Results for 'John A. Dupre'

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John Dupre
University of Exeter
  1. Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology.Daniel J. Nicholson & John A. Dupre (eds.) - 2018 - Oxford University Press.
    This collection of essays explores the metaphysical thesis that the living world is not made up of substantial particles or things, as has often been assumed, but is rather constituted by processes. The biological domain is organised as an interdependent hierarchy of processes, which are stabilised and actively maintained at different timescales. Even entities that intuitively appear to be paradigms of things, such as organisms, are actually better understood as processes. Unlike previous attempts to articulate processual views of biology, which (...)
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  2. A Manifesto for a Processual Philosophy of Biology.John A. Dupre & Daniel J. Nicholson - 2018 - In Daniel J. Nicholson & John A. Dupre (eds.), Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology.
    This chapter argues that scientific and philosophical progress in our understanding of the living world requires that we abandon a metaphysics of things in favour of one centred on processes. We identify three main empirical motivations for adopting a process ontology in biology: metabolic turnover, life cycles, and ecological interdependence. We show how taking a processual stance in the philosophy of biology enables us to ground existing critiques of essentialism, reductionism, and mechanicism, all of which have traditionally been associated with (...)
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  3.  78
    Size Doesn’T Matter: Towards a More Inclusive Philosophy of Biology. [REVIEW]Maureen A. O’Malley & John Dupré - 2007 - Biology and Philosophy 22 (2):155-191.
    Philosophers of biology, along with everyone else, generally perceive life to fall into two broad categories, the microbes and macrobes, and then pay most of their attention to the latter. ‘Macrobe’ is the word we propose for larger life forms, and we use it as part of an argument for microbial equality. We suggest that taking more notice of microbes – the dominant life form on the planet, both now and throughout evolutionary history – will transform some of the philosophy (...)
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  4.  70
    Fundamental Issues in Systems Biology.Maureen A. O'Malley & John Dupré - 2005 - Bioessays 27 (12):1270-1276.
  5.  36
    Towards a Philosophy of Microbiology.Maureen A. O’Malley & John Dupré - 2007 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 38 (4):775-779.
  6.  83
    Against Reductionist Explanations of Human Behaviour: John Dupré.John Dupré - 1998 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 72 (1):153–172.
    [John Dupré] This paper attacks some prominent contemporary attempts to provide reductive accounts of ever wider areas of human behaviour. In particular, I shall address the claims of sociobiology (or evolutionary psychology) to provide a universal account of human nature, and attempts to subsume ever wider domains of behaviour within the scope of economics. I shall also consider some recent suggestions as to how these approaches might be integrated. Having rejected the imperialistic ambitions of these approaches, I shall briefly (...)
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  7. Processes of Life: Essays in the Philosophy of Biology.John Dupré - 2011 - Oxford University Press UK.
    John Dupré explores recent revolutionary developments in biology and considers their relevance for our understanding of human nature and human society. Epigenetics and related areas of molecular biology have eroded the exceptional status of the gene and presented the genome as fully interactive with the rest of the cell. Developmental systems theory provides a space for a vision of evolution that takes full account of the fundamental importance of developmental processes. Dupré shows the importance of microbiology for a proper (...)
     
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  8.  66
    Human Nature and the Limits of Science.John Dupré - 2001 - Oxford University Press.
    John Dupre warns that our understanding of human nature is being distorted by two faulty and harmful forms of pseudo-scientific thinking. Not just in the academic world but in everyday life, we find one set of experts who seek to explain the ends at which humans aim in terms of evolutionary theory, while the other set uses economic models to give rules of how we act to achieve those ends. Dupre demonstrates that these theorists' explanations do not (...)
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  9. Promiscuous Realism: Reply to Wilson.John Dupré - 1996 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 47 (3):441-444.
    This paper presents a brief response to Robert A. Wilson's critical discussion of Promiscuous Realism [1996]. I argue that, although convergence on a unique conception of species cannot be ruled out, the evidence against such an outcome is stronger than Wilson allows. In addition, given the failure of biological science to come up with a unique and privileged set of biological kinds, the relevance of the various overlapping kinds of ordinary language to the metaphysics of biological kinds is greater than (...)
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  10.  20
    Concepts and Methods in Evolutionary Biology.John Dupré - 1997 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 48 (2):292-296.
    This book is a collection of essays by a leading philosopher of biology and spans his career over almost the last twenty years. Most of the topics that have been of concern to philosophers of biology in this period are touched on to some extent, and the collection of these essays in a convenient volume will certainly be welcomed by everyone working in this field. The essays are arranged chronologically, and divided into three sections. Although the chapters in the first (...)
