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  1. Ontology and Values Anchor Indigenous and Grey Nomenclatures: A Case Study in Lichen Naming Practices Among the Samí, Sherpa, Scots, and Okanagan.Catherine Kendig - forthcoming - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences:101340.
    Ethnobotanical research provides ample justification for comparing diverse biological nomenclatures and exploring ways that retain alternative naming practices. However, how (and whether) comparison of nomenclatures is possible remains a subject of discussion. The comparison of diverse nomenclatural practices introduces a suite of epistemic and ontological difficulties and considerations. Different nomenclatures may depend on whether the communities using them rely on formalized naming conventions; cultural or spiritual valuations; or worldviews. Because of this, some argue that the different naming practices may not (...)
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  2. Unifying the Essential Concepts of Biological Networks: Biological Insights and Philosophical Foundations.Daniel Kostic, Claus Hilgetag & Marc Tittgemeyer - forthcoming - Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.
    Over the last decades, network-based approaches have become highly popular in diverse fields of biology, including neuroscience, ecology, molecular biology and genetics. While these approaches continue to grow very rapidly, some of their conceptual and methodological aspects still require a programmatic foundation. This challenge particularly concerns the question of whether a generalized account of explanatory, organisational and descriptive levels of networks can be applied universally across biological sciences. To this end, this highly interdisciplinary theme issue focuses on the definition, motivation (...)
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  3. Structural Powers and the Homeodynamic Unity of Organisms.Christopher J. Austin & Anna Marmodoro - 2017 - In William M. R. Simpson, Robert C. Koons & Nicholas J. Teh (eds.), Neo-Aristotelian Perspectives on Contemporary Science. Routledge. pp. 169-184.
    Although they are continually compositionally reconstituted and reconfigured, organisms nonetheless persist as ontologically unified beings over time – but in virtue of what? A common answer is: in virtue of their continued possession of the capacity for morphological invariance which persists through, and in spite of, their mereological alteration. While we acknowledge that organisms‟ capacity for the “stability of form” – homeostasis - is an important aspect of their diachronic unity, we argue that this capacity is derived from, and grounded (...)
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  4. A Biologically Informed Hylomorphism.Christopher J. Austin - 2017 - In William M. R. Simpson, Robert C. Koons & Nicholas J. Teh (eds.), Neo-Aristotelian Perspectives on Contemporary Science. Routledge. pp. 185-210.
    Although contemporary metaphysics has recently undergone a neo-Aristotelian revival wherein dispositions, or capacities are now commonplace in empirically grounded ontologies, being routinely utilised in theories of causality and modality, a central Aristotelian concept has yet to be given serious attention – the doctrine of hylomorphism. The reason for this is clear: while the Aristotelian ontological distinction between actuality and potentiality has proven to be a fruitful conceptual framework with which to model the operation of the natural world, the distinction between (...)
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  5. “Man-Machines and Embodiment: From Cartesian Physiology to Claude Bernard’s ‘Living Machine’”.Charles T. Wolfe & Philippe Huneman - forthcoming - In Justin E. H. Smith (ed.), Embodiment, Oxford Philosophical Concepts. Oxford University Press.
    A common and enduring early modern intuition is that materialists reduce organisms in general and human beings in particular to automata. Wasn’t a famous book of the time entitled L’Homme-Machine? In fact, the machine is employed as an analogy, and there was a specifically materialist form of embodiment, in which the body is not reduced to an inanimate machine, but is conceived as an affective, flesh-and-blood entity. We discuss how mechanist and vitalist models of organism exist in a more complementary (...)
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  6. The Multiple Realizability of Biological Individuals.Ellen Clarke - 2013 - Journal of Philosophy 110 (8):413-435.
    Biological theory demands a clear organism concept, but at present biologists cannot agree on one. They know that counting particular units, and not counting others, allows them to generate explanatory and predictive descriptions of evolutionary processes. Yet they lack a unified theory telling them which units to count. In this paper, I offer a novel account of biological individuality, which reconciles conflicting definitions of ‘organism’ by interpreting them as describing alternative realisers of a common functional role, and then defines individual (...)
