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  1. added 2020-02-11
    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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  2. added 2019-08-08
    Ridurre il riduzionismo genetico.Gereon Wolters - 2008 - Humana Mente 2 (6).
    n this article the author develops a critique of reductionism in biological sciences from three different points of view. The first is related to the problem of reduction in the context of scientific theories. More specifically, reduction deals with a special form of intertheoretic relationship between molecular biology and the rest of biology. The second meaning of reductionism has to do with the significance of its genetic outfit for the ontogeny of an organism, i.e. its development from zygote to its (...)
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  3. added 2019-05-30
    This is the Synthetic Biology That Is. [REVIEW]Daniel Liu - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 63:89-93.
    Review of: Sophia Roosth, Synthetic: How Life Got Made (University of Chicago Press, 2017); and Andrew S. Balmer, Katie Bulpin, and Susan Molyneux-Hodgson, Synthetic Biology: A Sociology of Changing Practices (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016).
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  4. added 2019-05-23
    Anthropocene: The philosophy of Biotechnology.Valentin Cheshko, Glazko Valery & Ivanitskaya Lida - 2018 - Moscow, Russia: Kurs INFRA-M.
    The theory of evolution of complex, including the humans system and algorithm for its constructing are a synthesis of evolutionary epistemology, philosophical anthropology and concrete scientific empirical basis in modern science,. In other words, natural philosophy is regaining the status bar element theoretical science in the era of technology-driven evolution. The co-evolutionary concept of 3-modal stable evolutionary strategy of Homo sapiens is developed. The concept based on the principle of evolutionary complementarity of anthropogenesis: value of evolutionary risk and evolutionary path (...)
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  5. added 2019-03-13
    Mechanisms in Practice: A Methodological Approach.Stavros Ioannidis & Stathis Psillos - 2018 - Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 24 (5):1177-1183.
    In this paper we offer a minimal characterisation of the concept of mechanism in biomedicine, according to which a mechanism is a theoretically described causal pathway. We argue that this conceptionan be drawn from scientific practice, as illustrated by how a central biological and biomedical mechanism, the mechanism of apoptosis, was first identified and characterised. We will use the example of cytological and biochemical theoretical descriptions of the mechanism of apoptosis to draw lessons about the meaning of the concept of (...)
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  6. added 2018-11-24
    Innovationstheorie und die Evolution menschlicher Fähigkeiten: Beispiel Empathie.Alfred Gierer - 1998 - Nova Acta Leopoldina 77 (304):85-98.
    A summarizing English version on “Theory of Innovation and the Evolution of General Human Capabilities, such as Cognition-based Empathy” is included in the download. Den biologisch modernen Menschentyp charakterisieren sehr allgemeine Fähigkeiten, wie begriffliche Sprache, strategisches Denken und kognitionsgestützte Empathie. Neurobiologisch kann Empathiefähigkeit als eine Verbindung von Repräsentationen von Mitmenschen mit dem je eigenen Gefühlszentren im Gehirn angesehen werden. In Grundzügen ist sie vor vielleicht 100 000 Jahren als Folge von Mutationen der Erbsubstanz DNA entstanden. Für solche genetische Innovationen spielten (...)
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  7. added 2018-10-19
    Causal Specificity, Biological Possibility and Non-Parity About Genetic Causes.Marcel Weber - manuscript
    Several authors have used the notion of causal specificity in order to defend non-parity about genetic causes (Waters 2007, Woodward 2010, Weber 2017, forthcoming). Non-parity in this context is the idea that DNA and some other biomolecules that are often described as information-bearers by biologists play a unique role in life processes, an idea that has been challenged by Developmental Systems Theory (e.g., Oyama 2000). Indeed, it has proven to be quite difficult to state clearly what the alleged special role (...)
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  8. added 2018-08-26
    The Origins of Life: The Managed-Metabolism Hypothesis.John E. Stewart - 2018 - Foundations of Science:1-25.
    The ‘managed-metabolism’ hypothesis suggests that a ‘cooperation barrier’ must be overcome if self-producing chemical organizations are to undergo the transition from non-life to life. This dynamical barrier prevents un-managed autocatalytic networks of molecular species from individuating into complex, cooperative organizations. The barrier arises because molecular species that could otherwise make significant cooperative contributions to the success of an organization will often not be supported within the organization, and because side reactions and other ‘free-riding’ processes will undermine cooperation. As a result, (...)
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  9. added 2018-06-27
    What is an Organism? An Immunological Answer.Thomas Pradeu - 2010 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 32 (2-3):247-267.
