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  1. Concepts of Drift and Selection in “the Great Snail Debate” of the 1950s and Early 1960s.Roberta L. Millstein - 2007 - In Joe Cain & Michael Ruse (eds.), Descended from Darwin: Insights into the History of Evolutionary Studies, 1900-1970. American Philosophical Society.
    Recently, much philosophical discussion has centered on the best way to characterize the concepts of random drift and natural selection, and, in particular, whether selection and drift can be conceptually distinguished (Beatty, 1984; Brandon, 2005; Hodge, 1983, 1987; Millstein, 2002, 2005; Pfeifer, 2005; Shanahan, 1992; Stephens, 2004). These authors all contend, to a greater or lesser degree, that their concepts make sense of biological practice. So it should be instructive to see how the concepts of drift and selection were distinguished (...)
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  • Bergmann’s Rule, Adaptation, and Thermoregulation in Arctic Animals: Conflicting Perspectives From Physiology, Evolutionary Biology, and Physical Anthropology After World War II.Joel B. Hagen - 2017 - Journal of the History of Biology 50 (2):235-265.
    Bergmann’s rule and Allen’s rule played important roles in mid-twentieth century discussions of adaptation, variation, and geographical distribution. Although inherited from the nineteenth-century natural history tradition these rules gained significance during the consolidation of the modern synthesis as evolutionary theorists focused attention on populations as units of evolution. For systematists, the rules provided a compelling rationale for identifying geographical races or subspecies, a function that was also picked up by some physical anthropologists. More generally, the rules provided strong evidence for (...)
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  • Postcolonial Ecologies of Parasite and Host: Making Parasitism Cosmopolitan.Warwick Anderson - 2016 - Journal of the History of Biology 49 (2):241-259.
    The interest of F. Macfarlane Burnet in host–parasite interactions grew through the 1920s and 1930s, culminating in his book, Biological Aspects of Infectious Disease, often regarded as the founding text of disease ecology. Our knowledge of the influences on Burnet’s ecological thinking is still incomplete. Burnet later attributed much of his conceptual development to his reading of British theoretical biology, especially the work of Julian Huxley and Charles Elton, and regretted he did not study Theobald Smith’s Parasitism and Disease until (...)
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  • Evolutionary Progress: Stephen Jay Gould’s Rejection and Its Critique.Jianhui Li - 2019 - Philosophy Study 9 (6).
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  • Genetic Assimilation and a Possible Evolutionary Paradox: Can Macroevolution Sometimes Be so Fast to Pass Us By?Massimo Pigliucci - 2003 - Evolution 57 (7):1455-1464.
    The idea of genetic assimilation, that environmentally induced phenotypes may become genetically fixed and no longer require the original environmental stimulus, has had varied success through time in evolutionary biology research. Proposed by Waddington in the 1940s, it became an area of active empirical research mostly thanks to the efforts of its inventor and his collaborators. It was then attacked as of minor importance during the ‘‘hardening’’ of the neo-Darwinian synthesis and was relegated to a secondary role for decades. Recently, (...)
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  • Modern Synthesis is the Light of Microbial Genomics.Austin Booth, Carlos Mariscal & W. Ford Doolittle - 2016 - Annual Reviews of Microbiology 70 (1):279-297.
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  • The Only Wrong Cell is the Dead One: On the Enactive Approach to Normativity.Manuel Heras-Escribano, Jason Noble & Manuel De Pinedo García - 2013 - In Advances in Artificial Life (ECAL 2013). Cambridge, Massachusetts, EE. UU.: pp. 665-670.
    In this paper we challenge the notion of ‘normativity’ used by some enactive approaches to cognition. We define some varieties of enactivism and their assumptions and make explicit the reasoning behind the co-emergence of individuality and normativity. Then we argue that appealing to dispositions for explaining some living processes can be more illuminating than claiming that all such processes are normative. For this purpose, we will present some considerations, inspired by Wittgenstein, regarding norm-establishing and norm-following and show that attributions of (...)