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  7. Ontologies of Cellular Networks. Arp - 2008 - Science Signalling 1 (50):1-3.
    As part of a series of workshops on different aspects of biomedical ontology sponsored by the National Center for Biomedical Ontology (NCBO), a workshop titled "Ontologies of Cellular Networks" took place in Newark, New Jersey, on 27 to 28 March 2008. This workshop included more than 30 participants from various backgrounds in biomedicine and bioinformatics. The goal of the workshop was to provide an introduction to the basic tools and methods of ontology, as well as to enhance coordination between groups (...)
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  8. Well-Structured Biology: Numerical Taxonomy's Epistemic Vision for Systematics.Beckett Sterner - 2014 - In Andrew Hamilton (ed.), The Evolution of Phylogenetic Systematics. University of California Press. pp. 213-244.
    What does it look like when a group of scientists set out to re-envision an entire field of biology in symbolic and formal terms? I analyze the founding and articulation of Numerical Taxonomy between 1950 and 1970, the period when it set out a radical new approach to classification and founded a tradition of mathematics in systematic biology. I argue that introducing mathematics in a comprehensive way also requires re-organizing the daily work of scientists in the field. Numerical taxonomists sought (...)
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  9. Philosophie und biomedizinische Forschung.Barry Smith & Bert R. E. Klagges - 2005 - Allgemeine Zeitschrift für Philosophie 30 (1):5–26.
    Die bahnbrechenden wissenschaftlichen Ergebnisse der letzten Jahre erzwingen eine neue philosophische Auseinandersetzung mit den Grundkategorien der Biologie und der benachbarten Disziplinen. Insbesondere die Anwendung neuer informationstechnischer Mittel in der biomedizinischen Forschung und die damit verbundene, kontinuierlich zunehmende Datenflut sowie die Notwendigkeit, ihrer Herr zu werden, erfordern ein konsequentes Nachdenken darüber, wie biologische Daten systematisiert und klassifiziert werden können. Dafür wiederum bedarf es robuster Theorien von Grundbegriffen wie Art, Spezies, Teil, Ganzes, Funktion, Prozess, Fragment, Sequenz, Expression, Grenze, Locus, Umwelt, System usw. (...)
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  10. Bodily Systems and the Spatial-Functional Structure of the Human Body.Barry Smith - 2004 - Studies in Health and Technology Informatics 102:39–63.
    The human body is a system made of systems. The body is divided into bodily systems proper, such as the endocrine and circulatory systems, which are subdivided into many sub-systems at a variety of levels, whereby all systems and subsystems engage in massive causal interaction with each other and with their surrounding environments. Here we offer an explicit definition of bodily system and provide a framework for understanding their causal interactions. Medical sciences provide at best informal accounts of basic notions (...)
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  11. Plant Individuality: A Solution to the Demographer’s Dilemma.Ellen Clarke - 2012 - Biology and Philosophy 27 (3):321-361.
    The problem of plant individuality is something which has vexed botanists throughout the ages, with fashion swinging back and forth from treating plants as communities of individuals (Darwin 1800 ; Braun and Stone 1853 ; Münch 1938 ) to treating them as organisms in their own right, and although the latter view has dominated mainstream thought most recently (Harper 1977 ; Cook 1985 ; Ariew and Lewontin 2004 ), a lively debate conducted mostly in Scandinavian journals proves that the issues (...)
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  12. Functional Anatomy: A Taxonomic Proposal.Ingvar Johansson, Barry Smith, Katherine Munn, Nikoloz Tsikolia, Kathleen Elsner, Dominikus Ernst & Dirk Siebert - 2005 - Acta Biotheoretica 53 (3):153-166.
