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  1. Teleosemantics and the free energy principle.Stephen Francis Mann & Ross Pain - 2022 - Biology and Philosophy 37 (4):1-25.
    The free energy principle is notoriously difficult to understand. In this paper, we relate the principle to a framework that philosophers of biology are familiar with: Ruth Millikan’s teleosemantics. We argue that: systems that minimise free energy are systems with a proper function; and Karl Friston’s notion of implicit modelling can be understood in terms of Millikan’s notion of mapping relations. Our analysis reveals some surprising formal similarities between the two frameworks, and suggests interesting lines of future research. We hope (...)
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  2. Against the generalised theory of function.Harriet Fagerberg - 2022 - Biology and Philosophy 37 (4):1-25.
    Justin Garson has recently advanced a Generalised Selected Effects Theory of biological proper function. According to Garson, his theory spells trouble for the Dysfunction Account of Disorder. This paper argues that Garson’s critique of the Dysfunction Account from the Generalised Theory fails, and that we should reject the Generalised Theory outright. I first show that the Generalised Theory does not, as Garson asserts, imply that neurally selected disorders are not dysfunctional. Rather, it implies that they are both functional and dysfunctional. (...)
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  3. Teleological Essentialism Across Development.Rose David, Sara Jaramillo, Shaun Nichols & Zachary Horne - forthcoming - Proceedings of the 44th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society.
    Do young children have a teleological conception of the essence of natural kinds? We tested this by examining how the preservation or alteration of an animal’s purpose affected children’s persistence judgments (N = 40, ages 4 - 12, Mean Age = 7.04, 61% female). We found that even when surface-level features of an animal (e.g., a bee) were preserved, if the entity’s purpose changed (e.g., the bee now spins webs), children were more likely to categorize the entity as a member (...)
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  4. Purpose is Dead, Long Live Purpose! [REVIEW]Hugh Desmond - 2022 - Science & Education 31 (2):551-554.
    Thinking in terms of purposes is inevitable in daily life. We make to-do lists and we go to the store “in order to” stock up on necessities. We enroll in education and training courses, buy or rent property, and commit to a romantic partner. Our religions, albeit controversially, identify “ultimate purposes.” Purpose thinking seems deeply engrained in our cognition. Even so, purpose thinking has never sat easily with post-Cartesian modern science. When the world is modeled as a structure of efficient (...)
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  5. Natural Goodness Without Natural History.Parisa Moosavi - 2022 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research:78-100.
    Neo‐Aristotelian ethical naturalism purports to show that moral evaluation of human action and character is an evaluation of natural goodness—a kind of evaluation that applies to living things in virtue of their nature and based on their form of life. The standard neo‐Aristotelian view defines natural goodness by way of generic statements describing the natural history, or the ‘characteristic’ life, of a species. In this paper, I argue that this conception of natural goodness commits the neo‐Aristotelian view to a problematic (...)
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  6. Sensing Qualia.Paul Skokowski - 2022 - Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience 16:1-16.
    Accounting for qualia in the natural world is a difficult business, and it is worth understanding why. A close examination of several theories of mind—Behaviorism, Identity Theory, Functionalism, and Integrated Information Theory—will be discussed, revealing shortcomings for these theories in explaining the contents of conscious experience: qualia. It will be argued that in order to overcome the main difficulty of these theories the senses should be interpreted as physical detectors. A new theory, Grounded Functionalism, will be proposed, which retains multiple (...)
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  7. Vedantic Conception of the Origin of Life.Bhakti Madhava Puri - 2010 - The Harmonizer.
    The first hint of how to begin our inquiry is given in the second aphorism of Vedanta-sutra. Janmadasya yatah. Janma means birth, and asya refers to all that has been created from Brahman or the original source - which is spirit. Brahman means Spirit or God. It is not a matter of merely knowing what is immediately present before us. We want to know where it all comes from. This is actually very practical if we want to properly understand anything. (...)
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  8. Organic Whole.Bhakti Madhava Puri - 2009 - Darwin Under Siege.
    There is a nested hierarchy of wholes that characterizes reality, and especially life. The most fundamental principle is that Reality in the Vedantic/Bhagavat conception is based on Personality, as mentioned in the very first aphorism of the Bhagavat Purana, “janmady asya yatho nvayat itaratas charteshu abhijnah svarat.” Here and in many other scriptures the foundation or origin of everything is centered upon the abhijna or cognizant (conscious) primordial Personality of Godhead. Modern science in the West has become centered on matter (...)