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  11.  34
    Introduction: Towards a Philosophy of Microbiology.Maureen A. O’Malley & John Dupré - 2007 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences.
  12. Varieties of Living Things: Life at the Intersection of Lineage and Metabolism.John Dupré & Maureen A. O'Malley - 2009 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 1 (20130604).
    We address three fundamental questions: What does it mean for an entity to be living? What is the role of inter-organismic collaboration in evolution? What is a biological individual? Our central argument is that life arises when lineage-forming entities collaborate in metabolism. By conceiving of metabolism as a collaborative process performed by functional wholes, which are associations of a variety of lineage-forming entities, we avoid the standard tension between reproduction and metabolism in discussions of life – a tension particularly evident (...)
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  13.  19
    Social Science: City Center or Leafy Suburb.John Dupré - 2016 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 46 (6):548-564.
    This article argues, in opposition to a common interpretation of Wittgenstein deriving from Winch, that there is nothing especially problematic about the social sciences. Familiar Wittgensteinian theses about language, notably on the open-endedness of linguistic rules and on the importance of family resemblance concepts, have great relevance not only to the social sciences but also to much of the natural sciences. The differences between scientific and ordinary language are much less sharp than Winch, and probably Wittgenstein, supposed.
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  14.  16
    In Defence of the Baldwin Effect: A Reply to Watkins.John Dupré - 2000 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 51 (3):477 - 479.
    A recent paper by John Watkins argues that the Baldwin effect, a hypothetical evolutionary process by which a culturally evolved behavior might promote the evolution of a genetic basis for that behavior, is inconsistent with evolutionary theory. In this reply, I argue that in case the genetic basis of the behavior in question determines separable constituents of the behavior, Watkins's argument is unsound.
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  15.  11
    Social Science: City Center or Leafy Suburb.John Dupré - 2016 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 46 (6):548-564.
    This article argues, in opposition to a common interpretation of Wittgenstein deriving from Winch, that there is nothing especially problematic about the social sciences. Familiar Wittgensteinian theses about language, notably on the open-endedness of linguistic rules and on the importance of family resemblance concepts, have great relevance not only to the social sciences but also to much of the natural sciences. The differences between scientific and ordinary language are much less sharp than Winch, and probably Wittgenstein, supposed.
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  16.  38
    Humans and Other Animals.John Dupré - 2006 - Clarendon Press.
    John Dupr presents a set of provocative and highly readable essays exploring the ways in which we categorize animals, including humans: he comes to surprisingly radical conclusions. We must reject the idea that each organism has an essence that determines its necessary place in the unique hierarchy of things. Nature is not organized in a single system. It is a mistake to generalize about human nature--for instance, about the gender roles or sexual behaviour of our species. We must take (...)
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  17. Living Causes.John Dupré - 2013 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 87 (1):19-37.
    This paper considers the applicability of standard accounts of causation to living systems. In particular it examines critically the increasing tendency to equate causal explanation with the identification of a mechanism. A range of differences between living systems and paradigm mechanisms are identified and discussed. While in principle it might be possible to accommodate an account of mechanism to these features, the attempt to do so risks reducing the idea of a mechanism to vacuity. It is proposed that the solution (...)
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  18. Metagenomics and Biological Ontology.John Dupré & Maureen A. O’Malley - 2007 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 38 (4):834-846.
    Metagenomics is an emerging microbial systems science that is based on the large-scale analysis of the DNA of microbial communities in their natural environments. Studies of metagenomes are revealing the vast scope of biodiversity in a wide range of environments, as well as new functional capacities of individual cells and communities, and the complex evolutionary relationships between them. Our examination of this science focuses on the ontological implications of these studies of metagenomes and metaorganisms, and what they mean for common (...)
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  19.  47
    On the Impossibility of a Monistic Account of Species.John Dupré - 1999 - In Robert A. Wilson (ed.), Species: New Interdisciplinary Essays. Bradford Books. pp. 3-22.
  20. In Defence of Classification.John Dupré - 2001 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 32 (2):203-219.
    It has increasingly been recognised that units of biological classification cannot be identified with the units of evolution. After briefly defending the necessity of this distinction I argue, contrary to the prevailing orthodoxy, that species should be treated as the fundamental units of classification and not, therefore, as units of evolution. This perspective fits well with the increasing tendency to reject the search for a monistic basis of classification and embrace a pluralistic and pragmatic account of the species category. It (...)
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  21. Is ‘Natural Kind’ a Natural Kind Term?John Dupré - 2002 - The Monist 85 (1):29-49.