    It is argued that medical science requires a classificatory system that (a) puts functions in the taxonomic center and (b) does justice ontologically to the difference between the processes which are the realizations of functions and the objects which are their bearers. We propose formulae for constructing such a system and describe some of its benefits. The arguments are general enough to be of interest to all the life sciences.
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  13. Seeing the Forst for the Trees. [REVIEW]Anya Plutynski - 2004 - Biology and Philosophy 19 (2):299-303.
    Roderic Page’s new book, Tangled Trees: Phylogeny, Cospeciation and Coevolution (2003), is a worthwhile read for anyone interested in either methodological issues in systematics, or how organisms shape one another’s selective environments. “Cospeciation,” for the uninitiated, is the concurrent speciation of two or more lineages that are ecologically associated (e.g. host-parasite associations, as well as mutualistic or symbiotic associations). “Coevolution,” in contrast, is the reciprocal adaptation of hosts and parasite taxa. The main focus of Page’s book is thus when, how (...)
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Homology
  1. Note on the Individuation of Biological Traits.Mihnea D. I. Capraru - 2018 - Journal of Philosophy 115 (4):215-221.
    Bence Nanay has argued that we must abandon the etiological theory of teleological function because this theory explains functions and functional categories in a circular manner. Paul Griffiths argued earlier that we should retain the etiological theory and instead prevent the circularity by making etiologies independent of functional categories. Karen Neander and Alex Rosenberg reply to Nanay similarly, and argue that we should analyze functions in terms of natural selection acting not on functional categories, but merely on lineages. Nanay replies (...)
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  2. Angry Rats and Scaredy Cats: Lessons From Competing Cognitive Homologies.Isaac Wiegman - 2016 - Biological Theory 11 (4):224-240.
    There have been several recent attempts to think about psychological kinds as homologies. Nevertheless, there are serious epistemic challenges for individuating homologous psychological kinds, or cognitive homologies. Some of these challenges are revealed when we look at competing claims of cognitive homology. This paper considers two competing homology claims that compare human anger with putative aggression systems of nonhuman animals. The competition between these hypotheses has been difficult to resolve in part because of what I call the boundary problem: boundaries (...)
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  3. A Modal Theory of Function.Bence Nanay - 2010 - Journal of Philosophy 107 (8):412-431.
    The function of a trait token is usually defined in terms of some properties of other (past, present, future) tokens of the same trait type. I argue that this strategy is problematic, as trait types are (at least partly) individuated by their functional properties, which would lead to circularity. In order to avoid this problem, I suggest a way to define the function of a trait token in terms of the properties of the very same trait token. To able to (...)
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  4. Homologizing as Kinding.Catherine Kendig - 2016 - In C. Kendig (ed.), Natural Kinds and Classification in Scientific Practice. Routledge.
    Homology is a natural kind concept, but one that has been notoriously elusive to pin down. There has been sustained debate over the nature of correspondence and the units of comparison. But this continued debate over its meaning has focused on defining homology rather than on its use in practice. The aim of this chapter is to concentrate on the practices of homologizing. I define “homologizing” to be a concept-in-use. Practices of homologizing are kinds of rule following, the satisfaction of (...)
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  5. CARO: The Common Anatomy Reference Ontology.Melissa Haendel, Fabian Neuhaus, David Osumi-Sutherland, Paula M. Mabee, José L. V. Mejino Jr, Chris J. Mungall & Barry Smith - 2008 - In Anatomy Ontologies for Bioinformatics: Principles and Practice. Springer. pp. 327-349.
    The Common Anatomy Reference Ontology (CARO) is being developed to facilitate interoperability between existing anatomy ontologies for different species, and will provide a template for building new anatomy ontologies. CARO has a structural axis of classification based on the top-level nodes of the Foundational Model of Anatomy. CARO will complement the developmental process sub-ontology of the GO Biological Process ontology, using it to ensure the coherent treatment of developmental stages, and to provide a common framework for the model organism communities (...)
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  6. Sameness in Biology.Grant Ramsey & Anne Siebels Peterson - 2012 - Philosophy of Science 79 (2):255-275.
