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  1. added 2019-03-14
    Vital Anti-Mathematicism and the Ontology of the Emerging Life Sciences: From Mandeville to Diderot.Charles T. Wolfe - 2017 - Synthese:1-22.
    Intellectual history still quite commonly distinguishes between the episode we know as the Scientific Revolution, and its successor era, the Enlightenment, in terms of the calculatory and quantifying zeal of the former—the age of mechanics—and the rather scientifically lackadaisical mood of the latter, more concerned with freedom, public space and aesthetics. It is possible to challenge this distinction in a variety of ways, but the approach I examine here, in which the focus on an emerging scientific field or cluster of (...)
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  2. added 2019-03-11
    Approaches to the Question, ‘What is Life?’: Reconciling Theoretical Biology with Philosophical Biology.Arran Gare - 2008 - Cosmos and History 4 (1-2):53-77.
    Philosophical biologists have attempted to define the distinction between life and non-life to more adequately define what it is to be human. They are reacting against idealism, but idealism is their point of departure, and they have embraced the reaction by idealists against the mechanistic notion of humans developed by the scientific materialists. Theoretical biologists also have attempted to develop a more adequate conception of life, but their point of departure has been within science itself. In their case, it has (...)
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  3. added 2019-02-18
    Evaluating Evidential Pluralism in Epidemiology: Mechanistic Evidence in Exposome Research.Stefano Canali - 2019 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 41 (1):4.
    In current philosophical discussions on evidence in the medical sciences, epidemiology has been used to exemplify a specific version of evidential pluralism. According to this view, known as the Russo–Williamson Thesis, evidence of both difference-making and mechanisms is produced to make causal claims in the health sciences. In this paper, I present an analysis of data and evidence in epidemiological practice, with a special focus on research on the exposome, and I cast doubt on the extent to which evidential pluralism (...)
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  4. added 2019-01-21
    Lineage Population: A Concept Needed by an Observer of Nature?John Fuerst - 2017 - Mankind Quarterly 57 (4):590-631.
    The genealogy-based classificatory programs of Kant and Darwin are briefly discussed for context. It is detailed how in biology there is no unambiguous term to reference infraspecific-level descent-based divisions. The term lineage population is introduced and defined for analytic purposes as one of a set of inter-fertile divisions of organisms into which members are arranged by propinquity of descent. It is argued that the lineage population concept avoids the ambiguities associated with related biological and anthropological concepts and polysemes such as (...)
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  5. added 2019-01-14
    The Search of “Canonical” Explanations for the Cerebral Cortex.Alessio Plebe - 2018 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 40 (3):40.
    This paper addresses a fundamental line of research in neuroscience: the identification of a putative neural processing core of the cerebral cortex, often claimed to be “canonical”. This “canonical” core would be shared by the entire cortex, and would explain why it is so powerful and diversified in tasks and functions, yet so uniform in architecture. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the search for canonical explanations over the past 40 years, discussing the theoretical frameworks informing this research. (...)
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  6. added 2019-01-01
    Buckets From an English Sea: 1832 and the Making of Charles Darwin by Louis B. Rosenblatt. [REVIEW]Charles H. Pence - 2018 - The Quarterly Review of Biology 93 (4):356.
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  7. added 2018-12-16
    Overlapping Ontologies and Indigenous Knowledge. From Integration to Ontological Self-­Determination.David Ludwig - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 59:36-45.
    Current controversies about knowledge integration reflect conflicting ideas of what it means to “take Indigenous knowledge seriously”. While there is increased interest in integrating Indigenous and Western scientific knowledge in various disciplines such as anthropology and ethnobiology, integration projects are often accused of recognizing Indigenous knowledge only insofar as it is useful for Western scientists. The aim of this article is to use tools from philosophy of science to develop a model of both successful integration and integration failures. On the (...)
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  8. added 2018-11-18
    John S. Wilkins and Malte C. Ebach: The Nature of Classification: Relationships and Kinds in the Natural Sciences.Catherine Kendig - 2015 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 37 (4):477-479.
