Results for 'proximate and ultimate causes'

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  1.  45
    Proximate and Ultimate Causes: How Come? And What For? [REVIEW]David Haig - 2013 - Biology and Philosophy 28 (5):781-786.
    Proximate and ultimate causes in evolutionary biology have come to conflate two distinctions. The first is a distinction between immediate and historical causes. The second is between explanations of mechanism and adaptive function. Mayr emphasized the first distinction but many evolutionary biologists use proximate and ultimate causes to refer to the second. I recommend that ‘ultimate cause’ be abandoned as ambiguous.
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  2.  74
    Causes, Proximate and Ultimate.Richard C. Francis - 1990 - Biology and Philosophy 5 (4):401-415.
    Within evolutionary biology a distinction is frequently made between proximate and ultimate causes. One apparently plausible interpretation of this dichotomy is that proximate causes concern processes occurring during the life of an organism while ultimate causes refer to those processes (particularly natural selection) that shaped its genome. But ultimate causes are not sought through historical investigations of an organisms lineage. Rather, explanations referring to ultimate causes typically emerge from functional (...)
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  3.  47
    Proximate and Ultimate Causes of Punishment and Strong Reciprocity.Pat Barclay & Francesco Guala - 2012 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 35 (1):16.
    While admirable, Guala's discussion of reciprocity suffers from a confusion between proximate causes (psychological mechanisms triggering behaviour) and ultimate causes (evolved function of those psychological mechanisms). Because much work on commits this error, I clarify the difference between proximate and ultimate causes of cooperation and punishment. I also caution against hasty rejections of of experimental evidence.
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  4. Ernst Mayr's 'Ultimate/Proximate' Distinction Reconsidered and Reconstructed.André Ariew - 2003 - Biology and Philosophy 18 (4):553-565.
    It's been 41 years since the publication of Ernst Mayr's Cause and Effect in Biology wherein Mayr most clearly develops his version of the influential distinction between ultimate and proximate causes in biology. In critically assessing Mayr's essay I uncover false statements and red-herrings about biological explanation. Nevertheless, I argue to uphold an analogue of the ultimate/proximate distinction as it refers to two different kinds of explanations, one dynamical the other statistical.
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  5.  84
    The Proximate/Ultimate Distinction in the Multiple Careers of Ernst Mayr.John Beatty - 1994 - Biology and Philosophy 9 (3):333-356.
    Ernst Mayr''s distinction between ultimate and proximate causes is justly considered a major contribution to philosophy of biology. But how did Mayr come to this philosophical distinction, and what role did it play in his earlier scientific work? I address these issues by dividing Mayr''s work into three careers or phases: 1) Mayr the naturalist/researcher, 2) Mayr the representative of and spokesman for evolutionary biology and systematics, and more recently 3) Mayr the historian and philosopher of biology. (...)
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  6.  7
    The Proximate Causes of Waorani Warfare.Rocio Alarcon, James Yost, Pamela Erickson & Stephen Beckerman - 2019 - Human Nature 30 (3):247-271.
    In response to recent work on the nature of human aggression, and to shed light on the proximate, as opposed to ultimate, causes of tribal warfare, we present a record of events leading to a fatal Waorani raid on a family from another tribe, followed by a detailed first-person observation of the behavior of the raiders as they prepared themselves for war, and upon their return. We contrast this attack with other Waorani aggressions and speculate on evidence (...)
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  7.  13
    Ultimate and proximate explanations of strong reciprocity.Jack Vromen - 2017 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 39 (3):25.
    Strong reciprocity has recently been subject to heated debate. In this debate, the “West camp” :231–262, 2011), which is critical of the case for SR, and the “Laland camp” :1512–1516, 2011, Biol Philos 28:719–745, 2013), which is sympathetic to the case of SR, seem to take diametrically opposed positions. The West camp criticizes advocates of SR for conflating proximate and ultimate causation. SR is said to be a proximate mechanism that is put forward by its advocates as (...)
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  8. The ProximateUltimate Distinction and Evolutionary Developmental Biology: Causal Irrelevance Versus Explanatory Abstraction.Massimo Pigliucci & Raphael Scholl - 2015 - Biology and Philosophy 30 (5):653-670.
