The aim of this paper is to outline a typologyof selection processes, and show that differentsub-categories have different explanatorypower. The basis of this typology of selectionprocesses is argued to be the difference ofreplication processes involved in them. Inorder to show this, I argue that: 1.Replication is necessary for selection and 2.Different types of replication lead todifferent types of selection. Finally, it isargued that this typology is philosophicallysignificant, since it contrasts cases ofselection (on the basis of the replicationprocesses involved (...) in them) whereby selectioncauses adaptation – and, therefore, can beused in explanations of the (real or apparent)teleology of Nature – and cases in whichselection lacks such explanatory power. (shrink)
According to a once influential view of selection, it consists of repeated cycles of replication and interaction. It has been argued that this view is wrong: replication is not necessary for evolution by natural selection. I analyze the nine most influential arguments for this claim and defend the replication–interaction conception of selection against these objections. In order to do so, however, the replication–interaction conception of selection needs to be modified significantly. My proposal is that replication (...) is not the copying of an entity, the replicator, but the copying of a property. Thus, we can have a replication process without there being a replicator that is being copied. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to outline a typology of selection processes, and show that different sub-categories have different explanatory power. The basis of this typology of selection processes is argued to be the difference of replication processes involved in them. In order to show this, I argue that: 1. Replication is necessary for selection and 2. Different types of replication lead to different types of selection. Finally, it is argued that this typology is philosophically signiﬁcant, (...) since it contrasts cases of selection (on the basis of the replication processes involved in them) whereby selection causes adaptation – and, therefore, can be used in explanations of the (real or apparent) teleology of Nature – and cases in which selection lacks such explanatory power. (shrink)
Scientists and philosophers generally agree that the replication of experiments is a key ingredient of good and successful scientific practice. “One-offs“ are not significant; experiments must be replicable to be considered valid and important. But the term “replication“ has been used in a number of ways, and it is therefore quite difficult to appraise the meaning and significance of replications. I consider how history may help - and has helped - with this task. I propose that: 1) Studies (...) of past scientific episodes in historical context and of recent philosophical contributions to the discussion are heuristic tools for exploring and clarifying the meaning of that concept. 2) The analysis of the development of the methodological imperative of replication sheds light on the significance scientists have attached to it, thereby contributing further to the clarification of the concept. 3) The analysis of the history of philosophical thought about methods and scientific methodology helps understand why philosophers have not paid much attention to the analysis of the concept of replication. (shrink)
In January 2014, a letter and original research article were published in Nature describing a process whereby somatic mouse cells could be converted into stem cells by subjecting them to stress. These “stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency” cells were shown to be capable of contributing to all cell types of a developing embryo, and extra-embryonic tissues. The lead author of the publications, Haruko Obokata, became an overnight celebrity in Japan, where she was dubbed the new face of Japanese science. However, in (...) the weeks that followed publication of the research, issues arose. Other laboratories and researchers found that they were unable to replicate Obokata et al.’s work. Closer scrutiny of the papers by the scientific community also suggested that there was manipulation of images that had been published, and Obokata was accused of misconduct. Those who should have been supervising her work were also heavily criticised. The STAP cell saga of 2014 is used as an example to highlight the importance of trust and replication in twenty-first century biological science. The role of trust in the scientific community is highlighted, and the effects on interactions between science and the public examined. Similarly, this essay aims to highlight the importance of replication, and how this is understood by researchers, the media, and the public. The expected behaviour of scientists in the twenty-first century is now more closely scrutinised. (shrink)
This fascinating study in the sociology of science explores the way scientists conduct, and draw conclusions from, their experiments. The book is organized around three case studies: replication of the TEA-laser, detecting gravitational rotation, and some experiments in the paranormal. "In his superb book, Collins shows why the quest for certainty is disappointed. He shows that standards of replication are, of course, social, and that there is consequently no outside standard, no Archimedean point beyond society from which we (...) can lever the intellects of our fellows. "- -Donald M. McCloskey, Journal of Economic Psychology "Collins is one of the genuine innovators of the sociology of scientific knowledge.... Changing Order is a rich and entertaining book. "- - Isis "The book gives a vivid sense of the contingent nature of research and is generally a good read. "- -Augustine Brannigan, Nature "This provocative book is a review of [Collins's] work, and an attempt to explain how scientists fit experimental results into pictures of the world.... A promising start for new explorations of our image of science, too often presented as infallibly authoritative. "- -Jon Turney, New Scientist. (shrink)
I suggest that the recent, highly visible, and often heated debate over failures to replicate the results in the social sciences reveals more than the need for greater attention to the pragmatics and value of empirical falsification. It also is a symptom of a serious issue -- the underdeveloped state of theory in many areas of psychology. While I focus on the phenomenon of “social priming” -- since it figures centrally in current debate -- it is not the only area (...) of psychological inquiry to which my critique applies. I first discuss some of the key issues in the “social priming” debate and then attempt to show that many of the problems thus far identified are traceable to a lack of specificity of theory. Finally, I hint at the possibility that adherence to the materialist tenets of modern psychological theory may have a limiting effect on our full appreciation of the phenomena under scrutiny. (shrink)