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  9. Do We Have a Theory of Evolution?Bhakti Madhava Puri - 2009 - Darwin Under Siege.
    The neo-Darwinian theory of genetic random mutation and Natural Selection, does nothing to explain speciation. Thus, what has been called "natural selection" has come under much scrutiny and critique in recent times. The problem is that natural selection requires the existence of a stable array of species from which selection can be made. So natural selection does not perform the speciation, only the selection after speciation has occurred. The activity of creating new species must therefore lie in the random mutations (...)
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  10. SCIENCE AND SCIENTIST - A Comprehensive Worldview.Bhakti Madhava Puri - 2009 - Darwin Under Siege.
    The Western world has led the development of material science for over 200 years. But they have reached an impasse in confronting the problem of consciousness. Scientific knowledge requires a scientist, but regarding knowledge concerning the scientist, they must remain silent. India has always emphasized knowledge of the conscious self or atma. Vedanta-sutra begins with the aphorism “athatho brahma jijnasa” – now, therefore, inquire about brahma (pure consciousness). Even in the West, the Greek philosopher Socrates stated, “Above all else know (...)
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  11. The Logic of Life.Bhakti Madhava Puri - 2008 - Science and Scientist.
    Modern science generally assumes that the same laws of logic apply to mechanical, chemical and biological entities alike because they are all ultimately material objects. This may seem to be so obvious that there would be no need to validate it -- experimentally or logically. In this article we would like to critically examine this assumption and show that from an experiential/observational level, as well as from a rational/logical level, it is not valid. This becomes apparent, for instance, when we (...)
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  12. Vitalism and Cognition in a Conscious Universe.Marco Masi - 2022 - Communicative and Integrative Biology 15 (1).
    According to the current scientific paradigm, what we call ‘life’, ‘mind’, and ‘consciousness’ are considered epiphenomenal occurrences, or emergent properties or functions of matter and energy. Science does not associate these with an inherent and distinct existence beyond a materialistic/energetic conception. ‘Life’ is a word pointing at cellular and multicellular processes forming organisms capable of specific functions and skills. ‘Mind’ is a cognitive ability emerging from a matrix of complex interactions of neuronal processes, while ‘consciousness’ is an even more elusive (...)
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  13. Edmond Goblot’s (1858–1935) Selected Effects Theory of Function: A Reappraisal.Justin Garson - 2021 - Philosophy of Science 88 (5):1210-1220.
    At the beginning of the twentieth century, the French philosopher of science Edmond Goblot wrote three prescient papers on function and teleology. He advanced the remarkable thesis that functions are, as a matter of conceptual analysis, selected effects. He also argued that “selection” must be understood broadly to include both evolutionary natural selection and intelligent design. Here, I do three things. First, I give an overview of Goblot’s thought. Second, I identify his core thesis about function. Third, I argue that, (...)
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  14. Are Biological Traits Explained by Their 'Selected Effect' Functions?Joshua R. Christie, Carl Brusse, Pierrick Bourrat, Peter Takacs & Paul Edmund Griffiths - forthcoming - Australasian Philosophical Review.
    The selected effects or ‘etiological’ theory of Proper function is a naturalistic and realist account of biological teleology. It is used to analyse normativity in philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, philosophy of medicine and elsewhere. The theory has been developed with a simple and intuitive view of natural selection. Traits are selected because of their positive effects on the fitness of the organisms that have them. These ‘selected effects’ are the Proper functions of the traits. Proponents argue that this (...)
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  15. Communication Before Communicative Intention.Josh Armstrong - forthcoming - Noûs.
    This paper explores the significance of intelligent social behavior among non-human animals for philosophical theories of communication. Using the alarm call system of vervet monkeys as a case study, I argue that interpersonal communication (or what I call “minded communication”) can and does take place in the absence of the production and recognition of communicative intentions. More generally, I argue that evolutionary theory provides good reasons for maintaining that minded communication is both temporally and explanatorily prior to the use of (...)
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  16. Code Biology and the Problem of Emergence.Arran Gare - 2021 - Biosystems 208.
