52 found
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  1. The Trials of Life: Natural Selection and Random Drift.Denis M. Walsh, Andre Ariew & Tim Lewens - 2002 - Philosophy of Science 69 (3):452-473.
    We distinguish dynamical and statistical interpretations of evolutionary theory. We argue that only the statistical interpretation preserves the presumed relation between natural selection and drift. On these grounds we claim that the dynamical conception of evolutionary theory as a theory of forces is mistaken. Selection and drift are not forces. Nor do selection and drift explanations appeal to the (sub-population-level) causes of population level change. Instead they explain by appeal to the statistical structure of populations. We briefly discuss the implications (...)
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  2. Human Nature: The Very Idea.Tim Lewens - 2012 - Philosophy and Technology 25 (4):459-474.
    Abstract The only biologically respectable notion of human nature is an extremely permissive one that names the reliable dispositions of the human species as a whole. This conception offers no ethical guidance in debates over enhancement, and indeed it has the result that alterations to human nature have been commonplace in the history of our species. Aristotelian conceptions of species natures, which are currently fashionable in meta-ethics and applied ethics, have no basis in biological fact. Moreover, because our folk psychology (...)
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  3. Seven Types of Adaptationism.Tim Lewens - 2009 - Biology and Philosophy 24 (2):161-182.
    Godfrey-Smith ( 2001 ) has distinguished three types of adaptationism. This article builds on his analysis, and revises it in places, by distinguishing seven varieties of adaptationism. This taxonomy allows us to clarify what is at stake in debates over adaptationism, and it also helps to cement the importance of Gould and Lewontin’s ‘Spandrels’ essay. Some adaptationists have suggested that their essay does not offer any coherent alternative to the adaptationist programme: it consists only in an exhortation to test adaptationist (...)
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  4.  90
    The Natures of Selection.Tim Lewens - 2010 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (2):313-333.
    Elliott Sober and his defenders think of selection, drift, mutation, and migration as distinct evolutionary forces. This paper exposes an ambiguity in Sober's account of the force of selection: sometimes he appears to equate the force of selection with variation in fitness, sometimes with ‘selection for properties’. Sober's own account of fitness as a property analogous to life-expectancy shows how the two conceptions come apart. Cases where there is selection against variance in offspring number also show that selection and drift (...)
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  5. Organisms and Artifacts Design in Nature and Elsewhere.Tim Lewens - 2004 -
     
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  6.  68
    Foot Note.Tim Lewens - 2010 - Analysis 70 (3):468-473.
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  7. The Biological Foundations of Bioethics.Tim Lewens - 2015 - Oxford University Press.
    Much recent work on the ethics of new biomedical technologies is committed to hidden, contestable views about the nature of biological reality. This selection of essays by Tim Lewens explores and scrutinises these biological foundations, and includes work on human enhancement, synthetic biology, and justice in healthcare decision-making.
     
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  8.  20
    Sex and Selection: A Reply to Matthen.Tim Lewens - 2001 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 52 (3):589-598.
    argues that when reproduction is sexual, natural selection can explain why individual organisms possess the traits they do. In stating his argument Matthen makes use of a conception of individual organisms as receptacles for collections of genes—a conception that cannot do the work Matthen requires of it. Either these receptacles are abstract objects, such as bare possibilities for organisms, or they are concrete. The first reading is too weak, since it allows selection to explain individual traits in both sexual and (...)
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  9.  99
    What is Wrong with Typological Thinking?Tim Lewens - 2009 - Philosophy of Science 76 (3):355-371.
    What, if anything, is wrong with typological thinking? The question is important, for some evolutionary developmental biologists appear to espouse a form of typology. I isolate four allegations that have been brought against it. They include the claim that typological thinking is mystical; the claim that typological thinking is at odds with the fact of evolution; the claim that typological thinking is committed to an objectionable metaphysical view, which Elliott Sober calls the ‘natural state model’; and finally the view (endorsed (...)
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  10.  56
    Realism and the Strong Program.Tim Lewens - 2005 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 56 (3):559-577.
    The four tenets of the Strong Program are compatible with a scientific realism founded on an externalist epistemology. Such an epistemology allows that appropriate norms of rationality may differ from time to time, and from community to community, and thereby enables the realist to embrace strong forms of the ‘symmetry principle’. It also suggests a fruitful collaborative research program in externalist social epistemology. Some of what the Edinburgh School says about truth can also be accepted. But the realist should reject (...)
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  11.  35
    Species, Essence and Explanation.Tim Lewens - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 43 (4):751-757.
    Michael and has argued that species have intrinsic essences. This paper rebuts Devitt’s arguments, but in so doing it shores up the anti-essentialist consensus in two ways that have more general interest. First, species membership can be explanatory even when species have no essences; that is, Tamsin’s membership of the tiger species can explain her stripyness, without this committing us to any further claim about essential properties of tigers. Second, even the views of species that appear most congenial to essentialism—namely (...)
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  12. Adaptation.Tim Lewens - 2007 - In David L. Hull & Michael Ruse (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to the Philosophy of Biology. Cambridge University Press.
     