    The question “What is an organism?”, formerly considered as essential in biology, has now been increasingly replaced by a larger question, “What is a biological individual?”. On the grounds that i) individuation is theory-dependent, and ii) physiology does not offer a theory, biologists and philosophers of biology have claimed that it is the theory of evolution by natural selection which tells us what counts as a biological individual. Here I show that one physiological field, immunology, offers a theory, which makes (...)
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  10. added 2017-11-13
    In Defense of Methodological Mechanism: The Case of Apoptosis.Stavros Ioannidis & Stathis Psillos - 2017 - Axiomathes 27 (6):601-619.
    This paper advances the thesis of methodological mechanism, the claim that to be committed to mechanism is to adopt a certain methodological postulate, i.e. to look for causal pathways for the phenomena of interest. We argue that methodological mechanism incorporates a minimal account of understanding mechanisms, according to which a mechanism just is a causal pathway described in the language of theory. In order to argue for this position we discuss a central example of a biological mechanism, the mechanism of (...)
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  11. added 2017-07-02
    Model for DNA and Protein Interactions and the Function of the Operator.Alfred Gierer - 1966 - Nature 212:1480-1481.
    The short paper introduces the concept of possible branches of double-stranded DNA (later sometimes called palindromes): Certain sequences of nucleotides may be followed, after a short unpaired stretch, by a complementary sequence in reversed order, such that each DNA strand can fold back on itself, and the DNA assumes a cruciform or tree-like structure. This is postulated to interact with regulatory proteins. -/- .
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  12. added 2017-02-15
    On the Limits of Causal Modeling: Spatially-Structurally Complex Biological Phenomena.Marie I. Kaiser - 2016 - Philosophy of Science 83 (5):921-933.
    This paper examines the adequacy of causal graph theory as a tool for modeling biological phenomena and formalizing biological explanations. I point out that the causal graph approach reaches it limits when it comes to modeling biological phenomena that involve complex spatial and structural relations. Using a case study from molecular biology, DNA-binding and -recognition of proteins, I argue that causal graph models fail to adequately represent and explain causal phenomena in this field. The inadequacy of these models is due (...)
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  13. added 2016-06-27
    Revamping Molecular Biology for the Twentieth First Century, or Putting Back the Theoretical Horse Ahead of the Technological Cart.Armando Aranda-Anzaldo - 2010 - Ludus Vitalis 18 (33):267-270.
    Molecular biology is a relatively new and very successful branch of science but currently it faces challenges posed by very complex issues that cannot be addressed by a traditional reductionist approach. However, despite its origins in the providential shift of some theoretical physicists to biology, currently molecular biology is immersed in a blind trend in which high-throughput technology, able to generate trillions of data, is becoming the leading edge of a discipline that has traded rational and critical thinking for computer (...)
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  14. added 2016-02-29
    Production of Mutants of Tobacco Mosaic Virus by Chemical Alteration of its Nucleic Acid in Vitro.Alfred Gierer & K. W. Mundry - 1958 - Nature 182:1457-1458.
    The generation of viral mutants in vitro was demonstrated by treatment of the isolated RNA of Tobacco Mosaic Virus by nitrous acid. This agent causes deaminations converting cytosine into uracil, and adenine into hypoxanthine. Our assay for mutagenesis was the production of local lesions on a tobacco variety on which the untreated strain produces systemic infections only. A variety of different mutants are generated in this way. Quantitative analysis of the kinetics of mutagenesis leads to the conclusion that alteration of (...)
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  15. added 2015-12-01
    Reduction in the Biomedical Sciences.Holly Andersen - 2016 - In Miriam Solomon, Jeremy Simon & Harold Kincaid (eds.), Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Medicine. Routledge.
    This chapter discusses several kinds of reduction that are often found in the biomedical sciences, in contrast to reduction in fields such as physics. This includes reduction as a methodological assumption for how to investigate phenomena like complex diseases, and reduction as a conceptual tool for relating distinct models of the same phenomenon. The case of Parkinson’s disease illustrates a wide variety of ways in which reductionism is an important tool in medicine.
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  16. added 2015-05-06
    Distinguishing Ecological From Evolutionary Approaches to Transposable Elements.Stefan Linquist, Brent Saylor, Karl Cottenie, Tyler A. Elliott, Stefan C. Kremer & T. Ryan Gregory - 2013 - Biological Reviews 88 (3):573- 584.
    Considerable variation exists not only in the kinds of transposable elements (TEs) occurring within the genomes of different species, but also in their abundance and distribution. Noting a similarity to the assortment of organisms among ecosystems, some researchers have called for an ecological approach to the study of transposon dynamics. However, there are several ways to adopt such an approach, and it is sometimes unclear what an ecological perspective will add to the existing co-evolutionary framework for explaining transposon-host interactions. This (...)