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  • The Extended (Evolutionary) Synthesis Debate: Where Science Meets Philosophy.Massimo Pigliucci & Leonard Finkelman - 2015 - BioScience 64 (6):511-516.
    Recent debates between proponents of the modern evolutionary synthesis (the standard model in evolutionary biology) and those of a possible extended synthesis are a good example of the fascinating tangle among empirical, theoretical, and conceptual or philosophical matters that is the practice of evolutionary biology. In this essay, we briefly discuss two case studies from this debate, highlighting the relevance of philosophical thinking to evolutionary biologists in the hope of spurring further constructive cross-pollination between the two fields.
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  • ‘The Action of the Brain’. Machine Models and Adaptive Functions in Turing and Ashby.Hajo Greif - 2018 - In Vincent Müller (ed.), Philosophy and theory of artificial intelligence 2017. Berlin, Germany: Springer. pp. 24-35.
    Given the personal acquaintance between Alan M. Turing and W. Ross Ashby and the partial proximity of their research fields, a comparative view of Turing’s and Ashby’s work on modelling “the action of the brain” (letter from Turing to Ashby, 1946) will help to shed light on the seemingly strict symbolic/embodied dichotomy: While it is clear that Turing was committed to formal, computational and Ashby to material, analogue methods of modelling, there is no straightforward mapping of these approaches onto symbol-based (...)
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  • Why Did Life Emerge?Arto Annila & Annila E. Annila A. - 2008 - International Journal of Astrobiology 7 (3-4):293–300.
    Many mechanisms, functions and structures of life have been unraveled. However, the fundamental driving force that propelled chemical evolution and led to life has remained obscure. The second law of thermodynamics, written as an equation of motion, reveals that elemental abiotic matter evolves from the equilibrium via chemical reactions that couple to external energy towards complex biotic non-equilibrium systems. Each time a new mechanism of energy transduction emerges, e.g., by random variation in syntheses, evolution prompts by punctuation and settles to (...)
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  • Teleology and Theology. On the Specificity of Teleological Explanations.Gabriele De Anna - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 10 (3):27.
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  • DNA Dispose, but Subjects Decide. Learning and the Extended Synthesis.Markus Lindholm - 2015 - Biosemiotics 8 (3):443-461.
    Adaptation by means of natural selection depends on the ability of populations to maintain variation in heritable traits. According to the Modern Synthesis this variation is sustained by mutations and genetic drift. Epigenetics, evodevo, niche construction and cultural factors have more recently been shown to contribute to heritable variation, however, leading an increasing number of biologists to call for an extended view of speciation and evolution. An additional common feature across the animal kingdom is learning, defined as the ability to (...)
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  • The Invention of the Psychosocial: An Introduction.Rhodri Hayward - 2012 - History of the Human Sciences 25 (5):3-12.
    Although the compound adjective ‘psychosocial’ was first used by academic psychologists in the 1890s, it was only in the interwar period that psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers began to develop detailed models of the psychosocial domain. These models marked a significant departure from earlier ideas of the relationship between society and human nature. Whereas Freudians and Darwinians had described an antagonistic relationship between biological instincts and social forces, interwar authors insisted that individual personality was made possible through collective organization. This (...)
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  • Drift: A Historical and Conceptual Overview.Anya Plutynski - 2007 - Biological Theory 2 (2):156-167.
    There are several different ways in which chance affects evolutionary change. That all of these processes are called “random genetic drift” is in part a due to common elements across these different processes, but is also a product of historical borrowing of models and language across different levels of organization in the biological hierarchy. A history of the concept of drift will reveal the variety of contexts in which drift has played an explanatory role in biology, and will shed light (...)
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  • Fact, Phenomenon, and Theory in the Darwinian Research Tradition.Bruce H. Weber - 2007 - Biological Theory 2 (2):168-178.