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  13. Cultural Evolution : Integration and Scepticism.Tim Lewens - 2012 - In Harold Kincaid (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Social Science. Oxford University Press.
  14.  44
    Adaptationism and Engineering.Tim Lewens - 2002 - Biology and Philosophy 17 (1):1-31.
    The rights and wrongs of adaptationism areoften discussed by appeal to what I call theartefact model. Anti-adaptationistscomplain that the use of optimality modelling,reverse engineering and other techniques areindicative of a mistaken and outmoded beliefthat organisms are like well-designedartefacts. Adaptationists (e.g. Dennett 1995)respond with the assertion that viewingorganisms as though they were well designed isa fruitful, perhaps necessary research strategyin evolutionary biology. Anti-adaptationistsare right when they say that techniques likereverse engineering are liable to mislead. This fact does not undermine the artefact (...)
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  15.  59
    The Darwinian View of Culture.Tim Lewens - 2012 - Biology and Philosophy 27 (5):745-753.
  16.  45
    Pheneticism Reconsidered.Tim Lewens - 2012 - Biology and Philosophy 27 (2):159-177.
  17. The Origin and Philosophy.Tim Lewens - 2009 - In Michael Ruse & Robert J. Richards (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to the "Origin of Species". Cambridge University Press.
     
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  18.  12
    The Problems of Biological Design.Tim Lewens - 2005 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 56 (56):14-15.
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  19.  16
    Prospects for Evolutionary Policy.Tim Lewens - 2003 - Philosophy 78 (4):495-514.
    A small minority of biologists, psychologists and philosophers have recently tried to show, in various ways, that evolutionary psychology is of relevance to politics and to policy makers. Two widely accepted arguments still suffice (with only a little tweaking) to dismiss such attempts to forge a link between evolution and policy. The first denies the link between adaptation and fixity, the second denies that ‘adaptive thinking’ is of strong heuristic benefit. Finally, the silence of many evolutionary explanations with respect to (...)
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  20. Review: Norms of Nature. Naturalism and the Nature of Functions. [REVIEW]Tim Lewens - 2002 - Mind 111 (443):657-662.
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  21.  44
    What is Darwinian Naturalism?Tim Lewens - 2004 - Biology and Philosophy 20 (4):901-912.
  22.  2
    Darwinism and Metaphysics.Tim Lewens - 2007 - Metascience 16 (1):61-69.
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  23.  54
    A Surfeit of Naturalism.Tim Lewens - 2012 - Metaphilosophy 43 (1-2):46-57.
    Philosophers have nothing to lose, and much to gain, by paying close attention to developments in the natural sciences. This insight amounts to a case for a tempered, eclectic naturalism. But the case for naturalism is often overstated. We should not overestimate the heuristic benefits of close attention to scientists’ claims, nor should we give up on traditional “armchair” philosophical methods. We should not draw solely on the natural sciences (at the expense of the humanities) when seeking to enrich and (...)
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  24.  20
    Backwards in Retrospect.Tim Lewens - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (3):813-821.
    In the title chapter of Did Darwin Write the Origin Backwards?, Sober argues for an asymmetry between facts about genealogy and facts about natural selection, which has the result that evidentially Darwin's book is the wrong way round. Here I make three points about Sober's argument in that chapter. First, it is not clear that Darwin employs what Sober calls 'tree thinking' as frequently as Sober himself suggests. Second, I argue that Darwin's reason for structuring the Origin as he did (...)
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  25.  17
    The Nature of Philosophy and the Philosophy of Nature.Tim Lewens - 2015 - Biology and Philosophy 30 (4):587-596.
    Peter Godfrey-Smith’s introduction to the philosophy of biology is excellent. This review questions one implication of his book, namely that Darwin’s case for the efficacy of natural selection was hampered by his ignorance of the particulate nature of inheritance. I suggest, instead, that Darwin was handicapped by an inability to effectively engage in quantitative population thinking. I also question Godfrey-Smith’s understanding of the role that Malthusian struggle plays in linking natural selection to the origination of new adaptive traits, and I (...)
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  26.  72
    Review: Humans and Other Animals. [REVIEW]Tim Lewens - 2004 - Mind 113 (449):175-177.
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  27.  69
    What Are 'Natural Inequalities'?Tim Lewens - 2010 - Philosophical Quarterly 60 (239):264-285.
    The varying demands of justice are often thought to depend on a distinction between natural and social inequalities, but making this distinction has been little discussed, and it has been dismissed by philosophers of biology. It cannot be established by a simple causal criterion, nor by use of the analysis of variance, nor by distinguishing the innate from the acquired. Whether an inequality can be socially controlled provides the most plausible criterion, so 'natural' and 'social' are misleading labels for types (...)
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  28.  44
    My Darwin is Better Than Yours.Tim Lewens - 2007 - The Philosophers' Magazine 38 (38):86-87.
  29.  56
    Flagellant Priests.Tim Lewens - 2005 - Biology and Philosophy 21 (3):411-421.
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  30.  54
    As Nature Intended.Tim Lewens - 2009 - Biology and Philosophy 24 (3):417-423.
  31.  18
    From Bricolage to BioBricks™: Synthetic Biology and Rational Design.Tim Lewens - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):641-648.
    Synthetic biology is often described as a project that applies rational design methods to the organic world. Although humans have influenced organic lineages in many ways, it is nonetheless reasonable to place synthetic biology towards one end of a continuum between purely ‘blind’ processes of organic modification at one extreme, and wholly rational, design-led processes at the other. An example from evolutionary electronics illustrates some of the constraints imposed by the rational design methodology itself. These constraints reinforce the limitations of (...)
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  32.  39
    In Memoriam: Peter Lipton.Tim Lewens - 2008 - Philosophy of Science 75 (2):133-139.
  33.  4
    Function Talk and the Artefact Model.Tim Lewens - 2000 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 31 (1):95-111.
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  34. My Darwin is Better Than Yours: Darwinishm and its Discontents, Michael Ruse (Cambridge University Press)£ 19.99/$30.Tim Lewens - 2011 - The Philosophers' Magazine 38:86-87.
     