    The traditional home for the concept of a natural kind in biology is of course taxonomy, the sorting of organisms into a nested hierarchy of kinds. Many taxonomists and most philosophers of biology now deny that it is possible to sort organisms into natural kinds. Many do not think that biological taxonomy sorts them into kinds at all, but rather identifies them as parts of historical individuals. But at any rate if the species, genera and so on of biological taxonomy (...)
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  22.  41
    A Process Ontology for Biology.John Dupré - 2014 - The Philosophers' Magazine 67:81-88.
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  23.  18
    I—Living Causes.John Dupré - 2013 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 87 (1):19-37.
    This paper considers the applicability of standard accounts of causation to living systems. In particular it examines critically the increasing tendency to equate causal explanation with the identification of a mechanism. A range of differences between living systems and paradigm mechanisms are identified and discussed. While in principle it might be possible to accommodate an account of mechanism to these features, the attempt to do so risks reducing the idea of a mechanism to vacuity. It is proposed that the solution (...)
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  24. The Miracle of Monism.John Dupré - 2004 - In Mario De Caro & David Macarthur (eds.), Naturalism in Question. Harvard University Press. pp. 36--58.
    This chapter defends a pluralistic view of science: the various projects of enquiry that fall under the general rubric of science share neither a methodology nor a subject matter. Ontologically, it is argued that sciences need have nothing in common beyond an antipathy to the supernatural. Epistemically one central virtue is defended, empiricism, meaning just that scientific knowledge must ultimately be answerable to experience. Prima facie science is as diverse as the world it studies; and rejection of this prima facie (...)
     
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  25.  69
    Animalism and the Persistence of Human Organisms.John Dupré - 2014 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 52 (S1):6-23.
    Humans are a kind of animal, and it is a natural and sensible idea that the way to understand what it is for a human person to persist over time is to reflect on what it is for an animal to persist. This paper accepts this strategy. However, especially in the light of a range of recent biological findings, the persistence of animals turns out to be much more problematic than is generally supposed. The main philosophical premise of the paper (...)
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  26.  16
    Metagenomics and Biological Ontology.John Dupré & Maureen A. O’Malley - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 38 (4):834-846.
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  27.  63
    Probabilistic Causality: A Rejoinder to Ellery Eells.John Dupré - 1990 - Philosophy of Science 57 (4):690 - 698.
    In an earlier paper (Dupré 1984), I criticized a thesis sometimes defended by theorists of probabilistic causality, namely, that a probabilistic cause must raise the probability of its effect in every possible set of causally relevant background conditions (the "contextual unanimity thesis"). I also suggested that a more promising analysis of probabilistic causality might be sought in terms of statistical relevance in a fair sample. Ellery Eells (1987) has defended the contextual unanimity thesis against my objections, and also raised objections (...)
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  28.  68
    Understanding Contemporary Genomics.John Dupre - 2004 - Perspectives on Science 12 (3):320-338.
    Recent molecular biology has seen the development of genomics as a successor to traditional genetics. This paper offers an overview of the structure, epistemology, and history of contemporary genomics. A particular focus is on the question to what extent the genome contains, or is composed of, anything that corresponds to traditional conceptions of genes. It is concluded that the only interpretation of genes that has much contemporary scientific relevance is what is described as the "developmental defect" gene concept. However, developmental (...)
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  29. The Solution to the Problem of the Freedom of the Will.John Dupré - 1996 - Philosophical Perspectives 10:385-402.
    It has notoriously been supposed that the doctrine of determinism conflicts with the belief in human freedom. Yet it is not readily apparent how indeterminism, the denial of determinism, makes human freedom any less problematic. It has sometimes been suggested that the arrival of quantum mechanics should immediately have solved the problem of free will and determinism. It was proposed, perhaps more often by scientists than by philosophers, that the brain would need only to be fitted with a device for (...)
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  30.  93
    The Lure of the Simplistic.John Dupré - 2002 - Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2002 (3):S284-S293.
    This paper attacks the perennial philosophical and scientific quest for a simple and unified vision of the world. Without denying the attraction of this vision, I argue that such a goal often seriously distorts our understanding of complex phenomena. The argument is illustrated with reference to simplistic attempts to provide extremely general views of biology, and especially of human nature, through the theory of evolution. Although that theory is a fundamental ingredient of our scientific world view, it provides only one (...)
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  31.  71
    The Lure of the Simplistic.John Dupré - 2002 - Philosophy of Science 69 (S3):S284-S293.