    Homology is a biological sameness relation that is purported to hold in the face of changes in form, composition, and function. In spite of the centrality and importance of homology, there is no consensus on how we should understand this concept. The two leading views of homology, the genealogical and developmental accounts, have significant shortcomings. We propose a new account, the hierarchical-dependency account of homology, which avoids these shortcomings. Furthermore, our account provides for continuity between special, general, and serial homology.
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  7. What is a Hand? What is a Mind?Mohan Matthen - 2000 - Revue Internationale de Philosophie (214):653-672.
    Argues that biological organs, including mental capacities, should be identified by homology (not function).
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  8. Editorial: Systematics, Darwinism, and the Philosophy of Science.Francisco Vergara-Silva & Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther - 2009 - Acta Biotheoretica 57 (1-2):1-3.
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Biological Natural Kinds
  1. Understanding Scientific Types: Holotypes, Stratotypes, and Measurement Prototypes.Alisa Bokulich - forthcoming - Biology and Philosophy.
    At the intersection of taxonomy and nomenclature lies the scientific practice of typification. This practice occurs in biology with the use of holotypes (type specimens), in geology with the use of stratotypes, and in metrology with the use of measurement prototypes. In this paper I develop the first general definition of a scientific type and outline a new philosophical theory of types inspired by Pierre Duhem. I use this general framework to resolve the necessity-contingency debate about type specimens in philosophy (...)
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  2. The New Ledoux: Survival Circuits and the Surplus Meaning of ‘Fear’.Raamy Majeed - 2020 - Philosophical Quarterly 70 (281):809-829.
    ABSTRACT LeDoux's pioneering work on the neurobiology of fear has played a crucial role in informing debates in the philosophy of emotion. For example, it plays a key part in Griffiths’ argument for why emotions don’t form a natural kind. Likewise, it is employed by Faucher and Tappolet to defend pro-emotion views, which claim that emotions aid reasoning. LeDoux, however, now argues that his work has been misread. He argues that using emotion terms, like ‘fear’, to describe neurocognitive data adds (...)
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  3. Searching and Classifying.Vasil Penchev - 2013 - In Vera Gancheva & Elizaria Ruskova (eds.), The XVIII century and Europe. Sofia: Унижерситетско издателство "Св. Климент Охридски". pp. 20-25.
    The text discusses Linnaeus’ binominal classification and the idea of mathesis unversalis of Leibniz in the ground of Michel Foucault’s conception of ‘epistema’ as well the connexion of XVIII century’s representation of universal order with viewpoints of Descartes (Rules for the Direction of the Mind) and Kant (The Critique of Pure Reason, The Critique of (the Power of) Judgment).
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  4. Essential Properties Are Super-Explanatory: Taming Metaphysical Modality.Marion Godman, Antonella Mallozzi & David Papineau - 2020 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association:1-19.
    This paper aims to build a bridge between two areas of philosophical research, the structure of kinds and metaphysical modality. Our central thesis is that kinds typically involve super-explanatory properties, and that these properties are therefore metaphysically essential to natural kinds. Philosophers of science who work on kinds tend to emphasize their complexity, and are generally resistant to any suggestion that they have “essences”. The complexities are real enough, but they should not be allowed to obscure the way that kinds (...)
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  5. Biological Individuals.Robert A. Wilson & Matthew J. Barker - 2019 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 1 (1).
    The impressive variation amongst biological individuals generates many complexities in addressing the simple-sounding question what is a biological individual? A distinction between evolutionary and physiological individuals is useful in thinking about biological individuals, as is attention to the kinds of groups, such as superorganisms and species, that have sometimes been thought of as biological individuals. More fully understanding the conceptual space that biological individuals occupy also involves considering a range of other concepts, such as life, reproduction, and agency. There has (...)
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  6. Etiological Kinds.Muhammad Ali Khalidi - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science.