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  35.  3
    Development Aid: On Ontogeny and Ethics.Tim Lewens - 2002 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 33 (2):195-217.
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  36.  11
    The Commercial Exploitation of Ethics.Tim Lewens - 2004 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 35 (1):145-153.
    In the first part of this paper I consider whether an academic bioethicist is likely to change the arguments she is prepared to voice if she is in receipt of payment from a corporation. I argue that she is not, so long as a number of conditions are met regarding the size of payment, the values of the academic bioethics community, the degree to which she participates in that community, and the transparency of corporate involvements. In the second half I (...)
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  37.  4
    Integration and Skepticism.Tim Lewens - 2012 - In Harold Kincaid (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Social Science. Oxford University Press. pp. 458.
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  38.  7
    Is Something Wrong with Bioethics?Tim Lewens - 2004 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 35 (1):121-123.
  39.  1
    Is Something Wrong with Bioethics?Tim Lewens - 2004 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 35 (1):121-123.
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  40.  1
    Humans and Other Animals.Tim Lewens - 2004 - Mind 113 (449):175-177.
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  41. Cultural Evolution.Tim Lewens - 2007 - In Thaddeus Metz (ed.), Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
     
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  42. Cultural Evolution: Conceptual Challenges.Tim Lewens - 2015 - Oxford University Press UK.
    Tim Lewens aims to understand what it means to take an evolutionary approach to cultural change, and why it is that these approaches are sometimes treated with suspicion. While making a case for the value of evolutionary thinking for students of culture, he shows why the concerns of sceptics should not dismissed as mere prejudice, confusion, or ignorance. Indeed, confusions about what evolutionary approaches entail are propagated by their proponents, as well as by their detractors. By taking seriously the problems (...)
     
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  43.  13
    Darwin.Tim Lewens - 2006 - Routledge.
    In this invaluable book, Tim Lewens shows in a clear and accessible manner how important Darwin is for philosophy and how his work has shaped and challenged the very nature of the subject. Beginning with an overview of Darwin’s life and work, the subsequent chapters discuss the full range of fundamental philosophical topics from a Darwinian perspective. These include natural selection; the origin and nature of species; the role of evidence in scientific enquiry; the theory of Intelligent Design; evolutionary approaches (...)
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  44. Innovation and Population.Tim Lewens - 2009 - In Ulrich Krohs & Peter Kroes (eds.), Functions in Biological and Artificial Worlds: Comparative Philosophical Perspectives. MIT Press.
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  45. My Darwin is Better Than Yours. [REVIEW]Tim Lewens - 2007 - The Philosophers' Magazine 38:86-87.
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  46. Norms of Nature. Naturalism and the Nature of Functions. [REVIEW]Tim Lewens - 2002 - Mind 111 (443):657-662.
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  47.  47
    Risk: Philosophical Perspectives.Tim Lewens (ed.) - 2007 - Routledge.
    How can we determine an acceptable level of risk? Should these decisions be made by experts, or by the people they affect? How should safety and security be balanced against other goods, such as liberty? This is the first collection to examine the philosophical dimensions of these pressing practical problems. Leading scholars exploring the full range of philosophical implications of risk, including: risk and ethics risk and rationality risk and scientific expertise risk and lay knowledge the objectivity of risk assessment (...)
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  48. Species, Essence and Explanation.Tim Lewens - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 43 (4):751-757.
    Michael and has argued that species have intrinsic essences. This paper rebuts Devitt’s arguments, but in so doing it shores up the anti-essentialist consensus in two ways that have more general interest. First, species membership can be explanatory even when species have no essences; that is, Tamsin’s membership of the tiger species can explain her stripyness, without this committing us to any further claim about essential properties of tigers. Second, even the views of species that appear most congenial to essentialism—namely (...)
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  49. The Commercial Exploitation of Ethics.Tim Lewens - 2004 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 35 (1):145-153.
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  50. Technological Innovation as an Evolutionary Process Darwinnovation!Tim Lewens - 2002 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 33 (1):195-203.
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