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  1.  1
    Biological Individuality: Integrating Scientific, Philosophical, and Historical Perspectives.Scott Lidgard & Lynn K. Nyhart (eds.) - 2017 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
    Introduction: working together on individuality / Lynn K. Nyhart and Scott Lidgard -- The work of biological individuality: concepts and contexts / Scott Lidgard and Lynn K. Nyhart -- Cells, colonies, and clones: individuality in the volvocine algae / Matthew D. Herron -- Individuality and the control of life cycles / Beckett Sterner -- Discovering the ties that bind: cell-cell communication and the development of cell sociology / Andrew S. Reynolds -- Alternation of generations and individuality, 1851 / Lynn K. (...)
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  2. Moving Past the Systematics Wars.Beckett Sterner & Scott Lidgard - 2018 - Journal of the History of Biology 51 (1):31-67.
    It is time to escape the constraints of the Systematics Wars narrative and pursue new questions that are better positioned to establish the relevance of the field in this time period to broader issues in the history of biology and history of science. To date, the underlying assumptions of the Systematics Wars narrative have led historians to prioritize theory over practice and the conflicts of a few leading theorists over the less-polarized interactions of systematists at large. We show how shifting (...)
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  3. The Normative Structure of Mathematization in Systematic Biology.Beckett Sterner & Scott Lidgard - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 46 (1):44-54.
    We argue that the mathematization of science should be understood as a normative activity of advocating for a particular methodology with its own criteria for evaluating good research. As a case study, we examine the mathematization of taxonomic classification in systematic biology. We show how mathematization is a normative activity by contrasting its distinctive features in numerical taxonomy in the 1960s with an earlier reform advocated by Ernst Mayr starting in the 1940s. Both Mayr and the numerical taxonomists sought to (...)
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  4.  10
    The Living Fossil Concept: Reply to Turner.Scott Lidgard & Alan C. Love - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (2):1-16.
    Despite the iconic roles of coelacanths, cycads, tadpole shrimps, and tuataras as taxa that demonstrate a pattern of morphological stability over geological time, their status as living fossils is contested. We responded to these controversies with a recommendation to rethink the function of the living fossil concept. Concepts in science do useful work beyond categorizing particular items and we argued that the diverse and sometimes conflicting criteria associated with categorizing items as living fossils represent a complex problem space associated with (...)
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  5.  19
    Individuals at the Center of Biology: Rudolf Leuckart’s Polymorphismus der Individuen and the Ongoing Narrative of Parts and Wholes. With an Annotated Translation.Lynn K. Nyhart & Scott Lidgard - 2011 - Journal of the History of Biology 44 (3):373-443.
    Rudolf Leuckart’s 1851 pamphlet Ueber den Polymorphismus der Individuen stood at the heart of naturalists’ discussions on biological individuals, parts and wholes in mid-nineteenth-century Britain and Europe. Our analysis, which accompanies the first translation of this pamphlet into English, situates Leuckart’s contribution to these discussions in two ways. First, we present it as part of a complex conceptual knot involving not only individuality and the understanding of compound organisms, but also the alternation of generations, the division of labor in nature, (...)
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  6.  27
    Individuals at the Center of Biology: Rudolf Leuckart’s Polymorphismus der Individuen and the Ongoing Narrative of Parts and Wholes. With an Annotated Translation. [REVIEW]Lynn K. Nyhart & Scott Lidgard - 2011 - Journal of the History of Biology 44 (3):373 - 443.
    Rudolf Leuckart's 1851 pamphlet Ueber den Polymorphismus der Individuen (On the polymorphism of individuals) stood at the heart of naturalists' discussions on biological individuals, parts and wholes in mid-nineteenth-century Britain and Europe. Our analysis, which accompanies the first translation of this pamphlet into English, situates Leuckart's contribution to these discussions in two ways. First, we present it as part of a complex conceptual knot involving not only individuality and the understanding of compound organisms, but also the alternation of generations, the (...)
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  7.  14
    Objectivity and Underdetermination in Statistical Model Selection.Beckett Sterner & Scott Lidgard - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    The growing range of methods for statistical model selection is inspiring new debates about how to handle the potential for conflicting results when different methods are applied to the same data. While many factors enter into choosing a model selection method, we focus on the implications of disagreements among scientists about whether, and in what sense, the true probability distribution is included in the candidate set of models. While this question can be addressed empirically, the data often provide inconclusive results (...)
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  8.  8
    Revisiting George Gaylord Simpson’s “The Role of the Individual in Evolution”.Lynn K. Nyhart & Scott Lidgard - 2021 - Biological Theory 16 (4):203-212.
    “The Role of the Individual in Evolution” is a prescient yet neglected 1941 work by the 20th century’s most important paleontologist, George Gaylord Simpson. In a curious intermingling of explanation and critique, Simpson engages questions that would become increasingly fundamental in modern biological theory and philosophy. Did individuality, adaptation, and evolutionary causation reside at more than one level: the cell, the organism, the genetically coherent reproductive group, the social group, or some combination thereof? What was an individual, anyway? In this (...)
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