    Kinds that share historical properties are dubbed “historical kinds” or “etiological kinds” and they have some distinctive features. I will try to characterize etiological kinds in general terms and briefly survey some previous philosophical discussions of these kinds. Then I will take a closer look at a few case studies involving different types of etiological kinds. Finally, I will try to understand the rationale for classifying on the basis of etiology, putting forward reasons for classifying phenomena based on diachronic features, (...)
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  7. The Animal Sexes as Historical Explanatory Kinds.Laura Franklin-Hall - forthcoming - In Shamik Dasgupta & Brad Weslake (eds.), Current Controversies in Philosophy of Science. Routledge.
    Though biologists identify individuals as ‘male’ or ‘female’ across a broad range of animal species, the particular traits exhibited by males and females can vary tremendously. This diversity has led some to conclude that cross-animal sexes (males, or females, of whatever animal species) have “little or no explanatory power” (Dupré 1986: 447) and, thus, are not natural kinds in any traditional sense. This essay will explore considerations for and against this conclusion, ultimately arguing that the animal sexes, properly understood, are (...)
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  8. Scientific Realism with Historical Essences: The Case of Species.Marion Godman - forthcoming - Synthese:1-17.
    Natural kinds, real kinds, or, following J.S Mill simply, Kinds, are thought to be an important asset for scientific realists in the non-fundamental (or “special”) sciences. Essential natures are less in vogue. I show that the realist would do well to couple her Kinds with essential natures in order to strengthen their epistemic and ontological credentials. I argue that these essential natures need not however be intrinsic to the Kind’s members; they may be historical. I concentrate on assessing the merits (...)
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  9. Grounding Knowledge and Normative Valuation in Agent-Based Action and Scientific Commitment.Catherine Elizabeth Kendig - 2018 - In Hauke Riesch, Nathan Emmerich & Steven Wainwright (eds.), Philosophies and Sociologies of Bioethics: Crossing the Divides. Cham, Switzerland: pp. 41-64.
    Philosophical investigation in synthetic biology has focused on the knowledge-seeking questions pursued, the kind of engineering techniques used, and on the ethical impact of the products produced. However, little work has been done to investigate the processes by which these epistemological, metaphysical, and ethical forms of inquiry arise in the course of synthetic biology research. An attempt at this work relying on a particular area of synthetic biology will be the aim of this chapter. I focus on the reengineering of (...)
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  10. Are Emotions Psychological Constructions?Charlie Kurth - 2019 - Philosophy of Science 86.
    According to psychological constructivism, emotions result from projecting folk emotion concepts onto felt affective episodes (e.g., Barrett 2017, LeDoux 2015). Moreover, while constructivists acknowledge there’s a biological dimension to emotion, they deny that emotions are (or involve) affect programs. So they also deny that emotions are natural kinds. However, the essential role constructivism gives to felt experience and folk concepts leads to an account that’s extensionally inadequate and functionally inaccurate. Moreover, biologically-oriented proposals that reject these commitments are not similarly encumbered. (...)
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  11. Where Do You Get Your Protein? Or: Biochemical Realization.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2020 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (3):799-825.
    Biochemical kinds such as proteins pose interesting problems for philosophers of science, as they can be studied from the points of view of both biology and chemistry. The relationship between the biological functions of biochemical kinds and the microstructures that they are related to is the key question. This leads us to a more general discussion about ontological reductionism, microstructuralism, and multiple realization at the biology-chemistry interface. On the face of it, biochemical kinds seem to pose a challenge for ontological (...)
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  12. Scott Lidgard and Lynn K. Nyhart, Eds. Biological Individuality: Integrating Scientific, Philosophical, and Historical Perspectives. [REVIEW]Catherine Kendig - 2018 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 8 (2):475-480.
    Biologists, historians of biology, and philosophers of biology often ask what is it to be an individual, really. This book does not answer that question. Instead, it answers a much more interesting one: How do biologists individuate individuals? In answering that question, the authors explore why biologists individuate individuals, in what ways, and for what purposes. The cross-disciplinary, dialogical approach to answering metaphysical questions that is pursued in the volume may seem strange to metaphysicians who are not biologically focused, but (...)