    John Wilkins and Malte Ebach respond to the dismissal of classification as something we need not concern ourselves with because it is, as Ernest Rutherford suggested, mere ‘‘stamp collecting.’’ They contend that classification is neither derivative of explanation or of hypothesis-making but is necessarily prior and prerequisite to it. Classification comes first and causal explanations are dependent upon it. As such it is an important (but neglected) area of philosophical study. Wilkins and Ebach reject Norwood Russell Hanson’s thesis that classification (...)
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  9. added 2018-10-07
    Grand Challenges and Small Steps. Introduction to the Special Issue 'Interdisciplinary Integration: The Real Grand Challenge for the Life Sciences?'.Giovanni De Grandis & Sophia Efstathiou - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 56:39-47.
    This collection addresses two different audiences: 1) historians and philosophers of the life sciences reflecting on collaborations across disciplines, especially as regards defining and addressing Grand Challenges; 2) researchers and other stakeholders involved in cross-disciplinary collaborations aimed at tackling Grand Challenges in the life and medical sciences. The essays collected here offer ideas and resources both for the study and for the practice of goal-driven cross-disciplinary research in the life and medical sciences. We organise this introduction in three sections. The (...)
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  10. added 2018-09-30
    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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  11. added 2018-09-08
    On Recognising the Paradox of Sex.Joachim Dagg - 2016 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 8 (20160629).
    Discussions of the implications of sexual reproduction have appeared throughout the history of evolutionary biology, from Darwin to Weismann, Fisher, Muller, Maynard Smith, and Williams. The latest of these appearances highlighted an evolutionary paradox that had previously been overlooked. In many animal and plant species reproduction is obligately sexual and also half the offspring are male, yet the males contribute nothing but genes to reproduction. If asexual mutants of such a species were to produce as many asexual offspring on average (...)
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  12. added 2018-09-07
    Modelling with Words: Narrative and Natural Selection.Dominic K. Dimech - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 62:20-24.
    I argue that verbal models should be included in a philosophical account of the scientific practice of modelling. Weisberg (2013) has directly opposed this thesis on the grounds that verbal structures, if they are used in science, only merely describe models. I look at examples from Darwin's On the Origin of Species (1859) of verbally constructed narratives that I claim model the general phenomenon of evolution by natural selection. In each of the cases I look at, a particular scenario is (...)
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  13. added 2018-08-28
    Autorité rhétorique: Claude Bernard et Émile du Bois-Reymond.Gabriel Finkelstein - 2012 - In Jean-Gäel Barbara & Pierre Corvol (eds.), Les élèves de Claude Bernard: Les nouvelles disciplines bernardiennes au tournant du XXe siècle. Paris, France: pp. 173-192.
    Professeur Finkelstein avait posée la question, pourquoi, bien que leurs réalisations scientifiques et leur scientifique approche soient similaires, Bernard était beaucoup plus connu dans son pays, France, et à son époque, que Bois-Reymond en Allemagne? Une question similaire a été posée au sujet du pourquoi Darwin est connu pour la théorie de l'évolution, tandis que Wallace a été remis en arrière-fond dans leur temps et dans l'histoire. Selon Finkelstein, la cause de la differences entre Bois-Reymond et Bernard, peut être trouvée (...)
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  14. added 2018-07-06
    Chance in the Modern Synthesis.Anya Plutynski, Kenneth Blake Vernon, Lucas John Matthews & Dan Molter - 2016 - In Grant Ramsey & Charles H. Pence (eds.), Chance in Evolution. Chicago, IL, USA: The University of Chicago Press. pp. 76-102.
    The modern synthesis in evolutionary biology is taken to be that period in which a consensus developed among biologists about the major causes of evolution, a consensus that informed research in evolutionary biology for at least a half century. As such, it is a particularly fruitful period to consider when reflecting on the meaning and role of chance in evolutionary explanation. Biologists of this period make reference to “chance” and loose cognates of “chance,” such as: “random,” “contingent,” “accidental,” “haphazard,” or (...)
