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Homology thinking

Biology and Philosophy 27 (3):381-400 (2012)

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  1. Kinds of Biological Individuals: Sortals, Projectibility, and Selection.DiFrisco James - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (3):845-875.
    Individuality is an important concept in biology, yet there are many non-equivalent criteria of individuality expressed in different kinds of biological individuals. This article evaluates these different kinds in terms of their capacity to support explanatory generalizations over the systems they individuate. Viewing the problem of individuality from this perspective promotes a splitting strategy in which different kinds make different epistemic trade-offs that suit them for different explanatory roles. I argue that evolutionary individuals, interpreted as forming a functional kind, face (...)
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  • Neural Correlates Without Reduction: The Case of the Critical Period.Muhammad Ali Khalidi - forthcoming - Synthese:1-13.
    Researchers in the cognitive sciences often seek neural correlates of psychological constructs. In this paper, I argue that even when these correlates are discovered, they do not always lead to reductive outcomes. To this end, I examine the psychological construct of a critical period and briefly describe research identifying its neural correlates. Although the critical period is correlated with certain neural mechanisms, this does not imply that there is a reductionist relationship between this psychological construct and its neural correlates. Instead, (...)
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  • Crosscutting Psycho-Neural Taxonomies: The Case of Episodic Memory.Muhammad Ali Khalidi - 2017 - Philosophical Explorations 20 (2):191-208.
    I will begin by proposing a taxonomy of taxonomic positions regarding the mind–brain: localism, globalism, revisionism, and contextualism, and will go on to focus on the last position. Although some versions of contextualism have been defended by various researchers, they largely limit themselves to a version of neural contextualism: different brain regions perform different functions in different neural contexts. I will defend what I call “environmental-etiological contextualism,” according to which the psychological functions carried out by various neural regions can only (...)
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  • An Evo-Devo Perspective on Analogy in Biology.Alessandro Minelli - 2019 - Philosophies 4 (1):5-0.
    To explain the amazing morphological and biomechanical analogy between two distantly related vertebrates as are a dolphin and a shark, an explanation exclusively framed in terms of adaptation is far from satisfactory. The same is true, of course, of any other comparison between structurally similar, but phylogenetically unrelated organisms. A purely evolutionary argument does not throw any light on how the developmental processes of their ancestors could eventually evolve in such a way as to eventually produce these peculiar phenotypes. How (...)
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  • Génétique des Populations Et Mécanique Statistique : Stratégie Explicative Et Analogie Formelle.Laurent Jodoin - 2014 - Lato Sensu, Revue de la Société de Philosophie des Sciences 1 (1).
    The relationship between statistical mechanics and population genetics has a long history. Both take advantage of statistics to address the behavior of large groups of entities. The main objective of this article is to assess the obstacles population genetics is meeting in its claim to explain biological phenomena from the conceptual apparatus of statistical mechanics according to two recent articles. Several tools available to the latter are missing in the former. Thus, in the absence of an adequate justification of the (...)
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  • A Phenomenological and Dynamic View of Homology: Homologs as Persistently Reproducible Modules.Daichi G. Suzuki & Senji Tanaka - 2017 - Biological Theory 12 (3):169-180.
    Homology is a fundamental concept in biology. However, the metaphysical status of homology, especially whether a homolog is a part of an individual or a member of a natural kind, is still a matter of intense debate. The proponents of the individuality view of homology criticize the natural kind view of homology by pointing out that homologs are subject to evolutionary transformation, and natural kinds do not change in the evolutionary process. Conversely, some proponents of the natural kind view of (...)
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  • The Special Science Dilemma and How Culture Solves It.Marion Godman - 2015 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (3):1-18.
    I argue that there is a tension between the claim that at least some kinds in the special sciences are multiply realized and the claim that the reason why kinds are prized by science is that they enter into a variety of different empirical generalizations. Nevertheless, I show that this tension ceases in the case of ‘cultural homologues’—such as specific ideologies, religions, and folk wisdom. I argue that the instances of such special science kinds do have several projectable properties in (...)
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  • Recent Work in The Philosophy of Biology.Christopher J. Austin - 2017 - Analysis 77 (2):anx032.
    The biological sciences have always proven a fertile ground for philosophical analysis, one from which has grown a rich tradition stemming from Aristotle and flowering with Darwin. And although contemporary philosophy is increasingly becoming conceptually entwined with the study of the empirical sciences with the data of the latter now being regularly utilised in the establishment and defence of the frameworks of the former, a practice especially prominent in the philosophy of physics, the development of that tradition hasn’t received the (...)
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  • Evo-Devo: A Science of Dispositions.Christopher Austin - 2017 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 7 (2):373-389.
    Evolutionary developmental biology represents a paradigm shift in the understanding of the ontogenesis and evolutionary progression of the denizens of the natural world. Given the empirical successes of the evo-devo framework, and its now widespread acceptance, a timely and important task for the philosophy of biology is to critically discern the ontological commitments of that framework and assess whether and to what extent our current metaphysical models are able to accommodate them. In this paper, I argue that one particular model (...)
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  • 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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  • 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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  • Philosophy and Phylogenetics.Joel D. Velasco - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (10):990-998.
    Phylogenetics is the study and reconstruction of evolutionary history and is filled with numerous foundational issues of interest to philosophers. This paper briefly introduces some central concepts in the field, describes some of the main methods for inferring phylogenies, and provides some arguments for the superiority of model-based methods such as Likelihood and Bayesian methods over nonparametric methods such as parsimony. It also raises some underdeveloped issues in the field of interest to philosophers.
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  • Functional Explanation and the Problem of Functional Equivalence.James DiFrisco - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 65:1-8.
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  • Historicity and Ecological Restoration.Eric Desjardins - 2015 - Biology and Philosophy 30 (1):77-98.
    This paper analyzes the relevance and interconnection of two forms of historicity in ecological restoration, namely historical fidelity and path dependence. Historical fidelity is the practice of attempting to restore an ecological system to some sort of idealized past condition. Path dependence occurs when a system can evolve in alternative local equilibria, and that the order and timing of the events that follow from the initial state influence which equilibrium is reached. Using theoretical examples and case studies, the following analysis (...)
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