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Paul E. Griffiths [79]Paul J. Griffiths [50]Paul Griffiths [48]Paul Edmund Griffiths [15]
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Paul Edmund Griffiths
University of Sydney
Phil Griffiths
University of Southern Queensland
  1. What Emotions Really Are: The Problem of Psychological Categories.Paul E. Griffiths - 1997 - University of Chicago Press.
    Paul E. Griffiths argues that most research on the emotions has been as misguided as Aristotelian efforts to study "superlunary objects" - objects...
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  2. Genetics and Philosophy : An Introduction.Paul Griffiths & Karola Stotz - 2013 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    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 (...)
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  3.  90
    Unto Others: The Evolution and Psychology of Unselfish Behavior.Paul E. Griffiths - 2002 - Mind 111 (441):178-182.
  4.  16
    Developmental Systems and Evolutionary Explanation.P. E. Griffiths & R. D. Gray - 1994 - Journal of Philosophy 91 (6):277-304.
  5. Developmental Systems and Evolutionary Explanation.P. E. Griffiths & R. D. Gray - 1994 - Journal of Philosophy 91 (6):277-304.
  6. Functional Analysis and Proper Functions.Paul E. Griffiths - 1993 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 44 (3):409-422.
    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 (...)
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  7. Genetic Information: A Metaphor in Search of a Theory.Paul Edmund Griffiths - 2001 - Philosophy of Science 68 (3):394-412.
    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 (...)
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  8. Squaring the Circle: Natural Kinds with Historical Essences.Paul E. Griffiths - 1999 - In Robert A. Wilson (ed.), Species: New Interdisciplinary Essays. MIT Press. pp. 209-228.
  9.  79
    Measuring Causal Specificity.Paul E. Griffiths, Arnaud Pocheville, Brett Calcott, Karola Stotz, Hyunju Kim & Rob Knight - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (4):529-555.
    Several authors have argued that causes differ in the degree to which they are ‘specific’ to their effects. Woodward has used this idea to enrich his influential interventionist theory of causal explanation. Here we propose a way to measure causal specificity using tools from information theory. We show that the specificity of a causal variable is not well-defined without a probability distribution over the states of that variable. We demonstrate the tractability and interest of our proposed measure by measuring the (...)
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  10. What is Innateness?Paul E. Griffiths - 2001 - The Monist 85 (1):70-85.
    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', (...)
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  11. Evolution, Dysfunction, and Disease: A Reappraisal: Table 1.Paul E. Griffiths & John Matthewson - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (2):301-327.
    Some ‘naturalist’ accounts of disease employ a biostatistical account of dysfunction, whilst others use a ‘selected effect’ account. Several recent authors have argued that the biostatistical account offers the best hope for a naturalist account of disease. We show that the selected effect account survives the criticisms levelled by these authors relatively unscathed, and has significant advantages over the BST. Moreover, unlike the BST, it has a strong theoretical rationale and can provide substantive reasons to decide difficult cases. This is (...)
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  12. Genes in the Postgenomic Era.Paul E. Griffiths & Karola Stotz - 2006 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 27 (6):499-521.
    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 (...)
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  13. The Vernacular Concept of Innateness.Paul Griffiths, Edouard Machery & Stefan Linquist - 2009 - Mind and Language 24 (5):605-630.
    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 (...)
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  14. How Biologists Conceptualize Genes: An Empirical Study.Karola Stotz, Paul E. Griffiths & Rob Knight - 2004 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 35 (4):647-673.
    Philosophers and historians of biology have argued that genes are conceptualized differently in different fields of biology and that these differences influence both the conduct of research and the interpretation of research by audiences outside the field in which the research was conducted. In this paper we report the results of a questionnaire study of how genes are conceptualized by biological scientists at the University of Sydney, Australia. The results provide tentative support for some hypotheses about conceptual differences between different (...)
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  15.  40
    Biological Criteria of Disease: Four Ways of Going Wrong.John Matthewson & Paul Edmund Griffiths - 2017 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 1 (4).
    We defend a view of the distinction between the normal and the pathological according to which that distinction has an objective, biological component. We accept that there is a normative component to the concept of disease, especially as applied to human beings. Nevertheless, an organism cannot be in a pathological state unless something has gone wrong for that organism from a purely biological point of view. Biology, we argue, recognises two sources of biological normativity, which jointly generate four “ways of (...)