    It should now be recognized that codes are central to life and to understanding its more complex forms, including human culture. Recognizing the ‘conventional’ nature of codes provides solid grounds for rejecting efforts to reduce life to biochemistry and justifies according a place to semantics in life. The question I want to consider is whether this is enough. Focussing on Eigen’s paradox of how a complex code could originate, I will argue that along with Barbieri’s efforts to account for the (...)
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  17. Philosophy of Psychiatry.Jonathan Y. Tsou - 2021 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    Jonathan Y. Tsou examines and defends positions on central issues in philosophy of psychiatry. The positions defended assume a naturalistic and realist perspective and are framed against skeptical perspectives on biological psychiatry. Issues addressed include the reality of mental disorders; mechanistic and disease explanations of abnormal behavior; definitions of mental disorder; natural and artificial kinds in psychiatry; biological essentialism and the projectability of psychiatric categories; looping effects and the stability of mental disorders; psychiatric classification; and the validity of the DSM's (...)
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  18. Ageing and the Goal of Evolution.Justin Garson - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (1):1-16.
    There is a certain metaphor that has enjoyed tremendous longevity in the evolution of ageing literature. According to this metaphor, nature has a certain goal or purpose, the perpetuation of the species, or, alternatively, the reproductive success of the individual. In relation to this goal, the individual organism has a function, job, or task, namely, to breed and, in some species, to raise its brood to maturity. On this picture, those who cannot, or can no longer, reproduce are somehow invisible (...)
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  19. Putting History Back Into Mechanisms.Justin Garson - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Mechanisms, in the prominent biological sense of the term, are historical entities. That is, whether or not something is a mechanism for something depends on its history. Put differently, while your spontaneously-generated molecule-for-molecule double has a heart, and its heart pumps blood around its body, its heart does not have a mechanism for pumping, since it does not have the right history. My argument for this claim is that mechanisms have proper functions; proper functions are historical entities; so, mechanisms are (...)
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  20. Etiological Kinds.Muhammad Ali Khalidi - 2021 - Philosophy of Science 88 (1):1-21.
    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 on the basis of (...)
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  21. The Biosemiotic Implications of 'Bacterial Wisdom'.Felipe-Andres Piedra & Donald R. Frohlich - manuscript
    Eshel Ben-Jacob’s manuscript entitled ‘Bacterial wisdom, Gödel’s theorem and creative genomic webs’ summarizes decades of work demonstrating adaptive mutagenesis in bacterial genomes. Bacterial genomes, each an essential part of a Kantian whole that is a single bacterium, are thus not independent of the environment as sensed; and a single bacterium is therefore a semiotic entity. Ben-Jacob suggests this but errs in 1) assigning autonomy to the genome, and 2) analogizing through computation without making clear whether he is doing so for (...)
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  22. When Bioscience Meets Philosophy: Major Issues in the Philosophy of Biology.Sun Kyeong Yu - 2011 - Philosophy and Reality 91:99-110.
    CONTENT 1. Misconceptions of Darwin's Theory of Evolution 2. Darwinism against Essentialism and the Concept of Species 3. Function and Biological Explanation 4. The Gene 목차 1. 다윈의 진화론에 대한 오해들 2. 본질주의에 대한 진화론의 반대와 종(Species)의 개념 3. 기능(function)과 생명과학적 설명 4. 유전자 맺음말.
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  23. The Function of Pain.Laurenz C. Casser - 2021 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 99 (2):364-378.
    Various prominent theories of pain assume that it is pain’s biological function to inform organisms about damage to their bodies. I argue that this is a mistake. First, there is no biological evidence to support the notion that pain was originally selected for its informative capacities, nor that it currently contributes to the fitness of organisms in this specific capacity. Second, neurological evidence indicates that modulating mechanisms in the nociceptive system systematically prevent pain from serving a primarily informative role. These (...)
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  24. Collectivized Intellectualism.Julia Jael Smith & Benjamin Wald - 2019 - Res Philosophica 96 (2):199-227.
    We argue that the evolutionary function of reasoning is to allow us to secure more accurate beliefs and more effective intentions through collective deliberation. This sets our view apart both from traditional intellectualist accounts, which take the evolutionary function to be individual deliberation, and from interactionist accounts such as the one proposed by Mercier and Sperber, which agrees that the function of reasoning is collective but holds that it aims to disseminate, rather than come up with, accurate beliefs. We argue (...)