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  15. added 2018-05-24
    Wahrheitsgewissheitsverlust. Hermann von Helmholtz' Mechanismus Im Anbruch der Moderne. Eine Studie Zum Übergang von Klassischer Zu Moderner Naturphilosophie.Gregor Schiemann - 1997 - Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft.
    Der Verzicht auf absolut gültige Erkenntnis, heute in den Naturwissenschaften beinahe schon selbstverständlich, ist erst jüngeren Datums. Noch im vergangenen Jahrhundert zweifelte die experimentelle Forschung kaum an der vollkommenen Begreifbarkeit der Welt. Diesen Wandel zu erkunden und aufzuzeigen ist Thema der vorliegenden Studie. Der erste Teil präsentiert verschiedene Typen neuzeitlicher und moderner Wissenschaftsauffassungen von Galilei über Newton bis hin zu Kant. Im zweiten Teil werden Entwicklung und Wandel der Wissenschafts- und Naturauffassung bei Helmholtz (1821-1895) erstmals mittels detaillierter Textanalysen einer umfassenden (...)
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  16. added 2018-05-23
    Origins of Darwin’s Evolution: Solving the Species Puzzle Through Time and Place. [REVIEW]Charles H. Pence - 2018 - Quarterly Review of Biology 93 (2):128-129.
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  17. added 2018-03-11
    Integrating History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences in Practice to Enhance Science Education: Swammerdam’s Historia Insectorum Generalis and the Case of the Water Flea.Catherine Kendig - 2013 - Science and Education: Academic Journal of Ushynsky University 22 (8):1939-1961.
    Abstract: Hasok Chang (Sci Educ 20:317–341, 2011) shows how the recovery of past experimental knowledge, the physical replication of historical experiments, and the extension of recovered knowledge can increase scientific understanding. These activities can also play an important role in both science and history and philosophy of science education. In this paper I describe the implementation of an integrated learning project that I initiated, organized, and structured to complement a course in history and philosophy of the life sciences (HPLS). The (...)
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  18. added 2018-03-08
    Tribute to Brian Goodwin 1931-2009.Arran Gare - 2009 - Cosmos and History 5 (2):5-8.
    A tribute to the theoretical biologist Brian Goodwin.
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  19. added 2018-02-28
    Sir John F. W. Herschel and Charles Darwin: Nineteenth-Century Science and Its Methodology.Charles H. Pence - 2018 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 8 (1):108-140.
    There are a bewildering variety of claims connecting Darwin to nineteenth-century philosophy of science—including to Herschel, Whewell, Lyell, German Romanticism, Comte, and others. I argue here that Herschel’s influence on Darwin is undeniable. The form of this influence, however, is often misunderstood. Darwin was not merely taking the concept of “analogy” from Herschel, nor was he combining such an analogy with a consilience as argued for by Whewell. On the contrary, Darwin’s Origin is written in precisely the manner that one (...)
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  20. added 2017-11-03
    What Was Kant’s Contribution to the Understanding of Biology?Idan Shimony - 2017 - Kant Yearbook 9 (1):159-178.
    Kant’s theory of biology in the Critique of the Power of Judgment may be rejected as obsolete and attacked from two opposite perspectives. In light of recent advances in biology one can claim contra Kant, on the one hand, that biological phenomena, which Kant held could only be explicated with the help of teleological principles, can in fact be explained in an entirely mechanical manner, or on the other, that despite the irreducibility of biology to physico-mechanical explanations, it is nonetheless (...)
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  21. added 2017-03-19
    Alexander Forbes, Walter Cannon, and Science-Based Literature.Justin Garson - 2013 - In A. Stiles, S. Finger & F. Boller (eds.), Progress in Brain Research Vol. 205: Literature, Neurology, and Neuroscience: Historical and Literary Connections. Amsterdam: Elsevier. pp. 241-256.