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  16. Function, Homology and Character Individuation.Paul E. Griffiths - 2006 - Philosophy of Science 73 (1):1-25.
    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 (...)
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  17. Emotions as Natural and Normative Kinds.Paul E. Griffiths - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 71 (5):901-911.
    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.
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  18.  99
    Modularity, and the Psychoevolutionary Theory of Emotion.Paul E. Griffiths - 1990 - Biology and Philosophy 5 (2):175-196.
    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 (...)
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  19. Introduction: What is Developmental Systems Theory?Susan Oyama, Paul Griffiths & Russell D. Gray - 2001 - In Susan Oyama, Paul Griffiths & Russell D. Gray (eds.), Cycles of Contingency: Developmental Systems and Evolution. MIT Press. pp. 1-11.
     
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  20. What is the Developmentalist Challenge?Paul E. Griffiths & Robin D. Knight - 1998 - Philosophy of Science 65 (2):253-258.
  21. Crossing the Milvian Bridge: When Do Evolutionary Explanations of Belief Debunk Belief?Paul E. Griffiths & John S. Wilkins - 2015 - In Phillip R. Sloan, Gerald McKenny & Kathleen Eggleson (eds.), Darwin in the Twenty-First Century: Nature, Humanity, and God. University of Notre Dame Press. pp. 201-231.
    Ever since Darwin people have worried about the sceptical implications of evolution. If our minds are products of evolution like those of other animals, why suppose that the beliefs they produce are true, rather than merely useful? In this chapter we apply this argument to beliefs in three different domains: morality, religion, and science. We identify replies to evolutionary scepticism that work in some domains but not in others. The simplest reply to evolutionary scepticism is that the truth of beliefs (...)
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  22.  66
    The Historical Turn in the Study of Adaptation.Paul E. Griffiths - 1996 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 47 (4):511-532.
    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 (...)
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  23. Emotions in the Wild: The Situated Perspective on Emotion.Paul Edmund Griffiths & Andrea Scarantino - 2005 - In P. Robbins & Murat Aydede (eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Situated Cognition. Cambridge University Press.
    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 (...)
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  24. On Being Mindless: Buddhist Meditation and the Mind Body Problem.Paul J. Griffiths - 1986 - La Salle: Open Court.
  25.  98
    Replicator II – Judgement Day.Paul E. Griffiths & Russell D. Gray - 1997 - Biology and Philosophy 12 (4):471-492.
    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 (...)
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  26. Innateness, Canalization, and 'Biologicizing the Mind'.Paul E. Griffiths & Edouard Machery - 2008 - Philosophical Psychology 21 (3):397 – 414.
    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 (...)
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  27. The Importance of Homology for Biology and Philosophy.Ingo Brigandt & Paul Edmund Griffiths - 2007 - Biology and Philosophy 22 (5):633-641.
    Editors' introduction to the special issue on homology (Biology and Philosophy Vol. 22, Issue 5, 2007).
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  28. Gene.Paul E. Griffiths & Karola Stotz - 2005 - In David L. Hull & Michael Ruse (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to the Philosophy of Biology. Cambridge University Press.
    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 (...)
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  29. Don’T Give Up on Basic Emotions.Andrea Scarantino & Paul Griffiths - 2011 - Emotion Review 3 (4):444-454.
    We argue that there are three coherent, nontrivial notions of basic-ness: conceptual basic-ness, biological basic-ness, and psychological basic-ness. There is considerable evidence for conceptually basic emotion categories (e.g., “anger,” “fear”). These categories do not designate biologically basic emotions, but some forms of anger, fear, and so on that are biologically basic in a sense we will specify. Finally, two notions of psychological basic-ness are distinguished, and the evidence for them is evaluated. The framework we offer acknowledges the force of some (...)
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  30.  48
    Genes: Philosophical Analyses Put to the Test.Karola Stotz & Paul Griffiths - 2004 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 26 (1):5-28.