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  13. Gender as a Historical Kind: A Tale of Two Genders?Marion Godman - 2018 - Biology and Philosophy 33 (3-4):21.
    Is there anything that members of each binary category of gender have in common? Even many non-essentialists find the lack of unity within a gender worrying as it undermines the basis for a common political agenda for women. One promising proposal for achieving unity is by means of a shared historical lineage of cultural reproduction with past binary models of gender. I demonstrate how such an account is likely to take on board different binary and also non-binary systems of gender. (...)
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  14. Natural Kinds.Zdenka Brzović - 2018 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    A large part of our exploration of the world consists in categorizing or classifying the objects and processes we encounter, both in scientific and everyday contexts. There are various, perhaps innumerable, ways to sort objects into different kinds or categories, but it is commonly assumed that, among the countless possible types of classifications, one group is privileged. Philosophy refers to such categories as natural kinds. Standard examples of such kinds include fundamental physical particles, chemical elements, and biological species. The term (...)
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  15. 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 & Education 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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  16. Letting Go of “Natural Kind”: Toward a Multidimensional Framework of Nonarbitrary Classification.David Ludwig - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (1):31-52.
    This article uses the case study of ethnobiological classification to develop a positive and a negative thesis about the state of natural kind debates. On the one hand, I argue that current accounts of natural kinds can be integrated in a multidimensional framework that advances understanding of classificatory practices in ethnobiology. On the other hand, I argue that such a multidimensional framework does not leave any substantial work for the notion “natural kind” and that attempts to formulate a general account (...)
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  17. Malaria Diagnosis and the Plasmodium Life Cycle: The BFO Perspective.Werner Ceusters & Barry Smith - 2010 - In Interdisciplinary Ontology. Proceedings of the Third Interdisciplinary Ontology Meeting. Tokyo: Keio University Press. pp. 25-34.
    Definitive diagnosis of malaria requires the demonstration through laboratory tests of the presence within the patient of malaria parasites or their components. Since malaria parasites can be present even in the absence of malaria manifestations, and since symptoms of malaria can be manifested even in the absence of malaria parasites, malaria diagnosis raises important issues for the adequate understanding of disease, etiology and diagnosis. One approach to the resolution of these issues adopts a realist view, according to which the needed (...)
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  18. John S. Wilkins and Malte C. Ebach: The Nature of Classification: Relationships and Kinds in the Natural Sciences: Palgrave, Macmillan, 2014, Pp., Vii + 197, Price £60/$100.00.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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  19. Revamping the Metaphysics of Ethnobiological Classification.David Ludwig - 2018 - Current Anthropology 59 (4):415-438.
    Ethnobiology has a long tradition of metaphysical debates about the “naturalness,” “objectivity”, “reality”, and “universality” of classifications. Especially the work of Brent Berlin has been influential in developing a “convergence metaphysics” that explains cross-cultural similarities of knowledge systems through shared recognition of objective discontinuities in nature. Despite its influence on the development of the field, convergence metaphysics has largely fallen out of favor as contemporary ethnobiologists tend to emphasize the locality and diversity of classificatory practices. The aim of this article (...)
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  20. Are Clusters Races? A Discussion of the Rhetorical Appropriation of Rosenberg Et Al.'s “Genetic Structure of Human Populations”.Melissa Wills - 2017 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 9 (12).
    Noah Rosenberg et al.'s 2002 article “Genetic Structure of Human Populations” reported that multivariate genomic analysis of a large cell line panel yielded reproducible groupings (clusters) suggestive of individuals' geographical origins. The paper has been repeatedly cited as evidence that traditional notions of race have a biological basis, a claim its authors do not make. Critics of this misinterpretation have often suggested that it follows from interpreters' personal biases skewing the reception of an objective piece of scientific writing. I contend, (...)