    Mayr’s proximateultimate distinction has received renewed interest in recent years. Here we discuss its role in arguments about the relevance of developmental to evolutionary biology. We show that two recent critiques of the proximateultimate distinction fail to explain why developmental processes in particular should be of interest to evolutionary biologists. We trace these failures to a common problem: both critiques take the proximateultimate distinction to neglect specific causal interactions in nature. We argue that this (...)
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  9.  34
    Integrating the Multiple Biological Causes of Human Behavior.Stephen M. Downes - 2005 - Biology and Philosophy 20 (1):177-190.
    I introduce a range of examples of different causal hypotheses about human mate selection. The hypotheses I focus on come from evolutionary psychology, fluctuating asymmetry research and chemical signaling research. I argue that a major obstacle facing an integrated biology of human behavior is the lack of a causal framework that shows how multiple proximate causal mechanisms can act together to produce components of our behavior.
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  10.  64
    Reciprocal Causation and the ProximateUltimate Distinction.T. E. Dickins & R. A. Barton - 2013 - Biology and Philosophy 28 (5):747-756.
    Laland and colleagues have sought to challenge the proximateultimate distinction claiming that it imposes a unidirectional model of causation, is limited in its capacity to account for complex biological phenomena, and hinders progress in biology. In this article the core of their argument is critically analyzed. It is claimed that contrary to their claims Laland et al. rely upon the proximateultimate distinction to make their points and that their alternative conception of reciprocal causation refers to phenomena (...)
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  11.  58
    Why How and Why Aren’T Enough: More Problems with Mayr’s Proximate-Ultimate Distinction.Brett Calcott - 2013 - Biology and Philosophy 28 (5):767-780.
    Like Laland et al., I think Mayr’s distinction is problematic, but I identify a further problem with it. I argue that Mayr’s distinction is a false dichotomy, and obscures an important question about evolutionary change. I show how this question, once revealed, sheds light on some debates in evo-devo that Laland et al.’s analysis cannot, and suggest that it provides a different view about how future integration between biological disciplines might proceed.
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  12.  56
    Using Causal Models to Integrate Proximate and Ultimate Causation.Jun Otsuka - 2015 - Biology and Philosophy 30 (1):19-37.
    Ernst Mayr’s classical work on the nature of causation in biology has had a huge influence on biologists as well as philosophers. Although his distinction between proximate and ultimate causation recently came under criticism from those who emphasize the role of development in evolutionary processes, the formal relationship between these two notions remains elusive. Using causal graph theory, this paper offers a unified framework to systematically translate a given “proximate” causal structure into an “ultimate” evolutionary response, (...)
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  13.  31
    Cooperation in a Complex World: The Role of Proximate Factors in Ultimate Explanations. [REVIEW]Kim Sterelny - 2013 - Biological Theory 7 (4):358-367.
    Mayr’s distinction between proximate and ultimate explanation is justly famous, marking out a division of explanatory labor in biology. But while it is a useful heuristic in many cases, there are others in which proximate factors play an important role in shaping evolutionary trajectories, and in such cases, each project is sensitive to, and relevant to, the other. This general methodological claim is developed in the context of a discussion of human cooperation, and in particular, in a (...)
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  14. Het 'Universele Zuur' van de Evolutionaire Psychologie?Maarten Boudry, Helen De Cruz, Stefaan Blancke & Johan De Smedt - 2011 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 73 (2):287-305.
    In a previous issue of Tijdschrift voor Filosofie, Filip Buekens argues that evolutionary psychology (EP), or some interpretations thereof, have a corrosive impact on our ‘manifest self-image’. Buekens wants to defend and protect the global adequacy of this manifest self-image in the face of what he calls evolutionary revisionism. Although we largely agree with Buekens’ central argument, we criticize his analysis on several accounts, making some constructive proposals to strengthen his case. First, Buekens’ argument fails to target EP, because his (...)
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  15.  99
    Evolutionary Debunking Arguments and the Moral Niche.Eleonora Severini - 2016 - Philosophia 44 (3):865-875.
