Evo-Devo exhibits a plurality of scientific “cultures” of practice and theory. When are the cultures acting—individually or collectively—in ways that actually move research forward, empirically, theoretically, and ethically? When do they become imperialistic, in the sense of excluding and subordinating other cultures? This chapter identifies six cultures – three /styles/ (mathematical modeling, mechanism, and history) and three /paradigms/ (adaptationism, structuralism, and cladism). The key assumptions standing behind, under, or within each of these cultures are explored. Characterizing the internal structure of (...) the cultures is necessary for understanding how they collaborate or compete, and how they are fragmented or integrated, in the rich interdisciplinary /trading zone/ (Galison 1997) of Evo-Devo. Evo-Devo is an important example of how science can progress through a radical plurality of perspectives and cultures. (shrink)
Evolutionary developmental biology represents a paradigm shift in the understanding of the ontogenesis and evolutionary progression of the denizens of the natural world. Given the empirical successes of the evo-devo framework, and its now widespread acceptance, a timely and important task for the philosophy of biology is to critically discern the ontological commitments of that framework and assess whether and to what extent our current metaphysical models are able to accommodate them. In this paper, I argue that one particular model (...) is a natural fit: an ontology of dispositional properties coherently and adequately captures the crucial casual-cum-explanatory role that the fundamental elements of evo-devo play within that framework. (shrink)
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 (...) of developmental modules in an organism helps determine what counts as a separate evolutionary problem for that organism. I suggest that homology as an organizing principle for research in evolutionary psychology, has been severely neglected in favor of analogy (adaptive function). I consider some arguments suggesting that determining homology is less epistemically demanding than determining adaptive function and argue that psychological categories defined by homology are, in fact, more suitable objects of psychological – and particularly neuropsychological – investigation than categories defined by analogy. (shrink)
Represents the most comprehensive and current survey of the various challenges to the Modern Synthesis theory of evolution. Incorporates a variety of theoretical and disciplinary perspectives, from evolutionary biologists, historians and philosophers of science. These essays constitute the state of the art in the current debate on the status of the Modern Synthesis.
Evolutionary developmental biology (“evo-devo”) may provide insights and new methods for studies of cognition and cultural evolution. For example, I propose using cultural selection and individual learning to examine constraints on cultural evolution. Modularity, the idea that traits vary independently, can facilitate evolution (increase “evolvability”), because evolution can act on one trait without disrupting another. I explore links between cognitive modularity, evolutionary modularity, and cultural evolvability. (Published Online November 9 2006).
In identifying intrinsic molecular chance and extrinsic adaptive pressures as the only causally relevant factors in the process of evolution, the theoretical perspective of the Modern Synthesis had a major impact on the perceived tenability of an ontology of dispositional properties. However, since the late 1970s, an increasing number of evolutionary biologists have challenged the descriptive and explanatory adequacy of this “chance alone, extrinsic only” understanding of evolutionary change. Because morphological studies of homology, convergence, and teratology have revealed a space (...) of possible forms and phylogenetic trajectories that is considerably more restricted than expected, evo-devo has focused on the causal contribution of intrinsic developmental processes to the course of evolution. Evo-devo’s investigation into the developmental structure of the modality of morphology – including both the possibility and impossibility of organismal form – has led to the utilisation of a number of dispositional concepts that emphasise the tendency of the evolutionary process to change along certain routes. In this sense, and in contrast to the perspective of the Modern Synthesis, evo-devo can be described as a “science of dispositions.” This chapter discusses the recent philosophical literature on dispositional properties in evo-devo, exploring debates about both the metaphysical and epistemological aspects of the central dispositional concepts utilised in contemporary evo-devo and addressing the epistemological question of how dispositional properties challenge existing explanatory models in evolutionary biology. (shrink)
Evolutionary developmental biology is a rapidly growing discipline whose ambition is to address questions that are of relevance to both evolutionary biology and developmental biology. This field has been increasingly progressing as a new and independent comparative science. However, we argue that evo-devo’s comparative approach is challenged by several metaphysical, methodological and socio-disciplinary issues related to the foundation of heuristic functions of model organisms and the possible criteria to be adopted for their selection. In addition, new tools have to be (...) developed to deal with newly chosen model organisms. Therefore, we present a modelling framework suitable to integrate data on individual variation into evo-devo studies on new model organisms and thus to compensate for current idealization practices deliberately suppressing variation. (shrink)
