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  1. Are natural selection explanatory models a priori?José Díez & Pablo Lorenzano - 2015 - Biology and Philosophy 30 (6):787-809.
    The epistemic status of Natural Selection has seemed intriguing to biologists and philosophers since the very beginning of the theory to our present times. One prominent contemporary example is Elliott Sober, who claims that NS, and some other theories in biology, and maybe in economics, are peculiar in including explanatory models/conditionals that are a priori in a sense in which explanatory models/conditionals in Classical Mechanics and most other standard theories are not. Sober’s argument focuses on some “would promote” sentences that (...)
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  • Explanation and the Evolutionary First Law.Devin Y. Gouvêa - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (3):363-382.
    Analogies between Newtonian mechanics and evolutionary processes are powerful but not infinitely versatile tools for generating explanations of particular biological phenomena. Their explanatory range is sensitive to a preliminary decision about which processes count as background conditions and which as special forces. Here I argue that the defenders of the zero-force evolutionary law are mistaken in defending their decision as the only appropriate one. The Hardy–Weinberg principle remains a viable option that is consistent with the epistemic role of Newton’s own (...)
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  • Evolutionary and Newtonian Forces.Christopher Hitchcock & Joel D. Velasco - 2014 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 1:39-77.
    A number of recent papers have criticized what they call the dynamical interpretation of evolutionary theory found in Elliott Sober’s The Nature of Selection. Sober argues that we can think of evolutionary theory as a theory of forces analogous to Newtonian mechanics. These critics argue that there are several important disanalogies between evolutionary and Newtonian forces: Unlike evolutionary forces, Newtonian forces can be considered in isolation, they have source laws, they compose causally in a straightforward way, and they are intermediate (...)
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  • Philosophical Issues in Recent Paleontology.Derek D. Turner - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (7):494-505.
    The distinction between idiographic science, which aims to reconstruct sequences of particular events, and nomothetic science, which aims to discover laws and regularities, is crucial for understanding the paleobiological revolution of the 1970s and 1980s. Stephen Jay Gould at times seemed conflicted about whether to say (a) that idiographic science is fine as it is or (b) that paleontology would have more credibility if it were more nomothetic. Ironically, one of the lasting results of the paleobiological revolution was a new (...)
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  • Four solutions for four puzzles.Robert N. Brandon & Daniel W. McShea - 2012 - Biology and Philosophy 27 (5):737-744.
    Barrett et al. present four puzzles for the ZFEL-view of evolution that we present in our 2010 book, Biology’s First Law: The Tendency for Diversity and Complexity to Increase in Evolutionary Systems. Our intent in writing this book was to present a radically different way to think about evolution. To the extent that it really is radical, it will be easy to misunderstand. We think Barrett et al. have misunderstood several crucial points and so we welcome the opportunity to clarify.
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  • Current Perspectives in Philosophy of Biology.Joaquin Suarez Ruiz & Rodrigo A. Lopez Orellana - 2019 - Humanities Journal of Valparaiso 14:7-426.
    Current Perspectives in Philosophy of Biology.
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  • Genetic drift as a directional factor: biasing effects and a priori predictions.Ariel Jonathan Roffé - 2017 - Biology and Philosophy 32 (4):535-558.
    The adequacy of Elliott Sober’s analogy between classical mechanics and evolutionary theory—according to which both theories explain via a zero-force law and a set of forces that alter the zero-force state—has been criticized from various points of view. I focus here on McShea and Brandon’s claim that drift shouldn’t be considered a force because it is not directional. I argue that there are a number of different theses that could be meant by this, and show that one of those theses—the (...)
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  • El estatus metateórico de ZFEL.Ariel Jonathan Roffé & Santiago Ginnobili - 2019 - Humanities Journal of Valparaiso 14:57-73.
    En un libro reciente McShea y Brandon defienden que la diversidad y la complejidad de la vida se explican, principalmente, por la acción de un principio que llaman “la ley evolutiva de fuerzas cero” o “ZFEL”. Tal principio actuaría de un modo implícito por detrás de muchas explicaciones de la biología, pero nunca habría sido explicitado. Asumiendo que esta idea es interesante, y que los autores en cuestión tienen razón, discutiremos el modo metateórico en que presentan dicho principio, como siendo (...)
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