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  25. Teleology in Jewish Philosophy: Early Talmudists Till Spinoza.Yitzhak Melamed - 2020 - In Jeffrey McDonough (ed.), Teleology: A History. New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 123-149.
    Medieval and early modern Jewish philosophers developed their thinking in conversation with various bodies of literature. The influence of ancient Greek – primarily Aristotle (and pseudo-Aristotle) – and Arabic sources was fundamental for the very constitution of medieval Jewish philosophical discourse. Toward the late Middle Ages Jewish philosophers also established a critical dialogue with Christian scholastics. Next to these philosophical corpora, Jewish philosophers drew significantly upon Rabbinic sources (Talmud and the numerous Midrashim) and the Hebrew Bible. In order to clarify (...)
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  26. Neo-Aristotelian Naturalism and the Evolutionary Objection: Rethinking the Relevance of Empirical Science.Parisa Moosavi - 2018 - In John Hacker-Wright (ed.), Philippa Foot on Goodness and Virtue. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 277-307.
    Neo-Aristotelian metaethical naturalism is a modern attempt at naturalizing ethics using ideas from Aristotle’s teleological metaphysics. Proponents of this view argue that moral virtue in human beings is an instance of natural goodness, a kind of goodness supposedly also found in the realm of non-human living things. Many critics question whether neo-Aristotelian naturalism is tenable in light of modern evolutionary biology. Two influential lines of objection have appealed to an evolutionary understanding of human nature and natural teleology to argue against (...)
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  27. There Are No Ahistorical Theories of Function.Justin Garson - 2019 - Philosophy of Science 86 (5):1146-1156.
    Theories of function are conventionally divided up into historical and ahistorical ones. Proponents of ahistorical theories often cite the ahistoricity of their accounts as a major virtue. Here, I argue that none of the mainstream “ahistorical” accounts are actually ahistorical. All of them embed, implicitly or explicitly, an appeal to history. In Boorse’s goal-contribution account, history is latent in the idea of statistical-typicality. In the propensity theory, history is implicit in the idea of a species’ natural habitat. In the causal (...)
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  28. 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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  29. 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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  30. Philosophical Accounts of Biological Functions. [REVIEW]Maël Montévil - 2017 - Science & Education 26 (7-9):1071-1073.
    The book A critical overview of biological functions is a short monograph by J. Garson, which provides a survey of the views on biological functions in the analytic tradition of philosophy. The notion of function is ubiquitous in biology and all of its subfields. Behind the notion of biological functions lurks the shadow of final causes. Overcoming this shadow is a challenge that has stimulated many philosophers and the literature on this topic is very rich. In the analytic tradition, researchers (...)
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  31. Learning and Selection Processes.Marc Artiga - 2010 - Theoria 25 (2):197-209.
    In this paper I defend a teleological explanation of normativity, i. e., I argue that what an organism is supposed to do is determined by its etiological function. In particular, I present a teleological account of the normativity that arises in learning processes, and I defend it from some objections.
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  32. Moral Physiology and Vivisection of the Soul: Why Does Nietzsche Criticize the Life Sciences?Ian D. Dunkle - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 61 (1):62-81.
    Recent scholarship has shown Nietzsche to offer an original and insightful moral psychology centering on a motivational feature he calls ‘will to power.’ In many places, though, Nietzsche presents will to power differently, as the ‘essence of life,’ an account of ‘organic function,’ even offering it as a correction to physiologists. This paper clarifies the scope and purpose of will to power by identifying the historical physiological view at which Nietzsche directs his criticisms and by identifying his purpose in doing (...)
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  33. Is It Really so Easy to Model Biological Evolution in Terms of Design-Free Cumulative Selection?Peter Punin - manuscript
    Abstract: Without directly taking sides in the design/anti-design debate, this paper defends the following position: the assertion that biological evolution “is” design-free presupposes the possibility to model biological evolution in a design-free way. Certainly, there are design-free models of evolution based on cumulative selection. But “to model” is a verb denoting “modeling” as the process leading to a model. So any modeling – trivially – needs “previous human design.” Nevertheless, contrary to other scientific activities which legitimately consider models while ignoring (...)
