – an idea pulled this way and that by the differing demands of different kinds of biological work. Several authors have suggested that in the light of contemporary molecular biology ‘gene’ is no more than a handy term which acquires a specific meaning only in a specific scientific context in which it occurs. Hence the best way to answer the question ‘what is a gene’, and (...) the only way to provide a truly philosophical answer to that question is to outline the diversity of conceptions of the gene and the reasons for this diversity. In this essay we draw on the extensive literature in the history of biology to explain how the concept has changed over time in response to the changing demands of the biosciences . Finally, we outline some of the conceptions of the gene current today. The seeds of change are implicit in many of those current conceptions and the future of the gene concept looks set to be at as turbulent as the past. (shrink)
Darwinists classify biological traits either by their ancestry (homology) or by their adaptive role. Only the latter can provide traditional natural kinds, but only the former is practicable. Process structuralists exploit this embarrassment to argue for non-Darwinian classifications in terms of underlying developmental mechanisms. This new taxonomy will also explain phylogenetic inertia and developmental constraint. I argue that Darwinian homologies are natural kinds despite having historical essences and being spatio-temporally restricted. Furthermore, process structuralist explanations of biological form require an unwarranted (...) assumption about the space of developmental possibility. (shrink)
Current knowledge about the variety and complexity of the processes that allow regulated gene expression in living organisms calls for a new understanding of genes. A ‘postgenomic’ understanding of genes as entities constituted during genome expression is outlined and illustrated with specific examples that formed part of a survey research instrument developed by two of the authors for an ongoing empirical study of conceptual change in contemporary biology.
The emerging discipline of evolutionary developmental biology has opened up many new lines of investigation into morphological evolution. Here I explore how two of the core theoretical concepts in ‘evo-devo’ – modularity and homology – apply to evolutionary psychology. I distinguish three sorts of module – developmental, functional and mental modules and argue that mental modules need only be ‘virtual’ functional modules. Evolutionary psychologists have argued that separate mental modules are solutions to separate evolutionary problems. I argue that the structure (...) of developmental modules in an organism helps determine what counts as a separate evolutionary problem for that organism. I suggest that homology as an organizing principle for research in evolutionary psychology, has been severely neglected in favor of analogy (adaptive function). I consider some arguments suggesting that determining homology is less epistemically demanding than determining adaptive function and argue that psychological categories defined by homology are, in fact, more suitable objects of psychological – and particularly neuropsychological – investigation than categories defined by analogy. (shrink)
Feminisms and the Self is both a critique and a construction of feminist philosophy, bringing an original contribution to the current debate surrounding identity and subjectivity. This title available in eBook format. Click here for more information . Visit our eBookstore at: www.ebookstore.tandf.co.uk.
Genetic determinism is the idea that many significant human characteristics are rendered inevitable by the presence of certain genes. The psychologist Susan Oyama has famously compared arguing against genetic determinism to battling the undead. Oyama suggests that genetic determinism is inherent in the way we currently represent genes and what genes do. As long as genes are represented as containing information about how the organism will develop, they will continue to be regarded as determining causes no matter how much evidence (...) exists to the contrary. Philip Kitcher has strongly disputed Oyama’s diagnosis, arguing that the conventional ‘interactionist’ perspective on development is the correct framework for understanding the role of the genes in development. While acknowledging the legitimacy of many of Kitcher’s observations, I believe that Oyama’s view is substantially correct. In this paper I provide several lines of support for support the Oyama diagnosis. (shrink)
Elliott Sober''s selection for/selection of distinction has been widely used to clarify the idea that some properties of organisms are side-effects of selection processes. It has also been used, however, to choose between different descriptions of an evolutionary product when assigning biological functions to that product. We suggest that there is a characteristic error in these uses of the distinction. Complementary descriptions of function are misrepresented as mutually excluding one another. This error arises from a failure to appreciate that selection (...) processes can be described at several different theoretical levels. (shrink)
Traditional, quantitative behavioral geneticists and developmental psychobiologists such as Gilbert Gottlieb have long debated what it would take to create a truly developmental behavioral genetics. These disputes have proven so intractable that disputants have repeatedly suggested that the problem rests on their opponents' conceptual confusion; whilst others have argued that the intractability results from the non-scientific, political motivations of their opponents. The authors provide a different explanation of the intractability of these debates. They show that the disputants have competing interpretations (...) of the concepts of reaction norm, genotype-environment interaction, and gene. The common thread that underlies each of these disagreements, the authors argue, is the relevance of potential variation that is not manifest in any actual population to the understanding of development. (shrink)
We argue that philosophical and historical research can constitute a ‘Biohumanities’ which deepens our understanding of biology itself; engages in constructive 'science criticism'; helps formulate new 'visions of biology'; and facilitates 'critical science communication'. We illustrate these ideas with two recent 'experimental philosophy' studies of the concept of the gene and of the concept of innateness conducted by ourselves and collaborators.