    This paper attacks the perennial philosophical and scientific quest for a simple and unified vision of the world. Without denying the attraction of this vision, I argue that such a goal often seriously distorts our understanding of complex phenomena. The argument is illustrated with reference to simplistic attempts to provide extremely general views of biology, and especially of human nature, through the theory of evolution. Although that theory is a fundamental ingredient of our scientific world view, it provides only one (...)
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  32. Towards a Processual Microbial Ontology.Eric Bapteste & John Dupré - 2013 - Biology and Philosophy 28 (2):379-404.
    Standard microbial evolutionary ontology is organized according to a nested hierarchy of entities at various levels of biological organization. It typically detects and defines these entities in relation to the most stable aspects of evolutionary processes, by identifying lineages evolving by a process of vertical inheritance from an ancestral entity. However, recent advances in microbiology indicate that such an ontology has important limitations. The various dynamics detected within microbiological systems reveal that a focus on the most stable entities (or features (...)
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  33.  44
    Could There Be a Science of Economics?John Dupré - 1993 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 18 (1):363-378.
    Much scientific thinking and thinking about science involves assumptions that there is a deep and pervasive order to the world that it is the business of science to disclose. A paradigmatic statement of such a view can be found in a widely discussed paper by a prominent economist, Milton Friedman (a paper which will be discussed in more detail shortly): A fundamental hypothesis of science is that appearances are deceptive and that there is a way of looking at or interpreting (...)
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  34. Darwin's Legacy What Evolution Means Today.John Dupré - 2003
    Charles Darwin transformed our understanding of the universe and our place in it with his development of the theory of evolution. 150 years later, we are still puzzling over the implications. John Dupré presents a lucid, witty introduction to evolution and what it means for our view of humanity, the natural world, and religion. He explains the right and the wrong ways to understand evolution: in the latter category fall most of the claims of evolutionary psychology, of which Dupré (...)
     
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  35. Discussion. In Defence of the Baldwin Effect: A Reply to Watkins.John Dupré - 2000 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 51 (3):477-479.
  36.  37
    Emerging Sciences and New Conceptions of Disease; or, Beyond the Monogenomic Differentiated Cell Lineage.John Dupré - 2011 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 1 (1):119-131.
    This paper will begin with some very broad and general considerations about the kind of biological entities we are. This exercise is motivated by the belief that the view of what we—multicellular eukaryotic organisms—are that is widely assumed by biologists, medical scientists and the general public, is an extremely limited one. It cannot be assumed a priori that a more sophisticated view will make a major difference to the science or practice of medicine, and there are areas of medicine to (...)
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  37.  92
    Are There Genes?John Dupré - 2005 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 56:16-17.
    Contrary to one possible interpretation of my title, this paper will not advocate any scepticism or ontological deflation. My concern will rather be with how we should best think about a realm of phenomena the existence of which is in no doubt, what has traditionally been referred to as the genetic. I have no intention of questioning a very well established scientific consensus on this domain. It involves the chemical DNA, which resides in almost all our cells, which is capable (...)
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  38.  35
    Science in a Democratic Society. By Philip Kitcher. (New York: Prometheus Books, 2011. Pp. 270. Price £24.95.).John Dupré - 2013 - Philosophical Quarterly 63 (251):408-410.
  39. Darwin's Legacy: What Evolution Means Today.John Dupré - 2005 - Oxford University Press.
    Charles Darwin transformed our understanding of the universe and our place in it with his development of the theory of evolution. 150 years later, we are still puzzling over the implications. John Dupr presents a lucid, witty introduction to evolution and what it means for our view of humanity, the natural world, and religion. He explains the right and the wrong ways to understand evolution: in the latter category fall most of the claims of evolutionary psychology, of which Dupr (...)
     
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  40.  52
    Probabilistic Causality: Reply to John Dupré.Ellery Eells - 1987 - Philosophy of Science 54 (1):105-114.
    John Dupré (1984) has recently criticized the theory of probabilistic causality developed by, among others, Good (1961-62), Suppes (1970), Cartwright (1979), and Skyrms (1980). He argues that there is a tension or incompatibility between one of its central requirements for the presence of a causal connection, on the one hand, and a feature of the theory pointed out by Elliott Sober and me (1983), on the other. He also argues that the requirement just alluded to should be given up. (...)
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  41.  89
    The Tree of Life: Introduction to an Evolutionary Debate. [REVIEW]Maureen A. O’Malley, William Martin & John Dupré - 2010 - Biology and Philosophy 25 (4):441-453.