    The so-called Evolutionary Debunking Arguments are arguments that appeal to the evolutionary genealogy of our beliefs to undermine their justification. When applied to morality, such arguments are intended to undermine moral realism. In this paper I will discuss Andreas Mogensen’s recent effort to secure moral realism against EDAs. Mogensen attempts to undermine the challenge provided by EDAs in metaethics through the distinction between proximate and ultimate causes in biology. The problem with this move is that the (...)/ultimate distinction is misconceived. If ultimate and proximate causes are properly understood to be complementary, such distinction cannot affect EDAs in metaethics. Therefore, I will argue, Mogensen’s argument fails and moral realism is still in danger. (shrink)
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  16. Evolutionary Debunking Arguments and the Proximate/Ultimate Distinction.Andreas L. Mogensen - 2015 - Analysis 75 (2):196-203.
    Many philosophers believe that natural selection explanations debunk our moral beliefs or would do so if moral realism were true, relying on the assumption that explanations of this kind show that moral facts play no role in explaining human moral beliefs. Here I argue that this assumption rests on a confusion of proximate and ultimate explanatory factors. Insofar as evolutionary debunking arguments hinge on the assumption that moral facts play no role in explaining human moral beliefs, these arguments (...)
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  17. Empathy: Its Ultimate and Proximate Bases.Stephanie D. Preston & Frans B. M. de Waal - 2001 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (1):1-20.
    There is disagreement in the literature about the exact nature of the phenomenon of empathy. There are emotional, cognitive, and conditioning views, applying in varying degrees across species. An adequate description of the ultimate and proximate mechanism can integrate these views. Proximately, the perception of an object's state activates the subject's corresponding representations, which in turn activate somatic and autonomic responses. This mechanism supports basic behaviors that are crucial for the reproductive success of animals living in groups. The (...)
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  18.  29
    Evolutionary Theory and the Ultimate-Proximate Distinction in the Human Behavioral Sciences.T. C. Scott-Phillips, T. E. Dickins & S. A. West - unknown
    To properly understand behavior, we must obtain both ultimate and proximate explanations. Put briefly, ultimate explanations are concerned with why a behavior exists, and proximate explanations are concerned with how it works. These two types of explanation are complementary and the distinction is critical to evolutionary explanation. We are concerned that they have become conflated in some areas of the evolutionary literature on human behavior. This article brings attention to these issues. We focus on three specific (...)
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  19.  29
    Why the ProximateUltimate Distinction Is Misleading, and Why It Matters for Understanding the Evolution of Cooperation.Brett Calcott - 2013 - In Kim Sterelny, Richard Joyce, Brett Calcott & Ben Fraser (eds.), Cooperation and its Evolution. MIT Press. pp. 249.
  20.  3
    The Crypto‐Mrtaphysic of ‘Ultimate Causes’ Remarks on an Alleged Exposé.Andreas Dorschel - 1988 - Ratio 1 (2):97-112.
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  21.  13
    The Crypto-Metaphysic of 'Ultimate Causes': Remarks on an Alleged Exposé.Andreas Dorschel - 1988 - Ratio 1 (2):97-112.
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  22.  5
    The Proximate-Ultimate Confusion in Teaching and Cooperation.Alex Thornton & Nichola J. Raihani - 2015 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 38.
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  23.  35
    Cultural and Reproductive Success in Industrial Societies: Testing the Relationship at the Proximate and Ultimate Levels.Daniel Pérusse - 1993 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 16 (2):267-283.
  24.  6
    Evolutionary Causation: How Proximate is Ultimate?Richard E. Whalen - 1980 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 3 (2):202-203.
  25.  98
    Proximate and Ultimate Causations.Ernst Mayr - 1993 - Biology and Philosophy 8 (1):93-94.
  26.  43
    The Ultimate/Proximate Distinction in Recent Accounts of Human Cooperation.Jack Vromen & Caterina Marchionni - 2009 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 71 (1):87-117.
  27.  10
    Ultimate and Proximate Influences on Human Sex Differences.Drew H. Bailey, Jonathan K. Oxford & David C. Geary - 2009 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 32 (3-4):266-267.
    We agree with Archer that human sex differences in aggression are well explained by sexual selection, but note that explanations of human behaviors are not logically mutually exclusive from explanations and therefore should not be framed as such. We discuss why this type of framing hinders the development of both social learning and evolutionary theories of human behavior.
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  28. Empathy: Its Ultimate and Proximate Bases Does Not Consider Developmental Changes. Commentary on Preston and de Waal.M. L. Commons & C. Wolfsont - 2002 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (1).