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  34. Aristotelian Essentialism: Essence in the Age of Evolution.Christopher J. 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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  35. Mental Acts and Mechanistic Psychology in Descartes' Passions.Gary Hatfield - 2008 - In Neil Robertson, Gordon McOuat & Tom Vinci (eds.), Descartes and the Modern. Cambridge Scholars Press. pp. 49-71.
    This chapter examines the mechanistic psychology of Descartes in the _Passions_, while also drawing on the _Treatise on Man_. It develops the idea of a Cartesian “psychology” that relies on purely bodily mechanisms by showing that he explained some behaviorally appropriate responses through bodily mechanisms alone and that he envisioned the tailoring of such responses to environmental circumstances through a purely corporeal “memory.” An animal’s adjustment of behavior as caused by recurring patterns of sensory stimulation falls under the notion of (...)
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  36. Satisfaction Conditions in Anticipatory Mechanisms.Marcin Miłkowski - 2015 - Biology and Philosophy 30 (5):709-728.
    The purpose of this paper is to present a general mechanistic framework for analyzing causal representational claims, and offer a way to distinguish genuinely representational explanations from those that invoke representations for honorific purposes. It is usually agreed that rats are capable of navigation because they maintain a cognitive map of their environment. Exactly how and why their neural states give rise to mental representations is a matter of an ongoing debate. I will show that anticipatory mechanisms involved in rats’ (...)
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  37. What Makes Us Essentially Different? 2007.David L. Thompson - manuscript
    The sameness and difference of entities depend on context or horizon and these horizons may be either synchronous or diachronic. Money and qualia are examples of identity within synchronic contexts. Music, biological functions, and cultural roles are defined by their diachronic horizons. The diachronic cultural and narrative contexts of selves are what makes them distinctively different.
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Teleology
  1. Darwinian Functional Biology.Ginnobili Santiago - 2022 - Theoria : An International Journal for Theory, History and Fundations of Science 37 (2):233-255.
    Abstract One of the most important things that the Darwinian revolution affected is the previous teleological thinking. In particular, the attribution of functions to various entities of the natural world with explanatory pretensions. In this change, his theory of natural selection played an important role. We all agree on that, but the diversity and heterogeneity of the answers that try to explain what Darwin did exactly with functional biology are overwhelming. In this paper I will try to show how Darwin (...)
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  2. From Life-Like to Mind-Like Explanation: Natural Agency and the Cognitive Sciences.Alex Djedovic - 2020 - Dissertation, University of Toronto, St. George Campus
    This dissertation argues that cognition is a kind of natural agency. Natural agency is the capacity that certain systems have to act in accordance with their own norms. Natural agents are systems that bias their repertoires in response to affordances in the pursuit of their goals. Cognition is a special mode of this general phenomenon. Cognitive systems are agents that have the additional capacity to actively take their worlds to be certain ways, regardless of whether the world is really that (...)
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  3. Embryology, Developmental Biology, Evo-Devo.Bhakti Madhava Puri - 2013 - The Harmonizer.
    The study of organisms within the range of their existence from fertilization to birth is referred to as embryology. The process of progressive change during that period is called development. That development does not stop at birth but continues on throughout the entire life-span of the organism as the process of growth and decay — catabolism, anabolism, and metabolism. The study of this entire range of life has recently become known as developmental biology. The belief that the development from an (...)
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  4. The Science of Spiritual Biology: Replies to Critics – Part 2.Bhakti Madhava Puri, Bhakti Niskama Shanta & Bhakti Vijnana Muni - 2013 - The Harmonizer.
    We received several critical comments regarding the "The Science of Spiritual Biology." We reply to those criticisms in order to further clarify some of the important points that were made. It is only to be expected that a strong emotional response may be evoked by the revolution in scientific thinking that the modern paradigm of cognitive biology presents. We have to be prepared to accept that, and maintain the integrity of the scientific approach.
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  5. Spiritual Biology: Reply to Critics - Part One.Bhakti Madhava Puri, Bhakti Niskama Shanta & Bhakti Vijnana Muni - 2012 - The Harmonizer.