    The Harvard physiologists Alexander Forbes (1882-1965) and Walter Bradford Cannon (1871-1945) had an enormous impact on the physiology and neuroscience of the twentieth century. In addition to their voluminous scientific output, they also used literature to reflect on the nature of science itself and its social significance. Forbes wrote a novel, The Radio Gunner, a literary memoir, Quest for a Northern Air Route, and several short stories. Cannon, in addition to several books of popular science, wrote a literary memoir in (...)
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  22. added 2017-02-15
    Molecular Characterization of Aerobic Heterohophic Bacteria Isolated From Petroleum Hydrocarbon Polluted Brackish Waters of Bodo Creeks, Rivers State Nigeria.Tersagh Ichor - 2014 - Open Journal of Ecology 4:715-722.
    Surface water sources in the oil producing Niger Delta region of Nigeria are highly susceptible to pollution by petroleum hydrocarbons and so it is important to understand the microbial diversity of such ecosystems. Water and sediment samples were collected between April-August, 2013 from Bodo creeks and taken to Environmental Microbiology laboratory of University of Portharcourt for analysis. A total of thirty aerobic heterotrophic bacterial strains isolated ranged from 3.0 - 7.0 × 104 cfu for surface water and 1.6 - 5.6 (...)
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  23. added 2017-02-11
    Darwinism and Meaning.Lonnie W. Aarssen - 2010 - Biological Theory 5 (4):296-311.
    Darwinism presents a paradox. It discredits the notion that one’s life has any intrinsic meaning, yet it predicts that we are designed by Darwinian natural selection to generally insist that it must—and so necessarily designed to misunderstand and doubt Darwinism. The implications of this paradox are explored here, including the question of where then does the Darwinist find meaning in life? The main source, it is proposed, is from cognitive domains for meaning inherited from sentient ancestors—domains that reveal our evolved (...)
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  24. added 2017-02-08
    evoText: A New Tool for Analyzing the Biological Sciences.Grant Ramsey & Charles H. Pence - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 57:83-87.
    We introduce here evoText, a new tool for automated analysis of the literature in the biological sciences. evoText contains a database of hundreds of thousands of journal articles and an array of analysis tools for generating quantitative data on the nature and history of life science, especially ecology and evolutionary biology. This article describes the features of evoText, presents a variety of examples of the kinds of analyses that evoText can run, and offers a brief tutorial describing how to use (...)
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  25. added 2017-01-27
    Hybridity in Agriculture.Catherine Kendig - 2014 - In Paul B. Thompson & David M. Kaplan (eds.), Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics. Springer.
    In a very general sense, hybrid can be understood to be any organism that is the product of two (or more) organisms where each parent belongs to a different kind. For example; the offspring from two or more parent organisms, each belonging to a separate species (or genera), is called a “hybrid”. “Hybridity” refers to the phenomenal character of being a hybrid. And “hybridization ” refers to both natural and artificial processes of generating hybrids. These processes include mechanisms of selective (...)
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  26. added 2017-01-25
    Darwin's Two Hundred Years: Is Not Time for a Change?Armando Aranda-Anzaldo - 2009 - Ludus Vitalis 17 (32):87-99.
    Two hundred years after Darwin’s birth, the evolution of living systems is an accepted fact but there is scope for controversy on the mechanisms involved in such a process. Mainstream neo-Darwinism champions the role of natural selection (NS) as the fundamental cause of the evolutionary process as well as of random, contingent events at the genetic level as the main source of variation upon which NS performs its causal role. Thus, according to neo-Darwinism the course of biological evolution is quite (...)
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  27. added 2017-01-21
    Was Darwin a Creationist?Chris Cosans - 2005 - Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 48 (3):362-371.
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  28. added 2017-01-17
    Deeper Than Darwin: The Prospect for Religion in the Age of Evolution, by John F. Haught. [REVIEW]W. Malcolm Byrnes - 2006 - The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 6 (1):179-182.
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  29. added 2016-12-08
    The Value of Epistemic Disagreement in Scientific Practice. The Case of Homo Floresiensis.Helen De Cruz & Johan De Smedt - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (2):169-177.