The study of evolutionary developmental biology (“evo‐devo”) has recently experienced a dramatic surge in popularity among researchers and theorists concerned with evolution. However, some biologists and philosophers remain skeptical of the claims of evo‐devo. This paper discusses and responds to the recent high profile criticisms of evo‐devo presented by biologists Hopi E. Hoekstra and Jerry A. Coyne. I argue that their objections are unconvincing. Indeed, empirical research supports the main tenets of evo‐devo, including the claim that morphological evolution is the (...) result of cis ‐regulatory change and the distinction that evo‐devo draws between morphological and physiological traits. *Received January 2008; revised March 2009. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221; e‐mail: [email protected] (shrink)
Formal topology aims at developing general topology in intuitionistic and predicative mathematics. Many classical results of general topology have been already brought into the realm of constructive mathematics by using formal topology and also new light on basic topological notions was gained with this approach which allows distinction which are not expressible in classical topology. Here we give a systematic exposition of one of the main tools in formal topology: inductive generation. In fact, many formal topologies can be presented in (...) a predicative way by an inductive generation and thus their properties can be proved inductively. We show however that some natural complete Heyting algebra cannot be inductively defined. (shrink)
The Extended Evolutionary Synthesis (EES) debate is gaining ground in contemporary evolutionary biology. In parallel, a number of philosophical standpoints have emerged in an attempt to clarify what exactly is represented by the EES. For Massimo Pigliucci, we are in the wake of the newest instantiation of a persisting Kuhnian paradigm; in contrast, Telmo Pievani has contended that the transition to an EES could be best represented as a progressive reformation of a prior Lakatosian scientific research program, with the extension (...) of its Neo-Darwinian core and the addition of a brand-new protective belt of assumptions and auxiliary hypotheses. Here, we argue that those philosophical vantage points are not the only ways to interpret what current proposals to ‘extend’ the Modern Synthesis-derived ‘standard evolutionary theory’ (SET) entail in terms of theoretical change in evolutionary biology. We specifically propose the image of the emergent EES as a vast network of models and interweaved representations that, instantiated in diverse practices, are connected and related in multiple ways. Under that assumption, the EES could be articulated around a paraconsistent network of evolutionary theories (including some elements of the SET), as well as models, practices and representation systems of contemporary evolutionary biology, with edges and nodes that change their position and centrality as a consequence of the co-construction and stabilization of facts and historical discussions revolving around the epistemic goals of this area of the life sciences. We then critically examine the purported structure of the EES—published by Laland and collaborators in 2015—in light of our own network-based proposal. Finally, we consider which epistemic units of Evo-Devo are present or still missing from the EES, in preparation for further analyses of the topic of explanatory integration in this conceptual framework. (shrink)
Although the role of morphology in evolutionary theory remains a subject of debate, assessing the contributions of morphological investigation to evolutionary developmental biology (Evo-devo) is a more circumscribed issue of direct relevance to ongoing research. Historical studies of morphologically oriented researchers and the formation of the Modern Synthesis in the Anglo-American context identify a recurring theme: the synthetic theory of evolution did not capture multiple levels of biological organization. When this feature is incorporated into a philosophical framework for explaining the (...) origin of evolutionary innovations and novelties (a core domain of inquiry in Evo-devo) two specific roles for morphology can be described: (1) the conceptualization and operational identification of the targets of explanation; and (2) the elucidation of causal interactions at higher levels of organization during ontogeny and through evolutionary time. These roles are critical components of any adequate explanation of innovation and novelty though not exhaustive of the parts played by morphology in evolutionary investigation. They also invite reflection on what counts as an evolutionary cause in contemporary evolutionary biology. (shrink)
Valorising the biocultural heritage of common goods could enable peasant farmers to achieve socially and economically inclusive sustainability. Increasingly appreciated by consumers, peasant heritage products offer small farmers promising opportunities for economic, social and territorial development. Identifying the obstacles and levers of this complex, multi-scale and multi-stakeholder objective requires an integrative framework. We applied the panarchy conceptual framework to two cases of participatory research with small quinoa producers: a local fair in Chile and quinoa export production in Bolivia. In both (...) cases, the “commoning” process was crucial both to bring stakeholders together inside their communities and to gain outside recognition for their production and thus achieve social and economic inclusion. Despite the differences in scale, the local fair and the export market shared a similar marketing strategy based on short value chains promoting quality products with high identity value. In these dynamics of biocultural heritage valorisation, the panarchical approach revealed the central place as well as the vulnerability of the community territory. As a place of both anchoring and opening, the community territory is the privileged space where autonomous and consensual control over the governance of common biocultural resources can be exercised. (shrink)