    This paper describes one complete and one ongoing empirical study in which philosophical analyses of the concept of the gene were operationalized and tested against questionnaire data obtained from working biologists to determine whether and when biologists conceive genes in the ways suggested. These studies throw light on how different gene concepts contribute to biological research. Their aim is not to arrive at one or more correct 'definitions' of the gene, but rather to map out the variation in the gene (...)
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  31. Is Emotion a Natural Kind?Paul Griffiths - 2002 - In Robert C. Solomon (ed.), Thinking About Feeling: Contemporary Philosophers on Emotions. Oxford University Press.
    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 (...)
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  32.  93
    The Phenomena of Homology.Paul Edmund Griffiths - 2007 - Biology and Philosophy 22 (5):643-658.
    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 (...)
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  33. Darwinism, Process Structuralism, and Natural Kinds.Paul E. Griffiths - 1996 - Philosophy of Science 63 (3):S1-S9.
    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 (...)
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  34. Experimental Philosophy of Science.Paul E. Griffiths & Karola Stotz - 2008 - Philosophy Compass 3 (3):507–521.
    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 (...)
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  35. Evolutionary Debunking Arguments in Three Domains: Fact, Value, and Religion.S. Wilkins John & E. Griffiths Paul - 2012 - In James Maclaurin Greg Dawes (ed.), A New Science of Religion. Routledge.
    Ever since Darwin people have worried about the sceptical implications of evolution. If our minds are products of evolution like those of other animals, why suppose that the beliefs they produce are true, rather than merely useful? We consider this problem for beliefs in three different domains: religion, morality, and commonsense and scientific claims about matters of empirical fact. We identify replies to evolutionary scepticism that work in some domains but not in others. One reply is that evolution can be (...)
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  36.  42
    Cladistic Classification and Functional Explanation.P. E. Griffiths - 1994 - Philosophy of Science 61 (2):206-227.
    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 (...)
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  37. In What Sense Does ‘Nothing Make Sense Except in the Light of Evolution’?Paul Edmund Griffiths - 2009 - Acta Biotheoretica 57 (1-2):11-32.
    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 (...)
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  38.  18
    Signals That Make a Difference.Brett Calcott, Arnaud Pocheville & Paul Griffiths - 2020 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (1):233-258.
    Recent work by Brian Skyrms offers a very general way to think about how information flows and evolves in biological networks—from the way monkeys in a troop communicate to the way cells in a body coordinate their actions. A central feature of his account is a way to formally measure the quantity of information contained in the signals in these networks. In this article, we argue there is a tension between how Skyrms talks of signalling networks and his formal measure (...)
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  39. Developmental Systems Theory.Paul Griffiths & Adam Hochman - 2015 - eLS:1-7.
    Developmental systems theory (DST) is a wholeheartedly epigenetic approach to development, inheritance and evolution. The developmental system of an organism is the entire matrix of resources that are needed to reproduce the life cycle. The range of developmental resources that are properly described as being inherited, and which are subject to natural selection, is far wider than has traditionally been allowed. Evolution acts on this extended set of developmental resources. From a developmental systems perspective, development does not proceed according to (...)
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  40.  9
    Vision and Power, John Hyman the Causal Analysis of Perceiving Misrepresents the Senses as Natural Powers. Although the Senses Are Not Voluntary Powers, the Concept of an Opportunity to See, Hear, and so Forth, is an Essential Part of the Concept of a Sense.(Hence the Concept of an Opportunity is Not Coincident with the Con). [REVIEW]Pe Griffiths & Rd Gray - 1994 - Journal of Philosophy 91 (5).
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  41. Biological Information, Causality and Specificity - an Intimate Relationship.Karola Stotz & Paul E. Griffiths - 2017 - In Sara Imari Walker, Paul Davies & George Ellis (eds.), From Matter to Life: Information and Causality. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press. pp. 366-390.
    In this chapter we examine the relationship between biological information, the key biological concept of specificity, and recent philosophical work on causation. We begin by showing how talk of information in the molecular biosciences grew out of efforts to understand the sources of biological specificity. We then introduce the idea of ‘causal specificity’ from recent work on causation in philosophy, and our own, information theoretic measure of causal specificity. Biological specificity, we argue, is simple the causal specificity of certain biological (...)
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  42. Philosophical Issues in Ecology: Recent Trends and Future Directions.Mark Colyvan, William Grey, Paul E. Griffiths, Jay Odenbaugh, Stefan Linquist & Hugh P. Possingham - 2009 - Ecology and Society 14 (2).