    Epistemic peer disagreement raises interesting questions, both in epistemology and in philosophy of science. When is it reasonable to defer to the opinion of others, and when should we hold fast to our original beliefs? What can we learn from the fact that an epistemic peer disagrees with us? A question that has received relatively little attention in these debates is the value of epistemic peer disagreement—can it help us to further epistemic goals, and, if so, how? We investigate this (...)
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  30. added 2016-10-07
    Descartes on the Theory of Life and Methodology in the Life Sciences.Karen Detlefsen - 2016 - In Peter Distelzweig & Evan Ragland (eds.), Early Modern Medicine and Natural Philosophy. Springer. pp. 141-72.
    As a practicing life scientist, Descartes must have a theory of what it means to be a living being. In this paper, I provide an account of what his theoretical conception of living bodies must be. I then show that this conception might well run afoul of his rejection of final causal explanations in natural philosophy. Nonetheless, I show how Descartes might have made use of such explanations as merely hypothetical, even though he explicitly blocks this move. I conclude by (...)
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  31. added 2016-10-07
    Biology and Theology in Malebranche's Theory of Organic Generation.Karen Detlefsen - 2014 - In Ohad Nachtomy & Justin E. H. Smith (eds.), The Life Sciences in Early Modern Philosophy. Oxford University Press. pp. 137-156.
    This paper has two parts: In the first part, I give a general survey of the various reasons 17th and 18th century life scientists and metaphysicians endorsed the theory of pre-existence according to which God created all living beings at the creation of the universe, and no living beings are ever naturally generated anew. These reasons generally fall into three categories. The first category is theological. For example, many had the desire to account for how all humans are stained by (...)
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  32. added 2016-07-29
    Building a Science of Animal Minds: Lloyd Morgan, Experimentation, and Morgan’s Canon.Grant Goodrich & Simon Fitzpatrick - 2017 - Journal of the History of Biology 50 (3):525-569.
    Conwy Lloyd Morgan (1852–1936) is widely regarded as the father of modern comparative psychology. Yet, Morgan initially had significant doubts about whether a genuine science of comparative psychology was even possible, only later becoming more optimistic about our ability to make reliable inferences about the mental capacities of non-human animals. There has been a fair amount of disagreement amongst scholars of Morgan’s work about the nature, timing, and causes of this shift in Morgan’s thinking. We argue that Morgan underwent two (...)
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  33. added 2016-07-21
    Philosophy of Experimental Biology.Jacob Stegenga - 2009 - Erkenntnis 71 (3):431-436.
    Philosophers have committed sins while studying science, it is said – philosophy of science focused on physics to the detriment of biology, reconstructed idealizations of scientific episodes rather than attending to historical details, and focused on theories and concepts to the detriment of experiments. Recent generations of philosophers of science have tried to atone for these sins, and by the 1980s the exculpation was in full swing. Marcel Weber’s Philosophy of Experimental Biology is a zenith mea culpa for philosophy of (...)
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  34. added 2016-06-29
    Review of Franklin *What Makes a Good Experiment?*. [REVIEW] Adam_Morton - forthcoming - Metascience 102.
    I praise Franklin's full descriptions of important and exemplary experiments, and wish that he had said more about why they are exemplary.
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  35. added 2016-06-25
    Los robots médicos.Enrique Morata - 2016 - Academia Edu 1:1-12.
    Sobre los robots como mejores médicos que los humanos.
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  36. added 2016-05-16
    The Science, the Ethics, the Politics: the socio-cultural aspects of modern genetics.Valentin Cheshko & Valentin Kulinichenko (eds.) - 2004 - Parapan.
    Modern genetics becomes a bridge between the natural sciences, humanities and social practtoon the social life of biomedicine and genetics this branch of science makes these branches of science by comparable in their socio-forming role to politics and economics factors. The research objective of this paper is theoretical analysis of social and cultural challenges posed by the development of basic genetics and genetic technologies. The problems of this book may be attributed to the new field of science, formed at the (...)