This paper addresses the role of time scales in conceptualizing biological hierarchies. So far, the concept of hierarchies in philosophy of science has been dominated by the idea of composition and parthood, respectively. However, this view does not exhaust the diversity of hierarchical descriptions in the biosciences. Therefore, we highlight a type of hierarchy usually overlooked by philosophers of science. It distinguishes processes based on the different time scales (i.e. rates, frequencies, and rhythms) on which they occur. These time scale (...) hierarchies often are connected with assumptions defended in process ontology. Due to their ability to describe interlevel dynamics of various kinds, we call these hierarchies ‘dynamic hierarchies.’ In order to highlight and discuss their organization, explanatory roles, and epistemic virtues we focus on dynamic hierarchies in developmental biology and evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo). In these fields, dynamic hierarchies offer crucial complementary information to descriptions of compositional hierarchies. (shrink)
The homologies of process within morphogenetic fields provide some of the best evidence for evolution—just as skeletal and organ homologies did earlier. Thus, the evidence for evolution is better than ever. The role of natural selection in evolution, how–ever, is seen to play less an important role. It is merely a filter for unsuccessful morphologies generated by development. Population genetics is destined to change if it is not to become as irrelevant to evolution as Newtonian mechanics is to contempo–rary physics.
. The effort in providing constructive and predicative meaning to non-constructive modes of reasoning has almost without exception been applied to theories with full classical logic . In this paper we show how to combine unrestricted countable choice, induction on infinite well-founded trees and restricted classical logic in constructively given models. These models are sheaf models over a $\sigma$ -complete Boolean algebra, whose topologies are generated by finite or countable covering relations. By a judicious choice of the Boolean algebra we (...) can directly extract effective content from $\Pi_2^0$ -statements true in the model. All the arguments of the present paper can be formalised in Martin-Löf's constructive type theory with generalised inductive definitions. (shrink)
The homologies of process within morphogenetic fields provide some of the best evidence for evolution—just as skeletal and organ homologies did earlier. Thus, the evidence for evolution is better than ever. The role of natural selection in evolution, however, is seen to play less an important role. It is merely a filter for unsuccessful morphologies generated by development. Population genetics is destined to change if it is not to become as irrelevant to evolution as Newtonian mechanics is to contemporary physics.
The main purpose of this study was to map school leaders? perceptions concerning the cooperation of the leadership team, the distribution of leadership functions and participative decision?making, and to asses their relative weight in terms of predicting school leaders? job satisfaction. Also, the effect of demographical and structural school variables (i.e. seniority, job experience, school size, size of the leadership team, school type) on school leaders? job satisfaction was examined. A sample of 130 school leaders of 46 large secondary schools (...) completed a self?report questionnaire. The study results indicated that school leaders are highly satisfied with their job. Multiple regression analysis revealed that job satisfaction was significantly related to the cooperation of the leadership team and the school type. The amount of formal distribution of leadership functions and participative decision?making of teachers in the school policy did not have a significant influence on school leaders? job satisfaction. (shrink)
Explanation in terms of gene regulatory networks has become standard practice in evolutionary developmental biology. In this paper, we argue that GRNs fail to provide a robust, mechanistic, and dynamic understanding of the developmental processes underlying the genotype–phenotype map. Explanations based on GRNs are limited by three main problems: the problem of genetic determinism, the problem of correspondence between network structure and function, and the problem of diachronicity, as in the unfolding of causal interactions over time. Overcoming these problems requires (...) dynamic mechanistic explanations, which rely not only on mechanistic decomposition, but also on dynamic modeling to reconstitute the causal chain of events underlying the process of development. We illustrate the power and potential of this type of explanation with a number of biological case studies that integrate empirical investigations with mathematical modeling and analysis. We conclude with general considerations on the relation between mechanism and process in evo-devo. (shrink)