    The ‘Tree of Life’ is intended to represent the pattern of evolutionary processes that result in bifurcating species lineages. Often justified in reference to Darwin’s discussions of trees, the Tree of Life has run up against numerous challenges especially in regard to prokaryote evolution. This special issue examines scientific, historical and philosophical aspects of debates about the Tree of Life, with the aim of turning these criticisms towards a reconstruction of prokaryote phylogeny and even some aspects of the standard evolutionary (...)
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  42.  75
    Scientific Pluralism and the Plurality of the Sciences: Comments on David Hull's Science as a Process.John Dupré - 1990 - Philosophical Studies 60 (1-2):61 - 76.
  43.  43
    The Study of Socioethical Issues in Systems Biology.Maureen A. O'Malley, Jane Calvert & John Dupré - 2007 - American Journal of Bioethics 7 (4):67-78.
    Systems biology is the rapidly growing and heavily funded successor science to genomics. Its mission is to integrate extensive bodies of molecular data into a detailed mathematical understanding of all life processes, with an ultimate view to their prediction and control. Despite its high profile and widespread practice, there has so far been almost no bioethical attention paid to systems biology and its potential social consequences. We outline some of systems biology's most important socioethical issues by contrasting the concept of (...)
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  44.  85
    From Molecules to Systems: The Importance of Looking Both Ways.Alexander Powell & John Dupré - 2009 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 40 (1):54-64.
    Although molecular biology has meant different things at different times, the term is often associated with a tendency to view cellular causation as conforming to simple linear schemas in which macro-scale effects are specified by micro-scale structures. The early achievements of molecular biologists were important for the formation of such an outlook, one to which the discovery of recombinant DNA techniques, and a number of other findings, gave new life even after the complexity of genotype–phenotype
    relations had become apparent. Against this (...)
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  45.  8
    Aryeh Kosman is the John Whitehead Professor of Philosophy at Haver-Ford College in Haverford, Pennsylvania. He Works on the Interpretation of Ancient Philosophy, Particularly the Works of Plato and Aristotle. Zvi Biener is a Graduate Student at the University of Pittsburgh's Depart-Ment of History and Philosophy of Science. He Specializes in the History Of. [REVIEW]John Dupré & Stathis Psillos - 2004 - Perspectives on Science 12 (3).
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  46.  38
    Review of Kitcher: "The Advancement of Science: Science Without Legend, Objectivity Without Illusions". [REVIEW]John Dupré - 1995 - Philosophical Review 104 (1):147-151.
    Philip Kitcher's book begins with a familiar historical overview. In the 1940s and 50s a confident, optimistic vision of science was widely shared by philosophers and historians of science. The goal of science was to discover the truth about nature, and over the centuries science had advanced steadily towards that goal; science discerned the real kinds of things of which the world was composed and the causal relations between them; the methods of science were rational and its deliverances objective; and (...)
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  47.  68
    Dupre's Anti-Essentialist Objection to Reductionism.D. Gene Witmer - 2003 - Philosophical Quarterly 53 (211):181-200.
    In his 'The Disorder of Things' John Dupré presents an objection to reductionism which I call the 'anti-essentialist objection': it is that reductionism requires essentialism, and essentialism is false. I unpack the objection and assess its cogency. Once the objection is clearly in view, it is likely to appeal to those who think conceptual analysis a bankrupt project. I offer on behalf of the reductionist two strategies for responding, one which seeks to rehabilitate conceptual analysis and one (more concessive) (...)
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  48. What's the Fuss About Social Constructivism.John Dupré - 2004 - Episteme 1 (1):73-85.
    The topic of this paper is social constructivist doctrines about the nature of scientific knowledge. I don't propose to review all the many accounts that have either claimed this designation or had it ascribed to them. Rather I shall try to consider in a very general way what sense should be made of the underlying idea, and then illustrate some of the central points with two central examples from biology. The first thing to say is that, on the face of (...)
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  49.  90
    Human Kinds and Biological Kinds: Some Similarities and Differences.John Dupré - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 71 (5):892-900.
    This paper compares human diversity with biological diversity generally. Drawing on the pluralistic perspective on biological species defended in earlier work (2002, chs. 3 and 4), I argue that there are useful parallels to be drawn between human and animal kinds, as there are between their respective sources in cultural evolution and evolution generally. This view is developed in opposition to the insistence by sociobiologists and their successors on minimizing the significance of culture. The paper concludes with a discussion of (...)
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  50.  3
    The Conscious Mind: In Search of a Fundamental Theory. [REVIEW]John Dupré - 2000 - Faith and Philosophy 17 (3):395-401.
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