     
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  29.  26
    Ultimate and Proximate Consequences in Causal Decision Theory.Brian Skyrms - 1985 - Philosophy of Science 52 (4):608-611.
  30.  17
    Amendments to Hypotheses on the Proximate Causes of Variation in Human Sex Ratios at Birth with Parental Infection with Hepatitis B Virus or Toxoplasma Gondii.William H. James - 2011 - Journal of Biosocial Science 43 (2):247-251.
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  31.  16
    The Proximate Mechanisms and Ultimate Functions of Smiles.Marc Mehu & Karim N'Diaye - 2010 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (6):454-455.
    Niedenthal et al's classification of smiles erroneously conflates psychological mechanisms and adaptive functions. This confusion weakens the rationale behind the types of smiles they chose to individuate, and it obfuscates the distinction between the communicative versus denotative nature of smiles and the role of perceived-gaze direction in emotion recognition.
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  32.  6
    Reply to Van Lange Et Al.: Proximate and Ultimate Distinctions Must Be Made to the CLASH Model.Tomás Cabeza de Baca, Steve C. Hertler & Curtis S. Dunkel - 2017 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 40.
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  33.  6
    Prior and Proximate Causes of Infant Survival in Ghana, with Special Attention to Polygyny. A Comment.William H. James - 1998 - Journal of Biosocial Science 30 (1):127-133.
    Amankwaa (1996) gives data on infant mortality in monogamous and polygynous families. However he does not categorise his data by sex. This is important because one might expect infant mortality to vary by sex; moreover the offspring sex ratios of polygynous and monogamous women reportedly differ.
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  34. The Phylogeny Fallacy and the Ontogeny Fallacy.Adam Hochman - 2013 - Biology and Philosophy 28 (4):593-612.
    In 1990 Robert Lickliter and Thomas Berry identified the phylogeny fallacy, an empirically untenable dichotomy between proximate and evolutionary causation, which locates proximate causes in the decoding of ‘ genetic programs’, and evolutionary causes in the historical events that shaped these programs. More recently, Lickliter and Hunter Honeycutt argued that Evolutionary Psychologists commit this fallacy, and they proposed an alternative research program for evolutionary psychology. For these authors the phylogeny fallacy is the proximate/evolutionary distinction itself, (...)
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  35.  29
    Causes as Proximate Events: Thomas Brown and the Positivist Interpretation of Hume on Causality.Cristina Paoletti - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 42 (1):37-44.
    A neglected episode in the intellectual history of the Scottish Enlightenment, Thomas Brown’s philosophy has been recently reassessed and reconnected with the emergence of the Positivist interpretation of David Hume. In fact, aiming to defend Hume’s philosophy from the common charges of atheism and scepticism, Brown popularised an interpretation of Humean texts which was later to become the standard view on Hume. In this essay, I aim to identify Brown’s historical sources and connect his reading of Hume with the medical (...)
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  36.  27
    The Parable of the Bees: Beyond Proximate Causes in Ecosystem Service Valuation.John Gowdy, Lisi Krall & Yunzhong Chen - 2013 - Environmental Ethics 35 (1):41-55.
    Many ecological and environmental economists take a microeconomic approach to envi­ronmental valuation and view the macroeconomy as an amalgam of firms whose primary task is to efficiently allocate scarce resources. In this framework, replacing freely provided ecosystem services with costly human-provided substitutes is by definition inefficient. Although destroying and replacing the free gifts of nature can sometimes be an economic benefit, in the case of apple-tree pollination in Maoxian County, China, the positive economic benefits do not justify eliminating the natural (...)
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  37.  34
    Nested Explanation in Aristotle and Mayr.Lucas Mix - 2016 - Synthese 193 (6):1817-1832.