Le premier site naturel de compensation français a été inauguré le 11 mai 2009 sur le site d’un verger abandonné dans la plaine de Crau. Cette opération avait notamment pour objectif d’expérimenter le premier mécanisme d’offre de compensation français via la réhabilitation d’une végétation herbacée permettant le retour des oiseaux steppiques emblématiques de cet espace. Impliqués dans le comité local de pilotage, des écologues ont conseillé les techniques de réhabilitation et expertisé leurs effets sur la biodiversité tout en réalisant des (...) recherches expérimentales pour étendre la restauration à la végétation et à certains groupes d’insectes. Après 7 années de suivis, les résultats montrent que la réhabilitation a bien permis la création d’une végétation favorable au retour de l’avifaune steppique mais le succès des expérimentations de restauration ne peut pas encore être définitivement prédit sur le long terme. Ces résultats soulignent les difficultés scientifiques et techniques de la restauration et limitent donc le mécanisme de compensation à la réhabilitation de certaines composantes ou fonctions. The first French ecological offset area was inaugurated on May 11th 2009 at the site of an abandoned orchard in the Crau plain. One of the objectives of this intervention was to test the first French mitigation bank rehabilitating the herbaceous vegetation in order to encourage the return of steppe birds emblematic of this area. The ecologists involved in the local steering committee proposed rehabilitation techniques and assessed their impact on biodiversity while at the same time carrying out experimental research designed to extend the restoration process to plant communities and some groups of insects. The results of various studies showed that the rehabilitation scheme led to the development of a plant community favorable to the return of steppe birds. However, the long-term results of the restoration experiments cannot be definitively predicted. Thus, these results highlight the scientific and technical difficulties facing the restoration process and hence restrict the compensation mechanism to the rehabilitation of some of their components or functions. (shrink)
The relatively new field of evolutionary developmental biology continues to attract considerable attention from biologists, philosophers, and historians, in part, because work in this field demonstrates that important changes are underway within biology. Though studies of development and evolution were closely connected during the 19th century, continued work in genetics fostered a general split between the two during the first decades of the twentieth century (e.g., Allen 1978; Gilbert 1978; Mayr and Provine 1980; Gilbert, Opitz and..
Semantical arguments, based on the completeness theorem for first-order logic, give elegant proofs of purely syntactical results. For instance, for proving a conservativity theorem between two theories, one shows instead that any model of one theory can be extended to a model of the other theory. This method of proof, because of its use of the completeness theorem, is a priori not valid constructively. We show here how to give similar arguments, valid constructively, by using Boolean models. These models are (...) a slight variation of ordinary first-order models, where truth values are now regular ideals of a given Boolean algebra. Two examples are presented: a simple conservativity result and Herbrand's theorem. (shrink)
Evolutionary developmental biology (Evo-devo) is a vibrant area of contemporary life science that should be (and is) increasingly incorporated into teaching curricula. Although the inclusion of this content is important for biological pedagogy at multiple levels of instruction, there are also philosophical lessons that can be drawn from the scientific practices found in Evo-devo. One feature of particular significance is the interdisciplinary nature of Evo-devo investigations and their resulting explanations. Instead of a single disciplinary approach being the most explanatory or (...) fundamental, different methodologies from biological disciplines must be synthesized to generate empirically adequate explanations. Thus, Evo-devo points toward a non-reductionist epistemology in biology. I review three areas where these synthetic efforts become manifest as a result of Evo-devo's practices (form versus function reasoning styles; problem-structured investigations; idealizations related to studying model organisms), and then sketch some possible applications to teaching biology. These philosophical considerations provide resources for life science educators to address (and challenge) key aspects of the National Science Education Standards and Benchmarks for Scientific Literacy. (shrink)
Evolutionary developmental biology (Evo-devo) is a vibrant area of contemporary life science that should be (and is) increasingly incorporated into teaching curricula. Although the inclusion of this content is important for biological pedagogy at multiple levels of instruction, there are also philosophical lessons that can be drawn from the scientific practices found in Evo-devo. One feature of particular significance is the interdisciplinary nature of Evo-devo investigations and their resulting explanations. Instead of a single disciplinary approach being the most explanatory or (...) fundamental, different methodologies from biological disciplines must be synthesized to generate empirically adequate explanations. Thus, Evo-devo points toward a non-reductionist epistemology in biology. I review three areas where these synthetic efforts become manifest as a result of Evo-devo’s practices (form versus function reasoning styles; problem-structured investigations; idealizations related to studying model organisms), and then sketch some possible applications to teaching biology. These philosophical considerations provide resources for life science educators to address (and challenge) key aspects of the National Science Education Standards and Benchmarks for Scientific Literacy. (shrink)
The popularity of alliances in business has exploded over the past few years along with an increasing interest in the role of trust in economic transactions. This paper details the nature of alliances and the crucial role played by trust in creating and managing alliances. Evidence of the emergence of trust are further given within the context of alliances established by small and medium-sized Swiss enterprises where both planning and mutual trust constitute essential ingredients.