    Philosophy of ecology has been slow to become established as an area of philosophical interest, but it is now receiving considerable attention. This area holds great promise for the advancement of both ecology and the philosophy of science. Insights from the philosophy of science can advance ecology in a number of ways. For example, philosophy can assist with the development of improved models of ecological hypothesis testing and theory choice. Philosophy can also help ecologists understand the role and limitations of (...)
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  43.  28
    Epigenetics: Ambiguities and Implications.Karola Stotz & Paul Griffiths - 2016 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 38 (4).
    Everyone has heard of ‘epigenetics’, but the term means different things to different researchers. Four important contemporary meanings are outlined in this paper. Epigenetics in its various senses has implications for development, heredity, and evolution, and also for medicine. Concerning development, it cements the vision of a reactive genome strongly coupled to its environment. Concerning heredity, both narrowly epigenetic and broader ‘exogenetic’ systems of inheritance play important roles in the construction of phenotypes. A thoroughly epigenetic model of development and evolution (...)
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  44.  65
    Current Emotion Research in Philosophy.Paul E. Griffiths - 2013 - Emotion Review 5 (2):215-222.
    There remains a division between the work of philosophers who draw on the sciences of the mind to understand emotion and those who see the philosophy of emotion as more self-sufficient. This article examines this methodological division before reviewing some of the debates that have figured in the philosophical literature of the last decade: whether emotion is a single kind of thing, whether there are discrete categories of emotion, and whether emotion is a form of perception. These questions have been (...)
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  45.  18
    Our Plastic Nature.Paul E. Griffiths - 2011 - In Snait Gissis & Eva Jablonka (eds.), Transformations of Lamarckism: From Subtle Fluids to Molecular Biology. MIT Press. pp. 319--330.
    This chapter analyzes the notion of human nature and the concept of inner nature from the perspective of developmental systems theory. It explores the folkbiology of human nature and looks at three features associated with traits that are expressions of the inner nature that organisms inherit from their parents: fixity, typicality, teleology.
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  46. Genetic, Epigenetic and Exogenetic Information in Development and Evolution.Paul Edmund Griffiths - 2017 - Interface Focus 7 (5).
    The idea that development is the expression of information accumulated during evolution and that heredity is the transmission of this information is surprisingly hard to cash out in strict, scientific terms. This paper seeks to do so using the sense of information introduced by Francis Crick in his sequence hypothesis and central dogma of molecular biology. It focuses on Crick's idea of precise determination. This is analysed using an information-theoretic measure of causal specificity. This allows us to reconstruct some of (...)
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  47. Evo-Devo Meets the Mind: Toward a Developmental Evolutionary Psychology.Paul E. Griffiths - 2007 - In Roger Sansom & Robert Brandon (eds.), Integrating Evolution and Development: From Theory to Practice. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. pp. 195-225.
    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 (...)
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  48.  82
    The Distinction Between Innate and Acquired Characteristics.Paul Griffiths - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    The idea that some characteristics of an organism are explained by the organism's intrinsic nature, whilst others reflect the influence of the environment is an ancient one. It has even been argued that this distinction is itself part of the evolved psychology of the human species. The distinction played an important role in the history of philosophy as the locus of the dispute between Rationalism and Empiricism discussed in another entry in this encyclopedia. This entry, however, focuses on twentieth-century accounts (...)
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  49.  7
    Discussion: Three Ways to Misunderstand Developmental Systems Theory.P. Griffiths - 2005 - Biology and Philosophy 20 (2-3):417-425.
    Developmental systems theory is a general theoretical perspective on development, heredity and evolution. It is intended to facilitate the study of interactions between the many factors that influence development without reviving `dichotomous' debates over nature or nurture, gene or environment, biology or culture. Several recent papers have addressed the relationship between DST and the thriving new discipline of evolutionary developmental biology. The contributions to this literature by evolutionary developmental biologists contain three important misunderstandings of DST.
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  50. The Misuse of Sober's Selection for/Selection of Distinction.R. Goode & P. E. Griffiths - 1995 - Biology and Philosophy 10 (1):99-108.
    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 (...)
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