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  37. added 2016-05-06
    Introduction to "Experience in Natural Philosophy and Medicine".Alberto Vanzo - 2016 - Perspectives on Science 24 (3):255-263.
    The articles in the special issue "Experience in natural philosophy and medicine" discuss the roles and notions of experience in the works of a range of early modern authors, including Galileo Galilei, Francis Bacon, the Dutch atomist David Gorlaeus, William Harvey, and Christian Wolff. The articles extend the evidential basis on which we can rely to identify trends, changes and continuities in the roles and notions of experience in the period of the Scientific Revolution. They shed light on the longstanding (...)
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  38. added 2016-04-26
    Pattern as Observation: Darwin’s ‘Great Facts’ of Geographical Distribution.Casey Helgeson - 2017 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 7 (2):337-351.
    Among philosophical analyses of Darwin’s Origin, a standard view says the theory presented there had no concrete observational consequences against which it might be checked. I challenge this idea with a new analysis of Darwin’s principal geographical distribution observations and how they connect to his common ancestry hypothesis.
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  39. added 2016-03-25
    ‘Learning to Love’. Review of Richard Allen, David Hartley on Human Nature. [REVIEW]John Sutton - 2002 - Times Literary Supplement 5162.
    In a remarkable and utterly original work of philosophical history, Richard Allen revivifies David Hartley's Observations on Man, his Frame, his Duty, and his Expectations (1749). Though it includes a detailed and richly annotated chronology, this is not a straight intellectual biography, attentive as it might be to the intricacies of Hartley's Cambridge contacts, or the mundane rituals of his medical practice, or the internal development of the doctrine of association of ideas. Instead Allen brings Hartley's book, a psychological epic (...)
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  40. added 2016-03-15
    Holistic Biology: Back on Stage? Comments on Post-Genomics in Historical Perspective.Alfred Gierer - 2002 - Philosophia Naturalis 39 (1):25-44.
    A strong motivation for the human genome project was to relate biological features to the structure and function of small sets of genes, and ideally to individual genes. However, it is now increasingly realized that many problems require a "systems" approach emphasizing the interplay of large numbers of genes, and the involvement of complex networks of gene regulation. This implies a new emphasis on integrative, systems theoretical approaches. It may be called 'holistic' if the term is used without irrational overtones, (...)
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  41. added 2015-12-07
    Review of Nicolas Langlitz's Neuropsychedelia: The Revival of Hallucinogen Research Since the Decade of the Brain. [REVIEW]Meg Stalcup - 2015 - Somatosphere 2015.
    Humphry Osmond wrote to Aldous Huxley in 1956 proposing the term “psychedelic,” coined from two Greek words to mean “mind manifesting.” The scholars, one a psychiatrist and the other a celebrated novelist and philosopher, were exuberant about the potential of drugs for accessing the mind. Huxley favored a phrase from William Blake: -/- If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite. -/- He postulated that psychedelics disturbed the “cerebral reducing valve” (1954), and (...)
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  42. added 2015-04-10
    From Aristotle’s Teleology to Darwin’s Genealogy: The Stamp of Inutility, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015 (Pdf: Contents, Introduction).Marco Solinas - 2015 - Palgrave-Macmillan.
    Starting with Aristotle and moving on to Darwin, Marco Solinas outlines the basic steps from the birth, establishment and later rebirth of the traditional view of living beings, and its overturning by evolutionary revolution. The classic framework devised by Aristotle was still dominant in the 17th Century world of Galileo, Harvey and Ray, and remained hegemonic until the time of Lamarck and Cuvier in the 19th Century. Darwin's breakthrough thus takes on the dimensions of an abandonment of the traditional finalistic (...)
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  43. added 2015-03-24
    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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  44. added 2015-03-19
    In Search of Balance: A Review of Povinelli's World Without Weight. [REVIEW]Cameron Buckner - 2013 - Biology and Philosophy 28 (1):145-152.