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  17. added 2015-03-22
    Back to the Future: Aristotle and Molecular Biology.Armando Aranda Anzaldo - 2007 - Ludus Vitalis 15 (28):195-198.
    The Aristotelian axiom that function follows form was beautifully instantiated in molecular biology by the discovery of DNA’s structure that immediately suggested how DNA might work as depository and vehicle for genetic information. However, later on molecular biology became infatuated with the gene that became the center of the universe. This gene-centered viewpoint is an obstacle for the emerging field of evo-devo aiming at finding the causal connections between evolution and biological development. Here it is argued that molecular biology must (...)
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  18. added 2015-01-03
    The Philosophy of Stem Cells: Melinda Bonnie Fagan: Philosophy of Stem Cell Biology: Knowledge in Flesh and Blood. Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013, Xx+274pp, £66.00 HB. [REVIEW]Stavros Ioannidis - 2015 - Metascience 24 (2):285-288.
    Melinda Fagan’s book on the philosophy of stem cell biology is a superb discussion of this exciting field of contemporary science, and the first book-length philosophical treatment of the subject. It contains a detailed and insightful examination of stem cell science, its structure, methods, and challenges.The book does not require any previous knowledge of stem cell biology—all the relevant scientific details and concepts, the central experimental procedures and results, as well as the historical development of the field, are presented in (...)
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  19. added 2014-04-07
    Biochemical Kinds.Jordan Bartol - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science (2):axu046.
    Chemical kinds (e.g. gold) are generally treated as having timelessly fixed identities. Biological kinds (e.g. goldfinches) are generally treated as evolved and/or evolving entities. So what kind of kind is a biochemical kind? This paper defends the thesis that biochemical molecules are clustered chemical kinds, some of which–namely, evolutionarily conserved units–are also biological kinds.On this thesis, a number of difficulties that have recently occupied philosophers concerned with proteins and kinds are shown to be resolved or dissolved.
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  20. added 2012-10-08
    Neutralism.Anya Plutynski - 2004 - In Christopher Stephens & Mohan Matthen (eds.), Elsevier Handbook in Philosophy of Biology. Elsevier.
    In 1968, Motoo Kimura submitted a note to Nature entitled “Evolutionary Rate at the Molecular Level,” in which he proposed what has since become known as the neutral theory of molecular evolution. This is the view that the majority of evolutionary changes at the molecular level are caused by random drift of selectively neutral or nearly neutral alleles. Kimura was not proposing that random drift explains all evolutionary change. He does not challenge the view that natural selection explains adaptive evolution, (...)
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  21. added 2012-08-18
    The Central Dogma as a Thesis of Causal Specificity.Marcel Weber - 2006 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 28 (4):595-610.
    I present a reconstruction of F.H.C. Crick's two 1957 hypotheses "Sequence Hypothesis" and "Central Dogma" in terms of a contemporary philosophical theory of causation. Analyzing in particular the experimental evidence that Crick cited, I argue that these hypotheses can be understood as claims about the actual difference-making cause in protein synthesis. As these hypotheses are only true if restricted to certain nucleic acids in certain organisms, I then examine the concept of causal specificity and its potential to counter claims about (...)
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  22. added 2012-03-08
    Object Spaces: An Organizing Strategy for Biological Theorizing.Beckett Sterner - 2009 - Biological Theory 4 (3):280-286.
    A classic analytic approach to biological phenomena seeks to refine definitions until classes are sufficiently homogenous to support prediction and explanation, but this approach founders on cases where a single process produces objects with similar forms but heterogeneous behaviors. I introduce object spaces as a tool to tackle this challenging diversity of biological objects in terms of causal processes with well-defined formal properties. Object spaces have three primary components: (1) a combinatorial biological process such as protein synthesis that generates objects (...)
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  23. added 2012-01-15
    Information in Biology: A Fictionalist Account.Arnon Levy - 2011 - Noûs 45 (4):640-657.
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  24. added 2009-06-11
    Apparency and Actuality.Marvin Kirsh - manuscript
    Apparency and actuality are discussed with respect to science, genetics, evolution, cognition and perception. Rules for a (sub)set of actual/allowable sets of entities and objects from a total set that is based on differences and contrasts extracted from perceptual experience of the world elucidate tenable combinations/recombinations from a total of the transparent(history/past dependant) and the apparent as they can be construed to comprise the actual/real faces of perception. The elements of dreams, language, symbolisms, abstractions are proposed to encompass to encompass (...)
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