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  1. The pre-Darwinian history of the comparative method, 1555–1855.Timothy D. Johnston - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (4):1-30.
    The comparative method, closely identified with Darwinian evolutionary biology, also has a long pre-Darwinian history. The method derives its scientific power from its ability to interpret comparative observations with reference to a theory of relatedness among the entities being compared. Such scientifically powerful strong comparison is distinguished from weak comparison, which lacks such theoretical grounding. This paper examines the history of the strong comparison permitted by the comparative method from the early modern period to the threshold of the Darwinian revolution (...)
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  • Mechanism, Autonomy and Biological Explanation.Leonardo Bich & William Bechtel - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (6):1-27.
    The new mechanists and the autonomy approach both aim to account for how biological phenomena are explained. One identifies appeals to how components of a mechanism are organized so that their activities produce a phenomenon. The other directs attention towards the whole organism and focuses on how it achieves self-maintenance. This paper discusses challenges each confronts and how each could benefit from collaboration with the other: the new mechanistic framework can gain by taking into account what happens outside individual mechanisms, (...)
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  • Philosophy of Science and the Curse of the Case Study.Adrian Currie - 2015 - In Christopher Daly (ed.), The Palgrave Handbook of Philosophical Methods. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 553-572.
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  • Models in Medicine.Michael Wilde & Jon Williamson - unknown
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  • Why Experiments Matter.Arnon Levy & Adrian Currie - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 62 (9-10):1066-1090.
    ABSTRACTExperimentation is traditionally considered a privileged means of confirmation. However, why and how experiments form a better confirmatory source relative to other strategies is unclear, and recent discussions have identified experiments with various modeling strategies on the one hand, and with ‘natural’ experiments on the other hand. We argue that experiments aiming to test theories are best understood as controlled investigations of specimens. ‘Control’ involves repeated, fine-grained causal manipulation of focal properties. This capacity generates rich knowledge of the object investigated. (...)
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  • Modeling Intentional Agency: A Neo-Gricean Framework.Matti Sarkia - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):7003-7030.
    This paper analyzes three contrasting strategies for modeling intentional agency in contemporary analytic philosophy of mind and action, and draws parallels between them and similar strategies of scientific model-construction. Gricean modeling involves identifying primitive building blocks of intentional agency, and building up from such building blocks to prototypically agential behaviors. Analogical modeling is based on picking out an exemplary type of intentional agency, which is used as a model for other agential types. Theoretical modeling involves reasoning about intentional agency in (...)
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  • Model Organisms for Studying Decision-Making: A Phylogenetically Expanded Perspective.Linus Ta-Lun Huang, Leonardo Bich & William Bechtel - 2021 - Philosophy of Science 88 (5):1055-1066.
    This article explores the use of model organisms in studying the cognitive phenomenon of decision-making. Drawing on the framework of biological control to develop a skeletal conception of decision-making, we show that two core features of decision-making mechanisms can be identified by studying model organisms, such as E. coli, jellyfish, C. elegans, lamprey, and so on. First, decision mechanisms are distributed and heterarchically structured. Second, they depend heavily on chemical information processing, such as that involving neuromodulators. We end by discussing (...)
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  • Idealization and Abstraction: Refining the Distinction.Arnon Levy - 2018 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 24):5855-5872.
    Idealization and abstraction are central concepts in the philosophy of science and in science itself. My goal in this paper is suggest an account of these concepts, building on and refining an existing view due to Jones Idealization XII: correcting the model. Idealization and abstraction in the sciences, vol 86. Rodopi, Amsterdam, pp 173–217, 2005) and Godfrey-Smith Mapping the future of biology: evolving concepts and theories. Springer, Berlin, 2009). On this line of thought, abstraction—which I call, for reasons to be (...)
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  • The Turn of the Valve: Representing with Material Models.Roman Frigg & James Nguyen - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 8 (2):205-224.
    Many scientific models are representations. Building on Goodman and Elgin’s notion of representation-as we analyse what this claim involves by providing a general definition of what makes something a scientific model, and formulating a novel account of how they represent. We call the result the DEKI account of representation, which offers a complex kind of representation involving an interplay of, denotation, exemplification, keying up of properties, and imputation. Throughout we focus on material models, and we illustrate our claims with the (...)
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  • Representation-supporting model elements.Sim-Hui Tee - 2020 - Biology and Philosophy 35 (1):1-24.
    It is assumed that scientific models contain no superfluous model elements in scientific representation. A representational model is constructed with all the model elements serving the representational purpose. The received view has it that there are no redundant model elements which are non-representational. Contrary to this received view, I argue that there exist some non-representational model elements which are essential in scientific representation. I call them representation-supporting model elements in virtue of the fact that they play the role to support (...)
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  • Historical Case Studies: The “Model Organisms” of Philosophy of Science.Samuel Schindler & Raphael Scholl - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-20.
    Philosophers use historical case studies to support wide-ranging claims about science. This practice is often criticized as problematic. In this paper we suggest that the function of case studies can be understood and justified by analogy to a well-established practice in biology: the investigation of model organisms. We argue that inferences based on case studies are no more problematic than inferences from model organisms to larger classes of organisms in biology. We demonstrate our view in detail by reference to a (...)
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  • On the Thinking Brains and Tinkering with the Scientific Models.Majid Beni - 2018 - Axiomathes 28 (1):37-51.
    The paper aims to provide a detailed assessment of Tim Crane’s recent invocation of the notion of scientific models in the way of dealing with the issue of the brain’s representational states. In this paper, I assess Crane’s proposal under a charitable and a less charitable reading. I argue that Crane’s use of scientific models is at best compatible with his expression of psychological realism. However, Crane’s use of model-based strategy by no means underlay, support, or strengthen his psychological realism. (...)