This paper revisits the debate between Harry Collins and Allan Franklin, concerning the experimenters’ regress. Focusing my attention on a case study from recent psychology (regarding experimental evidence for the existence of a Mozart Effect), I argue that Franklin is right to highlight the role of epistemological strategies in scientific practice, but that his account does not sufficiently appreciate Collins’s point about the importance of tacit knowledge in experimental practice. In turn, Collins rightly highlights the epistemic uncertainty (and skepticism) surrounding (...) much experimental research. However, I will argue that his analysis of tacit knowledge fails to elucidate the reasons why scientists often are (and should be) skeptical of other researchers’ experimental results. I will present an analysis of tacit knowledge in experimental research that not only answers to this desideratum, but also shows how such skepticism can in fact be a vital enabling factor for the dynamic processes of experimental knowledge generation. (shrink)
In one of the earlier influential papers in the field of experimental philosophy titled Normativity and Epistemic Intuitions published in 2001, Jonathan M. Weinberg, Shaun Nichols and Stephen Stich reported that respondents answered Gettier type questions differently depending on their ethnic background as well as socioeconomic status. There is currently a debate going on, on the significance of the results of Weinberg et al. (2001) and its implications for philosophical methodology in general and epistemology in specific. Despite the debates, however, (...) to our knowledge, there has not been a replication attempt of the experiments of the original paper. We collected data from four different sources (two on-line and two in-person) to replicate the experiments. Despite several different data sets and in various cases larger sample sizes and hence greater power to detect differences, we failed to detect significant differences between the above-mentioned ethnic and socioeconomic groups. Our results suggest that epistemic intuitions are more robust across ethnic and socioeconomic groups than Weinberg et al. (2001) indicates. Given our data, we believe that the notion of differences in epistemic intuitions among different ethnic and socioeconomic groups that follows from Weinberg et al. (2001) needs to be corrected. (shrink)
The established definition of replication in terms of the conditions of causality, similarity and information transfer is very broad. We draw inspiration from the literature on self-reproducing automata to strengthen the notion of information transfer in replication processes. To the triple conditions of causality, similarity and information transfer, we add a fourth condition that defines a “generative replicator” as a conditional generative mechanism, which can turn input signals from an environment into developmental instructions. Generative replication must have (...) the potential to enhance complexity, which in turn requires that developmental instructions are part of the information that is transmitted in replication. Demonstrating the usefulness of the generative replicator concept in the social domain, we identify social generative replicators that satisfy all of the four proposed conditions. (shrink)
In 1669, Malpighi published the first systematic dissection of an insect. The manuscript of this work contains a striking water-colour of the silkworm, which is described here for the first time. On repeating Malpighi's pioneering investigation, Swammerdam found what he thought were a number of errors, but was hampered by Malpighi's failure to explain his techniques. This may explain Swammerdam's subsequent description of his methods. In 1675, as he was about to abandon his scientific researches for a life of religious (...) contemplation, Swammerdam destroyed his manuscript on the silkworm, but not before sending the drawings to Malpighi. These figures, with their rich and unique use of colour, are studied here for the first time. The role played by Henry Oldenburg, secretary of the Royal Society, in encouraging contact between the two men is emphasized and the way this exchange reveals the development of some key features of modern science -- replication and modern scientific illustration -- is discussed. (shrink)
This qualitative research study, a replication of a study published in 2002, investigated the qualities of a good nurse and the role ethics plays in decision making. After reviewing the limitations of the published work, the current study implemented modifications related to the research questions, sample selection, data collection, and use of software for data analysis. The original study identified seven categories that related to being a good nurse and doing the right thing. In the present study, the use (...) of relational analysis led to the recognition of four categories: (1) personal traits and attributes; (2) technical skills and management of care; (3) work environment and co-workers; and (4) caring and caring behaviors. To understand what it means to be a good nurse and do the right thing is a complex task; however, this research adds to the small amount of empirical data that exists to describe those characteristics. (shrink)
A published simulation model Riolo et al. 2001 ) was replicated in two independent implementations so that the results as well as the conceptual design align. This double replication allowed the original to be analysed and critiqued with confidence. In this case, the replication revealed some weaknesses in the original model, which otherwise might not have come to light. This shows that unreplicated simulation models and their results can not be trusted - as with other kinds of experiment, (...) simulations need to be independently replicated. (shrink)
Hull et al. argue that information and replication are both essential ingredients in any selection process. But both information and replication are found in only some selection processes, and should not be included in abstract descriptions of selection intended to help researchers discover and describe selection processes in new domains.