    Povinelli and colleagues ask whether chimpanzees can understand the concept of weight, answering with a resounding ‘‘no’’. They justify their answer by appeal to over thirty previously unpublished experiments. I here evaluate in detail Povinelli’s arguments against his targets, questioning the assumption that such comparative questions will be resolved with an unequivocal ‘‘yes’’ or ‘‘no’’.
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  45. added 2015-03-17
    The Nature of Darwin's Support for the Theory of Natural Selection.Elisabeth A. Lloyd - 1983 - Philosophy of Science 50 (1):112-129.
    When natural selection theory was presented, much active philosophical debate, in which Darwin himself participated, centered on its hypothetical nature, its explanatory power, and Darwin's methodology. Upon first examination, Darwin's support of his theory seems to consist of a set of claims pertaining to various aspects of explanatory success. I analyze the support of his method and theory given in the Origin of Species and private correspondence, and conclude that an interpretation focusing on the explanatory strengths of natural selection theory (...)
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  46. added 2014-11-09
    The Extended Evolutionary Synthesis: A Metascientific View of Evolutionary Biology, and Some Directions to Transcend its Limits.Emanuele Serrelli - manuscript
    To approach the issue of the recent proposal of an Extended Evolutionary Synthesis (EES) put forth by Massimo Pigliucci and Gerd Müller, I suggest to consider the EES as a metascientific view: a description of what’s new in how evolutionary biology is carried out, not only a description of recently learned aspects of evolution. Knowing ‘what is it to do research’ in evolutionary biology, today versus yesterday, can aid training, research and career choices, establishment of relationships and collaborations, decision of (...)
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  47. added 2014-10-10
    The Gaia Narrative and its Link with Symbiosis and Symbiogenesis.Emanuele Serrelli - manuscript
    First, we will address the unnecessary link between symbio-studies and Gaia, asking for the historical and epistemological reasons why they become associated. In particular, we contend that the association is mediated by the common interest in large-scale physico-chemical and biochemical patterns, rather than by an emphasis on harmony, equilibrium, and cooperation (Visvader 1992). Second, we will ask what Gaia is in a metatheoretical sense: is it a scientific hypothesis, a theory, a metaphor, an inspired invention, or a resurgence of antiscientific (...)
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  48. added 2014-09-25
    On the Role of Newtonian Analogies in Eighteenth-Century Life Science:Vitalism and Provisionally Inexplicable Explicative Devices.Charles T. Wolfe - 2014 - In Zvi Biener & Eric Schliesser (eds.), Newton and Empiricism. Oxford University Press. pp. 223-261.
    Newton’s impact on Enlightenment natural philosophy has been studied at great length, in its experimental, methodological and ideological ramifications. One aspect that has received fairly little attention is the role Newtonian “analogies” played in the formulation of new conceptual schemes in physiology, medicine, and life science as a whole. So-called ‘medical Newtonians’ like Pitcairne and Keill have been studied; but they were engaged in a more literal project of directly transposing, or seeking to transpose, Newtonian laws into quantitative models of (...)
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  49. added 2014-09-24
    The Organism as Ontological Go-Between. Hybridity, Boundaries and Degrees of Reality in its Conceptual History.Charles T. Wolfe - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 1:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.shps.
    The organism is neither a discovery like the circulation of the blood or the glycogenic function of the liver, nor a particular biological theory like epigenesis or preformationism. It is rather a concept which plays a series of roles – sometimes overt, sometimes masked – throughout the history of biology, and frequently in very normative ways, also shifting between the biological and the social. Indeed, it has often been presented as a key-concept in life science and the ‘theorization’ of Life, (...)
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  50. added 2014-04-02
    Darwin and the Problem of Natural Nonbelief.Jason Marsh - 2013 - The Monist 96 (3):349-376.
    Problem one: why, if God designed the human mind, did it take so long for humans to develop theistic concepts and beliefs? Problem two: why would God use evolution to design the living world when the discovery of evolution would predictably contribute to so much nonbelief in God? Darwin was aware of such questions but failed to see their evidential significance for theism. This paper explores this significance. Problem one introduces something I call natural nonbelief, which is significant because it (...)
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