    From its inception Darwinian evolutionary biology has been seen as having a problematic relationship of fact and theory. While the forging of the modern evolutionary synthesis resolved most of these issues for biologists, critics continue to argue that natural selection and common descent are “only theories.” Much of the confusion engendered by the “evolution wars” can be clarified by applying the concept of phenomena, inferred from fact, and explained by theories, thus locating where legitimate dissent may still exist. By setting (...)
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  • Is Non-Genetic Inheritance Just a Proximate Mechanism? A Corroboration of the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis.Alex Mesoudi, Simon Blanchet, Anne Charmantier, Étienne Danchin, Laurel Fogarty, Eva Jablonka, Kevin N. Laland, Thomas J. H. Morgan, Gerd B. Müller, F. John Odling-Smee & Benoît Pujol - 2013 - Biological Theory 7 (3):189-195.
    What role does non-genetic inheritance play in evolution? In recent work we have independently and collectively argued that the existence and scope of non-genetic inheritance systems, including epigenetic inheritance, niche construction/ecological inheritance, and cultural inheritance—alongside certain other theory revisions—necessitates an extension to the neo-Darwinian Modern Synthesis (MS) in the form of an Extended Evolutionary Synthesis (EES). However, this argument has been challenged on the grounds that non-genetic inheritance systems are exclusively proximate mechanisms that serve the ultimate function of calibrating organisms (...)
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  • Evolutionary Theory in the 1920s: The Nature of the “Synthesis”.Sahotra Sarkar - 2002 - Philosophy of Science 71 (5):1215-1226.
    This paper analyzes the development of evolutionary theory in the period from 1918 to 1932. It argues that: (i) Fisher's work in 1918 constituted a not fully satisfactory reduction of biometry to Mendelism; (ii) there was a synthesis in the 1920s but that this synthesis was mainly one of classical genetics with population genetics, with Haldane's The Causes of Evolution being its founding document; (iii) the most important achievement of the models of theoretical population genetics was to show that natural (...)
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  • Toward a Modern Revival of Darwin’s Theory of Evolutionary Novelty.Mary Jane West‐Eberhard - 2008 - Philosophy of Science 75 (5):899-908.
    Darwin proposed that evolutionary novelties are environmentally induced in organisms “constitutionally” sensitive to environmental change, with selection effective owing to the inheritance of constitutional responses. A molecular theory of inheritance, pangenesis , explained the cross‐generational transmission of environmentally induced traits, as required for evolution by natural selection. The twentieth‐century evolutionary synthesis featured mutation as the source of novelty, neglecting the role of environmental induction. But current knowledge of environmentally sensitive gene expression, combined with the idea of genetic accommodation of mutationally (...)
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  • Georges Canguilhem Et la Question de la « Subjectivité » Vitale.Ciprian Jeler - 2014 - Meta: Research in Hermeneutics, Phenomenology, and Practical Philosophy 6 (2):506-525.
    This paper outlines a hypothesis regarding the close connection between two problems in Georges Canguilhem’s work. The first problem is that of Canguilhem’s insistence to include considerations about natural selection in his work and of the role that this notion could play therein. The second problem consists in Canguilhem’s tendency to often use the term “life” as the subject of his sentences, even though this tendency may seem to at least partially contradict some of the central theses advanced in his (...)
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  • Instinct in the ‘50s: The British Reception of Konrad Lorenz’s Theory of Instinctive Behavior.Paul E. Griffiths - 2004 - Biology and Philosophy 19 (4):609-631.
    At the beginning of the 1950s most students of animal behavior in Britain saw the instinct concept developed by Konrad Lorenz in the 1930s as the central theoretical construct of the new ethology. In the mid 1950s J.B.S. Haldane made substantial efforts to undermine Lorenz''s status as the founder of the new discipline, challenging his priority on key ethological concepts. Haldane was also critical of Lorenz''s sharp distinction between instinctive and learnt behavior. This was inconsistent with Haldane''s account of the (...)