    Both Aristotle and Ernst Mayr present theories of dual explanation in biology, with proximal, clearly physical explanations and more distal, biology-specific explanations. Aristotle’s presentation of final cause explanations in Posterior Analytics relates final causes to the necessary material, formal, and efficient causes that mediate them. Johnson and Leunissen demonstrate the problematic nature of historical and recent interpretations and open the door for a new interpretation consistent with modern evolutionary theory. Mayr’s differentiation of proximate and ultimate/evolutionary (...) provides a key to appropriating Aristotle for modern use, if care is taken to differentiate Mayr’s proximate/distal and mechanical/evolutionary distinctions from his intentional/non-intentional distinction. Building on Mayr, and noting his appropriation of ancient and recent commentary, a strong case can be made for nested explanation, wherein evolutionary explanations are instantiated in systems of mechanical explanations. Biological concepts of organism, gene, function, etc., are etiologically prior to mechanical explanations of function, but temporally posterior to mechanical explanations of historical adaptation. Such an analysis sheds light on recent arguments within evolutionary biology while highlighting the importance of epistemology in contemporary science. (shrink)
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  38.  96
    More on How and Why: Cause and Effect in Biology Revisited.Kevin N. Laland, John Odling-Smee, William Hoppitt & Tobias Uller - 2013 - Biology and Philosophy 28 (5):719-745.
    In 1961, Ernst Mayr published a highly influential article on the nature of causation in biology, in which he distinguished between proximate and ultimate causes. Mayr argued that proximate causes (e.g. physiological factors) and ultimate causes (e.g. natural selection) addressed distinct ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions and were not competing alternatives. That distinction retains explanatory value today. However, the adoption of Mayr’s heuristic led to the widespread belief that ontogenetic processes are irrelevant to evolutionary (...)
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  39. Climate Change, Cooperation and Moral Bioenhancement.Toby Handfield, Pei-hua Huang & Robert Mark Simpson - 2016 - Journal of Medical Ethics 42 (2):742-747.
    The human faculty of moral judgment is not well suited to address problems, like climate change, that are global in scope and remote in time. Advocates of ‘moral bioenhancement’ have proposed that we should investigate the use of medical technologies to make human beings more trusting and altruistic, and hence more willing to cooperate in efforts to mitigate the impacts of climate change. We survey recent accounts of the proximate and ultimate causes of human cooperation in order (...)
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  40.  65
    Grandparental Investment: Past, Present, and Future.David A. Coall & Ralph Hertwig - 2010 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (1):1-19.
    What motivates grandparents to their altruism? We review answers from evolutionary theory, sociology, and economics. Sometimes in direct conflict with each other, these accounts of grandparental investment exist side-by-side, with little or no theoretical integration. They all account for some of the data, and none account for all of it. We call for a more comprehensive theoretical framework of grandparental investment that addresses its proximate and ultimate causes, and its variability due to lineage, values, norms, institutions (e.g., (...)
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  41.  23
    Function, Dysfunction, and Normality in Biological Sciences.Etienne Roux - 2018 - Biological Theory 13 (1):17-28.
    A biological function is supposed to be performed adequately, and hence may fail to do so: this is dysfunction. This raises two questions. One is how to make explicit the way in which function can be discriminated from dysfunction without confusing dysfunction with non-function. The second question is how what is “right” and “wrong” can be legitimated by natural regulatory norms. A function can be viewed as a quality to which at least one variable with a definite set of values (...)
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  42.  3
    Mayr and Tinbergen: Disentangling and Integrating.Brandon A. Conley - 2020 - Biology and Philosophy 35 (1):4.
    Research on animal behavior is typically organized according to a combination of two influential frameworks: Ernst Mayr’s distinction between proximate and ultimate causes, and Niko Tinbergen’s “four questions”. My aim is to debunk two common interpretive misconceptions about Mayr’s proximateultimate distinction and its relationship to Tinbergen’s four questions, and to offer a new interpretation that avoids both. The first misconception is that the proximateultimate distinction maps cleanly onto Tinbergen’s four questions, marking a boundary (...)
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  43.  2
    Mayr and Tinbergen: Disentangling and Integrating.Brandon A. Conley - 2020 - Biology and Philosophy 35 (1):4.
    Research on animal behavior is typically organized according to a combination of two influential frameworks: Ernst Mayr’s distinction between proximate and ultimate causes, and Niko Tinbergen’s “four questions”. My aim is to debunk two common interpretive misconceptions about Mayr’s proximateultimate distinction and its relationship to Tinbergen’s four questions, and to offer a new interpretation that avoids both. The first misconception is that the proximateultimate distinction maps cleanly onto Tinbergen’s four questions, marking a boundary (...)
