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James DiFrisco [17]James8 DiFrisco [1]
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  1.  21
    Beyond Networks: Mechanism and Process in Evo-Devo.James DiFrisco & Johannes Jaeger - 2019 - Biology and Philosophy 34 (6):54.
    Explanation in terms of gene regulatory networks has become standard practice in evolutionary developmental biology. In this paper, we argue that GRNs fail to provide a robust, mechanistic, and dynamic understanding of the developmental processes underlying the genotype–phenotype map. Explanations based on GRNs are limited by three main problems: the problem of genetic determinism, the problem of correspondence between network structure and function, and the problem of diachronicity, as in the unfolding of causal interactions over time. Overcoming these problems requires (...)
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  2.  60
    Time Scales and Levels of Organization.James DiFrisco - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (4):795-818.
    The concept of levels of organization, despite its widespread scientific currency, has recently been criticized by a number of philosophers of science. This paper diagnoses the main source of problems facing theories of levels. On this basis, the problems with the usual criteria for distinguishing levels are evaluated: compositional relations, organizational types, and spatial scales. Drawing on some work on hierarchies in ecology, I argue in favor of an alternative conception of levels defined by the criterion of rates or time (...)
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  3.  5
    Beyond Networks: Mechanism and Process in Evo-Devo.James DiFrisco & Johannes Jaeger - 2019 - Biology and Philosophy 34 (6):54.
    Explanation in terms of gene regulatory networks has become standard practice in evolutionary developmental biology. In this paper, we argue that GRNs fail to provide a robust, mechanistic, and dynamic understanding of the developmental processes underlying the genotype–phenotype map. Explanations based on GRNs are limited by three main problems: the problem of genetic determinism, the problem of correspondence between network structure and function, and the problem of diachronicity, as in the unfolding of causal interactions over time. Overcoming these problems requires (...)
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  4.  25
    Hylomorphism and the Metabolic Closure Conception of Life.James8 DiFrisco - 2014 - Acta Biotheoretica 62 (4):499-525.
    This paper examines three exemplary theories of living organization with respect to their common feature of defining life in terms of metabolic closure: autopoiesis, systems, and chemoton theory. Metabolic closure is broadly understood to denote the property of organized chemical systems that each component necessary for the maintenance of the system is produced from within the system itself, except for an input of energy. It is argued that two of the theories considered—autopoiesis and systems—participate in a hylomorphist pattern of thinking (...)
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  5.  14
    Genetic Causation in Complex Regulatory Systems: An Integrative Dynamic Perspective.James DiFrisco & Johannes Jaeger - 2020 - Bioessays 42 (6):1900226.
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  6.  31
    Élan Vital Revisited: Bergson and the Thermodynamic Paradigm.James DiFrisco - 2015 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 53 (1):54-73.
    The received view of Bergson's philosophy of life is that it advances some form of vitalism under the heading of an “élan vital.” This paper argues against the vitalistic interpretation of Bergson's élan vital as it appears in Creative Evolution in favor of an interpretation based on his overlooked reflections on entropy and energetics. Within the interpretation developed here, the élan vital is characterized not as a spiritualistic “vital force” but as a tendency of organization opposed to the tendency of (...)
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  7.  18
    Functional Explanation and the Problem of Functional Equivalence.James DiFrisco - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 65:1-8.
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  8. Levels of Organization in the Biological Sciences.Daniel Stephen Brooks, James DiFrisco & William C. Wimsatt (eds.) - forthcoming - MIT Press.
    The subject of this edited volume is the idea of levels of organization: roughly, the idea that the natural world is segregated into part-whole relationships of increasing spatiotemporal scale and complexity. The book comprises a collection of essays that raise the idea of levels into its own topic of analysis. Owing to the wide prominence of the idea of levels, the scope of the volume is aimed at theoreticians, philosophers, and practicing researchers of all stripes in the life sciences. The (...)
     
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  9.  8
    Character Identity Mechanisms: A Conceptual Model for Comparative-Mechanistic Biology.James DiFrisco, Alan C. Love & Günter P. Wagner - 2020 - Biology and Philosophy 35 (4):1-32.
    There have been repeated attempts in the history of comparative biology to provide a mechanistic account of morphological homology. However, it is well-established that homologues can develop from diverse sets of developmental causes, appearing not to share any core causal architecture that underwrites character identity. We address this challenge with a new conceptual model of Character Identity Mechanisms. ChIMs are cohesive mechanisms with a recognizable causal profile that allows them to be traced through evolution as homologues despite having a diverse (...)
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  10.  9
    Homology of Process: Developmental Dynamics in Comparative Biology.James DiFrisco & Johannes Jaeger - forthcoming - Interface Focus.
    Comparative biology builds up systematic knowledge of the diversity of life, across evolutionary lineages and levels of organization, starting with evidence from a sparse sample of model organisms. In developmental biology, a key obstacle to the growth of comparative approaches is that the concept of homology is not very well defined for levels of organization that are intermediate between individual genes and morphological characters. In this paper, we investigate what it means for ontogenetic processes to be homologous, focusing specifically on (...)
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  11.  18
    Interdisciplinarity, Epistemic Pluralism, and Unificationism.James DiFrisco - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 74:40-44.
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  12.  14
    Merleau-Ponty's Ontology of Life.James DiFrisco - 2012 - Pli 23:35-50.
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  13. Merleau-Ponty’s Ontology of Life.James Difrisco - 2012 - Pli 23.
     
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  14.  14
    Nature Rendered "Intelligible": On Thomas Nagel's Mind and Cosmos. [REVIEW]James DiFrisco - 2015 - Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 46 (1):79-86.
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  15.  43
    Ontological Issues in the Life Sciences: Third European Advanced Seminar in the Philosophy of the Life Sciences, Klosterneuburg, Austria, 1–5 September 2014.James DiFrisco, Gaëlle Pontarotti, Federico Boem, Guillaume Schlaepfer, Ewelina Sokolowska & Eva Fernández-Labandera - 2015 - Biological Theory 10 (2):176-181.
  16.  6
    Process and Levels of Organization.James DiFrisco - 2015 - Dissertation, KU Leuven
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  17.  8
    Toward a Theory of Homology: Development and the de-Coupling of Morphological and Molecular Evolution.James DiFrisco - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
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  18.  24
    Token Physicalism and Functional Individuation.James DiFrisco - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 8 (3):309-329.
    Token physicalism is often viewed as a modest and unproblematic physicalist commitment, as contrasted with type physicalism. This paper argues that the prevalence of functional individuation in biology creates serious problems for token physicalism, because the latter requires that biological entities can be individuated physically and without reference to biological functioning. After characterizing the main philosophical roles for token physicalism, I describe the distinctive uses of functional individuation in models of biological processes. I then introduce some requirements on token identity (...)
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