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  21. Stem Cell Lineages: Between Cell and Organism.Melinda Bonnie Fagan - 2017 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 9 (6).
    Ontologies of living things are increasingly grounded on the concepts and practices of current life science. Biological development is a process, undergone by living things, which begins with a single cell and (in an important class of cases) ends with formation of a multicellular organism. The process of development is thus prima facie central for ideas about biological individuality and organismality. However, recent accounts of these concepts do not engage developmental biology. This paper aims to fill the gap, proposing the (...)
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  22. The Species Problem: A Philosophical Analysis, by Richard Richards.: Book Reviews. [REVIEW]Makmiller Pedroso - 2013 - Mind 122 (488):1180-1182.
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  23. The Individuality Thesis (3 Ways).Matthew Haber - 2016 - Biology and Philosophy 31 (6):913-930.
    I spell out and update the individuality thesis, that species are individuals, and not classes, sets, or kinds. I offer three complementary presentations of this thesis. First, as a way of resolving an inconsistent triad about natural kinds; second, as a phylogenetic systematics theoretical perspective; and, finally, as a novel recursive account of an evolved character. These approaches do different sorts of work, serving different interests. Presenting them together produces a taxonomy of the debates over the thesis, and isolates ways (...)
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  24. Angry Rats and Scaredy Cats: Lessons From Competing Cognitive Homologies.Isaac Wiegman - 2016 - Biological Theory 11 (4):224-240.
    There have been several recent attempts to think about psychological kinds as homologies. Nevertheless, there are serious epistemic challenges for individuating homologous psychological kinds, or cognitive homologies. Some of these challenges are revealed when we look at competing claims of cognitive homology. This paper considers two competing homology claims that compare human anger with putative aggression systems of nonhuman animals. The competition between these hypotheses has been difficult to resolve in part because of what I call the boundary problem: boundaries (...)
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  25. Aristotelian Essentialism: Essence in the Age of Evolution.Christopher Austin - 2017 - Synthese 194 (7):2539-2556.
    The advent of contemporary evolutionary theory ushered in the eventual decline of Aristotelian Essentialism (Æ) – for it is widely assumed that essence does not, and cannot have any proper place in the age of evolution. This paper argues that this assumption is a mistake: if Æ can be suitably evolved, it need not face extinction. In it, I claim that if that theory’s fundamental ontology consists of dispositional properties, and if its characteristic metaphysical machinery is interpreted within the framework (...)
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  26. Homologizing as Kinding.Catherine Kendig - 2016 - In C. Kendig (ed.), Natural Kinds and Classification in Scientific Practice. Routledge.
    Homology is a natural kind concept, but one that has been notoriously elusive to pin down. There has been sustained debate over the nature of correspondence and the units of comparison. But this continued debate over its meaning has focused on defining homology rather than on its use in practice. The aim of this chapter is to concentrate on the practices of homologizing. I define “homologizing” to be a concept-in-use. Practices of homologizing are kinds of rule following, the satisfaction of (...)
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  27. 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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  28. Ontological Choices and the Value-Free Ideal.David Ludwig - 2015 - Erkenntnis (6):1-20.
    The aim of this article is to argue that ontological choices in scientific practice undermine common formulations of the value-free ideal in science. First, I argue that the truth values of scientific statements depend on ontological choices. For example, statements about entities such as species, race, memory, intelligence, depression, or obesity are true or false relative to the choice of a biological, psychological, or medical ontology. Second, I show that ontological choices often depend on non-epistemic values. On the basis of (...)
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  29. Natural Kindness.Matthew Slater - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (2):375-411.
    Philosophers have long been interested in a series of interrelated questions about natural kinds. What are they? What role do they play in science and metaphysics? How do they contribute to our epistemic projects? What categories count as natural kinds? And so on. Owing, perhaps, to different starting points and emphases, we now have at hand a variety of conceptions of natural kinds—some apparently better suited than others to accommodate a particular sort of inquiry. Even if coherent, this situation isn’t (...)
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