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  44.  27
    Natural Hazards and Genetic Diversity in Rice.Stephen R. Morin, Marlon Calibo, Marilyn Garcia-Belen, Jean-Louis Pham & Florencia Palis - 2002 - Agriculture and Human Values 19 (2):133-149.
    Rice crop diversity hasdecreased dramatically in the recent past.Understanding the causes that underlie theevident genetic erosion is critical for thefood security of subsistence rice farmers andbiodiversity. Our study shows that farmers inthe northeastern Philippines had a markedreduction in rice diversity from 1996 to 1998.The ultimate causes were a drought resultingfrom the El Niño phenomenon in 1997 andflooding due to two successive typhoons in1998. The proximate causes, however, includedlocal water control factors, limitations in thehousehold and village-level (...)
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  45. Ends, Norms, and Representations: Why Ask "Why?" in Biology?Brandon Conley - unknown
    In this dissertation I address three philosophical problems in the philosophy of biology united by the underlying, and interlocking, issues of the explanatory role of teleological, normative, and representational concepts in biology. In the first chapter, I argue that extant accounts of functions have foundered on a problem I dub the Dysfunction Dilemma, and I offer a way to move forward. Functions are of philosophical interest because the concept plays an important explanatory role in biology, and other sciences, but is (...)
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  46.  33
    Lamarck Ascending!David Haig - 2011 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 3 (20130604).
    Transformations of Lamarckism is an edited volume arising from a workshop to commemorate the bicentenary of the publication of Philosophie Zoologique. The contributed chapters discuss the history of Lamarckism, present new developments in biology that could be considered to vindicate Lamarck, and argue for a revision, if not a revolution, in evolutionary theory. My review argues that twentieth and twenty-first century conceptions of Lamarckism can be considered a reaction to August Weismann’s uncompromising rejection of the inheritance of acquired characters in (...)
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  47.  23
    Integrating Evolutionary and Social Science Approaches to the Family.Donald Cox - 2010 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (1):20-21.
    Recent work on the evolution of utility has brought the blunt instrument of kin selection closer to the cluttered scalpel kit of social science. The concept of diminishing marginal utility can help streamline the latter. Reconciling ultimate causes with proximate inclinations, however, will be easier for the case of assistance from grandparents than assistance to them.
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  48.  9
    The Role of Conditioning on Heterosexual and Homosexual Partner Preferences in Rats.Genaro A. Coria-Avila - 2012 - Socioaffective Neuroscience and Psychology 2.
    Partner preferences are expressed by many social species, including humans. They are commonly observed as selective contacts with an individual, more time spent together, and directed courtship behavior that leads to selective copulation. This review discusses the effect of conditioning on the development of heterosexual and homosexual partner preferences in rodents. Learned preferences may develop when a conditioned stimulus (CS) is associated in contingency with an unconditioned stimulus (UCS) that functions as a reinforcer. Consequently, an individual may display preference for (...)
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  49.  51
    Multilevel Causation and the Extended Synthesis.Maximiliano Martínez & Maurizio Esposito - 2014 - Biological Theory 9 (2):209-220.
    In this article we argue that the classical—linear and bottom-up directed—models of causation in biology, and the ‘‘proximate/ultimate’’ dichotomy, are inappropriate to capture the complexity inherent to biological processes. We introduce a new notion of ‘‘multilevel causation’’ where old dichotomies such as proximate/ultimate and bottom-up/ top-down are reinterpreted within a multilevel, web-like, approach. In briefly reviewing some recent work on complexity, EvoDevo, carcinogenesis, autocatalysis, comparative genomics, animal regeneration, phenotypic plasticity, and niche construction, we will argue that (...)
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  50. Genetic, Epigenetic and Exogenetic Information.Karola Stotz & Paul Edmund Griffiths - 2017 - In Richard Joyce (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Evolution and Philosophy. London & New York: Routledge.
    We describe an approach to measuring biological information where ‘information’ is understood in the sense found in Francis Crick’s foundational contributions to molecular biology. Genes contain information in this sense, but so do epigenetic factors, as many biologists have recognized. The term ‘epigenetic’ is ambiguous, and we introduce a distinction between epigenetic and exogenetic inheritance to clarify one aspect of this ambiguity. These three heredity systems play complementary roles in supplying information for development. -/- We then consider the evolutionary significance (...)
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