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  1. What Is It Like To Be an Environment? A Semantic and Epistemological Inquiry.Philippe Huneman - forthcoming - Biological Theory:1-19.
    In this article, I consider the term “environment” in various claims and models by evolutionists and ecologists. I ask whether “environment” is amenable to a philosophical explication, in the same way some key terms of evolutionary theorizing such as “fitness,” “species,” or more recently “population” have been. I will claim that it cannot. In the first section, I propose a typology of theoretical terms, according to whether they are univocal or equivocal, and whether they have been the object of formal (...)
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  • 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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  • Function, Persistence, and Selection: Generalizing the Selected-Effect Account of Function Adequately.Pierrick Bourrat - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 90:61-67.
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  • Essay Review: Exploring the Conceptual Foundations of Post-Hamiltonian Evolutionary Biology—Rationality and Evolution of Social Agents: Samir Okasha. Agents and Goals in Evolution. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018. 254p. $40. Jonathan Birch. The Philosophy of Social Evolution. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017. 266p. $19,74.Philippe Huneman - 2020 - Acta Biotheoretica 68 (4):453-467.
    Evolutionary theorists often talk as if natural selection were choosing the most adapted traits, or if organisms were deciding to do the most adaptive strategy. Moreover, the payoff of those decisions often depend on what others are doing, and since Hamilton, biologists possess conceptual tools such as kin selection and inclusive fitness to make sense of outcomes of evolution in these contexts, even when they seem unadaptive. The link between selection and adaptation through which selection or organisms can be seen (...)
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  • The behavioural ecology of irrational behaviours.Philippe Huneman & Johannes Martens - 2017 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 39 (3):23.
    Natural selection is often envisaged as the ultimate cause of the apparent rationality exhibited by organisms in their specific habitat. Given the equivalence between selection and rationality as maximizing processes, one would indeed expect organisms to implement rational decision-makers. Yet, many violations of the clauses of rationality have been witnessed in various species such as starlings, hummingbirds, amoebas and honeybees. This paper attempts to interpret such discrepancies between economic rationality and biological rationality. After having distinguished two kinds of rationality we (...)
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  • Fitness Maximization.Jonathan Birch - 2018 - In Richard Joyce (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Evolution and Philosophy. London: Routledge. pp. 49-63.
    Is there any way to reconcile the adaptationist’s image of natural selection as an engine of optimality with the more complex image of its dynamics we get from population genetics? This has long been an important strand in the controversy surrounding adaptationism, yet debate has been hampered by a tendency to conflate various different ways of thinking about maximization. Here I distinguish four varieties of maximization principle. I then discuss the logical relations between these varieties, arguing that, although they may (...)
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  • Téléologie et fonctions en biologie. Une approche non causale des explications téléofonctionnelles.Alberto Molina Pérez - 2017 - Dissertation, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
    This dissertation is focused on teleology and functions in biology. More precisely, it focuses on the scientific legitimacy of teleofunctional attributions and explanations in biology. It belongs to a multi-faceted debate that can be traced back to at least the 1970s. One aspect of the debate concerns the naturalization of functions. Most authors try to reduce, translate or explain functions and teleology in terms of efficient causes so that they find their place in the framework of the natural sciences. Our (...)
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  • Kant’s Concept of Organism Revisited: A Framework for a Possible Synthesis Between Developmentalism and Adaptationism?Philippe Huneman - 2017 - The Monist 100 (3):373-390.
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  • The Inclusive Fitness Controversy: Finding a Way Forward.Jonathan Birch - 2017 - Royal Society Open Science 4 (170335):170335.
    This paper attempts to reconcile critics and defenders of inclusive fitness by constructing a synthesis that does justice to the insights of both. I argue that criticisms of the regression-based version of Hamilton’s rule, although they undermine its use for predictive purposes, do not undermine its use as an organizing framework for social evolution research. I argue that the assumptions underlying the concept of inclusive fitness, conceived as a causal property of an individual organism, are unlikely to be exactly true (...)
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  • Pathways to Pluralism About Biological Individuality.Beckett Sterner - 2015 - Biology and Philosophy 30 (5):609-628.
    What are the prospects for a monistic view of biological individuality given the multiple epistemic roles the concept must satisfy? In this paper, I examine the epistemic adequacy of two recent accounts based on the capacity to undergo natural selection. One is from Ellen Clarke, and the other is by Peter Godfrey-Smith. Clarke’s position reflects a strong monism, in that she aims to characterize individuality in purely functional terms and refrains from privileging any specific material properties as important in their (...)
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  • Hamilton’s Two Conceptions of Social Fitness.Jonathan Birch - 2016 - Philosophy of Science 83 (5):848-860.
    Hamilton introduced two conceptions of social fitness, which he called neighbour-modulated fitness and inclusive fitness. Although he regarded them as formally equivalent, a re-analysis of his own argument for their equivalence brings out two important assumptions on which it rests: weak additivity and actor's control. When weak additivity breaks down, neither fitness concept is appropriate in its original form. When actor's control breaks down, neighbour-modulated fitness may be appropriate, but inclusive fitness is not. Yet I argue that, despite its more (...)
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  • Revisiting Darwinian Teleology: A Case for Inclusive Fitness as Design Explanation.Philippe Huneman - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 76:101188.
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  • Neo-Paleyan Biology.Tim Lewens - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 76:101185.
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