The present paper examines how discursive representations and emotive constructions underpin an argumentative dynamic that emerges from apparently non-argumentative statements, like those found in newspaper headlines. Our data comes from Greek broadsheet newspapers in the polarized context of the Greek crisis. First, we outline an analytic synergy that scrutinizes representational meaning and the semiotization of emotions in headlines. We then move towards the reconstruction of the inferential passage, contained in the headlines, that unites the implicit standpoint with its supporting argument.
With Carl Gegenbaur and Ernst Haeckel, inspiredby Darwin and the cell theory, comparativeanatomy and embryology became established andflourished in Jena. This tradition wascontinued and developed further with new ideasand methods devised by some of Haeckelsstudents. This first period of innovative workin evolutionary morphology was followed byperiods of crisis and even a disintegration ofthe discipline in the early twentieth century.This stagnation was caused by a lack ofinterest among morphologists in Mendeliangenetics, and uncertainty about the mechanismsof evolution. Idealistic morphology was stillinfluental in (...) Germany, which prevented a fullappreciation of the importance of Darwinstheory of natural selection for comparativemorphology. Evolutionary morphology andembryology failed to contribute significantlyto the modern synthesis of evolutionarybiology, thereby probably delaying theintegration of developmental biology intomodern evolutionary biology. However, Haeckelsstudent Oscar Hertwig, as well as Victor Franzand Alexej N. Sewertzoff from a youngergeneration, all tried to forge their ownsynthetic approaches in which (inspired byHaeckels work) embryology played an importantrole. Important for all three researchers wereattempts to refine, and sometimes redefine, thebiogenetic law, and to find new scientificexplanations for it (and for the manyexceptions to it). Their research was latermore or less forgotten, and had littleinfluence on the architects of the modernsynthesis. As the relationship betweenevolutionary and developmental biology is nowagain rising in importance in the form ofEvo-Devo, we would like to draw attention tohow this earlier research tradition grappledwith similar questions to those now on theagenda, albeit from sometimes quite differentperspectives. (shrink)
Via a historical reconstruction, this paper primarily demonstrates how the societal debate on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) gradually extended in terms of actors involved and concerns reflected. It is argued that the implementation of recombinant DNA technology out of the laboratory and into civil society entailed a “complex of concerns.” In this complex, distinctions between environmental, agricultural, socio-economic, and ethical issues proved to be blurred. This fueled the confusion between the wider debate on genetic modification and the risk assessment of (...) transgenic crops in the European Union. In this paper, the lasting skeptical and/or ambivalent attitude of Europeans towards agro-food biotechnology is interpreted as signaling an ongoing social request – and even a quest – for an evaluation of biotechnology with Sense and Sensibility. In this (re)quest, a broader-than-scientific dimension is sought for that allows addressing the GMO debate in a more “sensible” way, whilst making “sense” of the different stances taken in it. Here, the restyling of the European regulatory frame on transgenic agro-food products and of science communication models are discussed and taken to be indicative of the (re)quest to move from a merely scientific evaluation and risk-based policy towards a socially more robust evaluation that takes the “non-scientific” concerns at stake in the GMO debate seriously. (shrink)
This article proposes to reflect on the promises of synthetic biology through fieldwork carried out in 2014–15 with a group of bioartists in Helsinki, Finland. It narrates the author’s experience of three one-week gatherings leading to the production of a piece titled Your Synthetic Future, an ironic apparatus appearing as an oracular machine. This reflection leads us to understand that the true originality of synthetic biology resides in its ability to breach the once clear and impenetrable frontier that has kept (...) apart the analogue and digital modes of existence. In turn, this renewed understanding of what is at stake with the current state of the field of synthetic biology leads us to focus on the unfolding of new forms of presence across the analogue/digital divide. It argues for a renewed perspective on causality that was first intuited by Marshall McLuhan as an original insight on the question of the medium. (shrink)