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  • Scientific Inertia in Animal-Based Research in Biomedicine.Simon Lohse - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 89:41-51.
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  • Integrating Philosophy of Science Into Research on Ethical, Legal and Social Issues in the Life Sciences.Simon Lohse, Martin S. Wasmer & Thomas A. C. Reydon - 2020 - Perspectives on Science 28 (6):700-736.
    This paper argues that research on normative issues in the life sciences will benefit from a tighter integration of philosophy of science. We examine research on ethical, legal and social issues in the life sciences and discuss three illustrative examples of normative issues that arise in different areas of the life sciences. These examples show that important normative questions are highly dependent on epistemic issues which so far have not been addressed sufficiently in ELSI, RRI and related areas of research. (...)
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  • What Can Bouncing Oil Droplets Tell Us About Quantum Mechanics?Peter W. Evans & Karim P. Y. Thébault - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10 (3):1-32.
    A recent series of experiments have demonstrated that a classical fluid mechanical system, constituted by an oil droplet bouncing on a vibrating fluid surface, can be induced to display a number of behaviours previously considered to be distinctly quantum. To explain this correspondence it has been suggested that the fluid mechanical system provides a single-particle classical model of de Broglie’s idiosyncratic ‘double solution’ pilot wave theory of quantum mechanics. In this paper we assess the epistemic function of the bouncing oil (...)
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  • Bottled Understanding: The Role of Lab Work in Ecology.Adrian Currie - 2020 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (3):905-932.
    It is often thought that the vindication of experimental work lies in its capacity to be revelatory of natural systems. I challenge this idea by examining laboratory experiments in ecology. A central task of community ecology involves combining mathematical models and observational data to identify trophic interactions in natural systems. But many ecologists are also lab scientists: constructing microcosm or ‘bottle’ experiments, physically realizing the idealized circumstances described in mathematical models. What vindicates such ecological experiments? I argue that ‘extrapolationism’, the (...)
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  • Melinda Fagan Philosophy of Stem Cell Biology: Knowledge in Flesh and Blood.Adrian Currie - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (2):651-655.
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  • Microbes, Mathematics, and Models.Maureen A. O'Malley & Emily C. Parke - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 72:1-10.
    Microbial model systems have a long history of fruitful use in fields that include evolution and ecology. In order to develop further insight into modelling practice, we examine how the competitive exclusion and coexistence of competing species have been modelled mathematically and materially over the course of a long research history. In particular, we investigate how microbial models of these dynamics interact with mathematical or computational models of the same phenomena. Our cases illuminate the ways in which microbial systems and (...)
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  • Experimental Modeling in Biology: In Vivo Representation and Stand-Ins As Modeling Strategies.Marcel Weber - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (5):756-769.
    Experimental modeling in biology involves the use of living organisms (not necessarily so-called "model organisms") in order to model or simulate biological processes. I argue here that experimental modeling is a bona fide form of scientific modeling that plays an epistemic role that is distinct from that of ordinary biological experiments. What distinguishes them from ordinary experiments is that they use what I call "in vivo representations" where one kind of causal process is used to stand in for a physically (...)
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  • Introduction: Scientific Knowledge of the Deep Past.Adrian Currie & Derek Turner - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 55:43-46.
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  • Experiments, Simulations, and Epistemic Privilege.Emily C. Parke - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (4):516-536.
    Experiments are commonly thought to have epistemic privilege over simulations. Two ideas underpin this belief: first, experiments generate greater inferential power than simulations, and second, simulations cannot surprise us the way experiments can. In this article I argue that neither of these claims is true of experiments versus simulations in general. We should give up the common practice of resting in-principle judgments about the epistemic value of cases of scientific inquiry on whether we classify those cases as experiments or simulations, (...)
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  • Are Model Organisms Theoretical Models?Veli-Pekka Parkkinen - 2017 - Disputatio 9 (47):471-498.
    This article compares the epistemic roles of theoretical models and model organisms in science, and specifically the role of non-human animal models in biomedicine. Much of the previous literature on this topic shares an assumption that animal models and theoretical models have a broadly similar epistemic role—that of indirect representation of a target through the study of a surrogate system. Recently, Levy and Currie have argued that model organism research and theoretical modelling differ in the justification of model-to-target inferences, such (...)
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  • Marsupial Lions and Methodological Omnivory: Function, Success and Reconstruction in Paleobiology.Adrian Currie - 2015 - Biology and Philosophy 30 (2):187-209.
    Historical scientists frequently face incomplete data, and lack direct experimental access to their targets. This has led some philosophers and scientists to be pessimistic about the epistemic potential of the historical sciences. And yet, historical science often produces plausible, sophisticated hypotheses. I explain this capacity to generate knowledge in the face of apparent evidential scarcity by examining recent work on Thylacoleo carnifex, the ‘marsupial lion’. Here, we see two important methodological features. First, historical scientists are methodological omnivores, that is, they (...)
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  • Ethnographic Analogy, the Comparative Method, and Archaeological Special Pleading.Adrian Currie - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 55:84-94.
    Ethnographic analogy, the use of comparative data from anthropology to inform reconstructions of past human societies, has a troubled history. Archaeologists often express concern about, or outright reject, the practice—and sometimes do so in problematically general terms. This is odd, as the use of comparative data in archaeology is the same pattern of reasoning as the ‘comparative method’ in biology, which is a well-developed and robust set of inferences which play a central role in discovering the biological past. In pointing (...)
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  • Generative Models: Human Embryonic Stem Cells and Multiple Modeling Relations.Melinda Bonnie Fagan - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 56:122-134.
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  • A Second Look at the Colors of the Dinosaurs.Derek D. Turner - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 55:60-68.
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  • Testing Hypotheses in Macroevolution.Lindell Bromham - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 55:47-59.
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