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  • Reflections on the Architecture of the Organic World and the Origin of Man.J. J. Duyvené de Wit - 1964 - Philosophia Reformata 29:150.
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  • Pierre Teilhard de Chardin the Founder of a New Pseudo-Christian Evolutionary Mysticism.J. J. Duyvené de Wit - 1964 - Philosophia Reformata 29:114.
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  • J. B. S. Haldane, Ernst Mayr and the Beanbag Genetics Dispute.Veena Rao & Vidyanand Nanjundiah - 2011 - Journal of the History of Biology 44 (2):233 - 281.
    Starting from the early decades of the twentieth century, evolutionary biology began to acquire mathematical overtones. This took place via the development of a set of models in which the Darwinian picture of evolution was shown to be consistent with the laws of heredity discovered by Mendel. The models, which came to be elaborated over the years, define a field of study known as population genetics. Population genetics is generally looked upon as an essential component of modern evolutionary theory. This (...)
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  • Complexity in Evolution: A Skeptical Assesment.Daniel W. McShea - 1997 - Philosophica 59.
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  • The Neurosciences and the Search for a Unified Psychology: The Science and Esthetics of a Single Framework.Henderikus J. Stam - 2015 - Frontiers in Psychology 6.
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  • Affordances and Landscapes: Overcoming the Nature–Culture Dichotomy Through Niche Construction Theory.Manuel Heras-Escribano & Manuel De Pinedo-García - 2018 - Frontiers in Psychology 8.
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  • Metaphors as Surrogate Variables. The Case of Adaptive Radiation.Alfonso Arroyo-Santos & Mark E. Olson - manuscript
    We develop a new metaphor account where metaphors become surrogate variables for different but related phenomena. As we will argue, subrogation is the result of the interplay between the things inspired by the metaphor and the empirical dynamics that result from such inspiration. In particular, we focus on adaptive radiation, a major concept of evolutionary biology. Our study suggests that there is no distinct phenomenon, process, or pattern in nature than can be identified as adaptive radiation. What we have instead (...)
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  • Generalized Norms of Reaction for Ecological Developmental Biology.Sahotra Sarkar & Trevon Fuller - unknown
    A standard norm of reaction (NoR) is a graphical depiction of the phenotypic value of some trait of an individual genotype in a population as a function of an environmental parameter. NoRs thus depict the phenotypic plasticity of a trait. The topological properties of NoRs for sets of different genotypes can be used to infer the presence of (non-linear) genotype-environment interactions. While it is clear that many NoRs are adaptive, it is not yet settled whether their evolutionary etiology should be (...)
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  • Anschauung and the Archetype: The Role of Goethe's Delicate Empiricism in Comparative Biology.Malte C. Ebach - 2005 - Janus Head 8 (1):254-270.
    Comparative biology is a field that deals with morphology. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe recognised comparative biology, not as a passive science obsessed with counting similarities as it is today, but as an active field wherein he sought to perceive the inter-relationships of individual organisms to the organic whole, which he termed the archetype. I submit that Goethe’s archetype and his application of a technique termed the Anschauung are rigorous and significant ways to conduct delicate empiricism in comparative biology. The future (...)
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  • Evolutionary Biology: A Basic Science for Medicine in the 21st Century.Robert L. Perlman - 2011 - Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 54 (1):75-88.
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  • Où Vont le Darwinisme Et la Théorie Synthétique de L’Évolution?Charles Devillers - 1986 - Revue de Synthèse 107 (3):243-253.
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  • How Does the Teilhardian Vision of Evolution Compare with Contemporary Theories?Lodovico Galleni - 1995 - Zygon 30 (1):25-45.
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  • Unifying Biology: The Evolutionary Synthesis and Evolutionary Biology.V. B. Smocovitis - 1992 - Journal of the History of Biology 25 (1):1-65.
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