If all origins of life or of any new grade, level, or major transition as such begin with “competitive development”—with juveniles rather than adults, and multiple individuals rather than a single one—then the evolution of progeneration and of replication always requires an explanation. This article proposes that principles of evolutionary ecology such as density-dependence can be used to explain three kinds of developmental repetitions, viz., sequences of inductive and niche-constructing interactions between the ecological environment and population members, which take (...) place in such a way that the sequence is repeated: individual or somatic repetitions, discussed in Section 1, demographic or progenerative repetitions , discussed in Section 2, and replicative repetitions , discussed in Section 3. This results in a statement of the evolutionary process that includes rather than excludes development and ecology, but one which requires some additions to Van Valen’s aphorism that evolution is the control of development by ecology. (shrink)
In their joint paper entitled The Replication of the Hard Problem of Consciousness in AI and BIO-AI (Boltuc et al. Replication of the hard problem of conscious in AI and Bio- AI: An early conceptual framework 2008), Nicholas and Piotr Boltuc suggest that machines could be equipped with phenomenal consciousness, which is subjective consciousness that satisfies Chalmer’s hard problem (We will abbreviate the hard problem of consciousness as H-consciousness ). The claim is that if we knew the inner (...) workings of phenomenal consciousness and could understand its’ precise operation, we could instantiate such consciousness in a machine. This claim, called the extra-strong AI thesis, is an important claim because if true it would demystify the privileged access problem of first-person consciousness and cast it as an empirical problem of science and not a fundamental question of philosophy. A core assumption of the extra-strong AI thesis is that there is no logical argument that precludes the implementation of H-consciousness in an organic or in-organic machine provided we understand its algorithm. Another way of framing this conclusion is that there is nothing special about H-consciousness as compared to any other process. That is, in the same way that we do not preclude a machine from implementing photosynthesis, we also do not preclude a machine from implementing H-consciousness. While one may be more difficult in practice, it is a problem of science and engineering, and no longer a philosophical question. I propose that Boltuc’s conclusion, while plausible and convincing, comes at a very high price; the argument given for his conclusion does not exclude any conceivable process from machine implementation. In short, if we make some assumptions about the equivalence of a rough notion of algorithm and then tie this to human understanding, all logical preconditions vanish and the argument grants that any process can be implemented in a machine. The purpose of this paper is to comment on the argument for his conclusion and offer additional properties of H-consciousness that can be used to make the conclusion falsifiable through scientific investigation rather than relying on the limits of human understanding. (shrink)
Reproducing empirical results and repeating experimental processes is fundamental to science, but is of grave concern to scientists. Revisiting the same location is necessary for tracking biological processes, yet I argue that ‘location’ and ‘replication’ contain a basic ambiguity. The analysis of the practical meanings of ‘replication’ and ‘location’ will strip of incommensurability from its common conflation with empirical equivalence, underdetermination and indeterminacy of reference. In particular, I argue that three biodiversity re-surveys, conducted by the research institutions of (...) Harvard, Berkeley, and Hamaarag, all reveal incommensurability without indeterminacy in the smallest spatial scale, and indeterminacy without incommensurability in higher scales. (shrink)
This paper emerged from a decade of involvement in long-term bio-diversity surveys in places such as Yosemite Valley, Lassen National Park, New England Harvard Forest, and the Israeli Negev Desert. While actively engaged in the scientific work it was impossible not to notice the reoccurring discussions over how to replicate a survey to the same location. These two terms—“replication” and “location”—were necessary and basic for the scientists yet marginal in philosophical literature. The first two sections of this paper analyze (...) the different practical meanings of replication and location through describing the survey fieldwork, and I argue for an unavoidable and basic uncertainty for... (shrink)
This commentary takes issue with the idea that replication is a “fundamental element” in natural selection. Such an assumption is based on a traditional, mechanistic view of evolution. A symbiogenetic theory of evolution offers an alternative to traditional theories, emphasizing reproduction and qualitative development rather than replication and quantitative development. The issues raised by the symbiogenetic alternative may be extended to discussions of behavioral development.
If selection is interpreted as involving repeated cycles of replication, variation, and environmental interaction so structured that environmental interaction causes replication to be differential, then selection in gene-based biological evolution and the reaction of the immune system to antigens are relatively unproblematic examples of selection processes. Operant learning and cultural evolution pose more serious problems. In this response we deal with operant learning as a selection process. Footnotes1 The authors regretfully inform readers that since the publication of our (...) target article in 2001, one of our coauthors, Rod Langman, has died. (shrink)
When one takes the evolution of operant behavior as prototype, one sees that the term replication is too tied to the peculiarities of genetic evolution. A more general term is recurrence. The important problem raised by recurrence is not “information” but relationship: deciding when two occurrences belong to the same lineage. That is solved by looking at common environmental effects.