    We received several critical comments regarding the "The Science of Spiritual Biology." We reply to those criticisms in order to further clarify some of the important points that were made. It is only to be expected that a strong emotional response may be evoked by the revolution in scientific thinking that the modern paradigm of cognitive biology presents. We have to be prepared to accept that, and maintain the integrity of the scientific approach.
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  6. The Science of Spiritual Biology.Bhakti Madhava Puri - 2012 - The Harmonizer.
    "Living systems are cognitive systems, and living as a process is a process of cognition." -H.R. Maturana, The Biology of Cognition (1970/1980) Just as the cell has gradually come to be understood as a highly regulated and unctionally integrated whole, so too is the biosphere now recognized as a finely balanced ecological whole in which local disturbances can create world-wide climatic catastrophe. The oversimplified ideas of biology that characterized the field in its immature beginning led to the theories of a (...)
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  7. The Concept (Soul) in Living Organisms.Bhakti Madhava Puri - 2010 - Darwin Under Siege.
    In addition to any content, another essential element must be the order or form of that content. Content implies a container. Generally, the container is not thought of as having any determinate influence upon the content. This is a mistake. If we have a bowl-shaped container, the marbles at the bottom will form a concave shape. A square-shaped container will exhibit the marbles in a planar pattern. Thus the container does influence the order or form of its content. Similarly, the (...)
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  8. Striving (Conatus).Valtteri Viljanen - manuscript
    The entry on striving (conatus) for the Cambridge Spinoza Lexicon, edited by Karolina Hübner and Justin Steinberg. This is the October 2021 draft; please do not quote, but comments are very welcome.
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  9. Teleological Explanation: Surveying the Landscape.Jonathan Birch - 2009 - Dissertation, University of Cambridge
    This MPhil dissertation presents a novel account of teleological explanations in biology. I outline the “shorthand approach” to such explanations, on which they are taken to convey implicit evolutionary explanations. “Selected effects” accounts of teleological explanation dominate recent literature, but they struggle to accommodate teleological explanations of complex traits built through cumulative selection. I articulate the general notion of a landscape explanation, which, applied to biology, explains the evolution of complex features in a population by citing salient features of the (...)
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  10. Against Teleological Essentialism.Eleonore Neufeld - 2021 - Cognitive Science 45 (4):e12961.
    In two recent papers, Rose and Nichols present evidence in favor of the view that humans represent category essences in terms of a telos, such as honey-making, and not in terms of scientific essences, such as bee DNA. In this paper, I challenge their interpretation of the evidence, and show that it is directly predicted by the main theory they seek to undermine. I argue that their results can be explained as instances of diagnostic reasoning about scientific essences.
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  11. An Externalist Teleology.Gunnar Babcock & Daniel W. McShea - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):8755-8780.
    Teleology has a complicated history in the biological sciences. Some have argued that Darwin’s theory has allowed biology to purge itself of teleological explanations. Others have been content to retain teleology and to treat it as metaphorical, or have sought to replace it with less problematic notions like teleonomy. And still others have tried to naturalize it in a way that distances it from the vitalism of the nineteenth century, focusing on the role that function plays in teleological explanation. No (...)
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  12. On the Naturalisation of Teleology: Self-Organisation, Autopoiesis and Teleodynamics.Miguel Garcia-Valdecasas - 2022 - Adaptive Behavior 30 (2):103-117.
    In recent decades, several theories have claimed to explain the teleological causality of organisms as a function of self-organising and self-producing processes. The most widely cited theories of this sort are variations of autopoiesis, originally introduced by Maturana and Varela. More recent modifications of autopoietic theory have focused on system organisation, closure of constraints and autonomy to account for organism teleology. This article argues that the treatment of teleology in autopoiesis and other organisation theories is inconclusive for three reasons: First, (...)
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  13. The Unfolding of a New Vision of Life, Cosmos and Evolution.Agustin Ostachuk - 2020 - Ludus Vitalis 28 (53):81-83.
    Has science already answered the fundamental questions about the concepts of Life, Cosmos and Evolution? Has science not relegated these fundamental questions by following up on more immediate, “useful” and practical endeavors that ultimately ensure that the wheel of capitalism keeps spinning in its frantic search for material and economic progress? There is something terribly wrong with the current theory of evolution, understood as the Darwinian theory with its successive versions and extensions. The concept of natural selection, the cornerstone of (...)
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