Wigner's quantum mechanical formulation of the problem of biological replication is examined with special reference to DNA. His necessary condition for replication is that the number of independent equations in his formulation should not exceed the number of unknowns. Explicit hypotheses concerning the relevant collision matrix are proposed without assuming biotonic modifications of quantum mechanics. Schrödinger's description of the gene as a low-temperature solid, combined with the concept of template, is given mathematical expression which fails to satisfy Wigner's (...) necessary condition. The condition is satisfied by a further specialization of the collision matrix, which also implies metabolic stability of the replicating unit. Such metabolic stability is in fact a distinguishing feature of the DNA molecule. (shrink)
The major merit of Rose's book is the elaboration of the idea of multilevel causation in different explanatory languages. Yet Rose's critique of “ultra-Darwinism” is not convincing. Rose argues that activity and self-replication are properties of organisms rather than genes, which contradicts his idea of multilevel causation. Also, Rose fails to develop the concept of multilevel selection.
An analysis of biological selection aimed at deriving a mechanism-independent definition removes Hull et al.'s obligatory requirement for replication of the carriers of information, under conditions, such as those obtaining in the nervous system, where the information content of a carrier can be modified without duplication by an amount controlled by the outcome of interactions with the environment.
This article reports on a replication study of “Childless by choice? Attributions and attitudes concerning family size”, research published in Social Behavior and Personality and carried out by Valerie LaMastro in 2001. In the study presented in this paper the author examined the personality characteristics ascribed by naive perceivers to people with families of varying sizes. Students read one of twenty-four paragraphs describing a heterosexual couple who varied in the number of children they had and in male and female (...) employment status. Targets were rated on 28 personality characteristics and seven relationship quality statements concerning the level of family happiness. The results obtained indicated that a childless pair was viewed as less happy than those with children. Parents of any size family were, however, perceived similarly. (shrink)
In their paper titled “Gender and philosophical intuition,” Buckwalter and Stich argue that the intuitions of women and men differ significantly on various types of philosophical questions. Furthermore, men's intuitions, so the authors claim, are more in line with traditionally accepted solutions of classical problems. This inherent bias, so the argument goes, is one of the factors that leads more men than women to pursue degrees and careers in philosophy. These findings have received a considerable amount of attention and the (...) paper is to appear in the second edition of Experimental Philosophy edited by Knobe and Nichols , which itself is an influential outlet. Given the exposure of these results, we attempted to replicate three of the classes of questions that Buckwalter and Stich review in their paper and for which they report significant differences. We failed to replicate the results using several different sources for data collection (one being identical to the original procedures.. (shrink)
In 1984 we reported the results of surveying a nationwide sample of college students about selected business ethics issues. We concluded that (a) college students were in general concerned about the issues investigated and (b) female students were relatively more concerned than were male students. The present study replicated our earlier study and not only corroborated both of its conclusions, but also found a higher level of concern than had been observed previously.
The dream-lag effect refers to there being, after the frequent incorporation of memory elements from the previous day into dreams , a lower incorporation of memory elements from 2 to 4 days before the dream, but then an increased incorporation of memory elements from 5 to 7 days before the dream. Participants kept a daily diary and a dream diary for 14 days and then rated the level of matching between every dream report and every daily diary record. Baseline matching (...) was assessed by comparing all dream reports to all diary records for days that occurred after the dream. A significant dream-lag effect for the 5–7 day period, compared to baseline and compared to the 2–4 day period, was found. This may indicate a memory processing function for sleep, which the dream content may reflect. Participants’ and three independent judges’ mean ratings also confirmed a significant day-residue effect. (shrink)
This research replicates Weber's 1995 study of a large financial services firm that found that ethical subclimates exist within multi-departmental organizations, are influenced by the function of the department and the stakeholders served, and are relatively stable over time. Relying upon theoretical models developed by Thompson (1967) and Victor and Cullen (1998), hypotheses are developed that predict the ethical subclimate decision-making dimensions and type for diverse departments within a large steel manufacturing firm and that these ethical subclimate types will be (...) stable across the two periods of time when the data were collected. Employees were surveyed in 1995 and again in 1999 using Victor and Cullen's Ethical Climate Questionnaire. Response rates of 88 and 94 percent were achieved. Contrary to Weber's findings, our results imply that, in both samples, ethical subclimates may be determined by the strength of an organization's overall ethical climate, rather than the department's function. However, we did find support for Weber's earlier contention that these subclimates are relatively stable. Our results also suggest that differences may exist across industries, that is when comparing a large steel manufacturer, as we did in our study, with a large financial services organization, as Weber did in his 1995 study. (shrink)