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  1. Probabilistic Causation and the Explanatory Role of Natural Selection.Pablo Razeto-Barry & Ramiro Frick - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 42 (3):344-355.
    The explanatory role of natural selection is one of the long-term debates in evolutionary biology. Nevertheless, the consensus has been slippery because conceptual confusions and the absence of a unified, formal causal model that integrates different explanatory scopes of natural selection. In this study we attempt to examine two questions: (i) What can the theory of natural selection explain? and (ii) Is there a causal or explanatory model that integrates all natural selection explananda? For the first question, we argue that (...)
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  • Creative Thought as a Non-Darwinian Evolutionary Process.Dr Liane M. Gabora - 2005 - [Journal (Paginated)] (in Press).
    Selection theory requires multiple, distinct, simultaneously-actualized states. In cognition, each thought or cognitive state changes the 'selection pressure' against which the next is evaluated; they are not simultaneously selected amongst. Creative thought is more a matter of honing in a vague idea through redescribing successive iterations of it from different real or imagined perspectives; in other words, actualizing potential through exposure to different contexts. It has been proven that the mathematical description of contextual change of state introduces a non-Kolmogorovian probability (...)
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  • Self-Other Organization: Why Early Life Did Not Evolve Through Natural Selection.Liane Gabora - manuscript
    The improbability of a spontaneously generated self-assembling molecule has suggested that life began with a set of simpler, collectively replicating elements, such as an enclosed autocatalytic set of polymers (or autocell). Since replication occurs without a self-assembly code, acquired characteristics are inherited. Moreover, there is no strict distinction between alive and dead; one can only infer that an autocell was alive if it replicates. These features of early life render natural selection inapplicable to the description of its change-of-state because they (...)
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  • What Did Popper Learn From Lakatos?Bence Nanay - 2017 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 25 (6):1202-1215.
    The canonical version of the history of twentieth century philosophy of science tells us that Lakatos was Popper’s disciple, but it is rarely mentioned that Popper would have learned anything from Lakatos. The aim of this paper is to examine Lakatos’ influence on Popper’s philosophical system and to argue that Lakatos did have an important, yet somewhat unexpected, impact on Popper’s thinking: he influenced Popper’s evolutionary model for ‘progress’ in science. And Lakatos’ influence sheds new light on why and how (...)
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  • Symmetry Between the Intentionality of Minds and Machines? The Biological Plausibility of Dennett’s Account.Bence Nanay - 2006 - Minds and Machines 16 (1):57-71.
    One of the most influential arguments against the claim that computers can think is that while our intentionality is intrinsic, that of computers is derived: it is parasitic on the intentionality of the programmer who designed the computer-program. Daniel Dennett chose a surprising strategy for arguing against this asymmetry: instead of denying that the intentionality of computers is derived, he endeavours to argue that human intentionality is derived too. I intend to examine that biological plausibility of Dennett’s suggestion and show (...)
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  • Replication Without Replicators.Bence Nanay - 2011 - Synthese 179 (3):455-477.
    According to a once influential view of selection, it consists of repeated cycles of replication and interaction. It has been argued that this view is wrong: replication is not necessary for evolution by natural selection. I analyze the nine most influential arguments for this claim and defend the replication–interaction conception of selection against these objections. In order to do so, however, the replication–interaction conception of selection needs to be modified significantly. My proposal is that replication is not the copying of (...)
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  • Popper's Darwinian Analogy.Bence Nanay - 2011 - Perspectives on Science 19 (3):337-354.
    One of the most deeply entrenched ideas in Popper's philosophy is the analogy between the growth of scientific knowledge and the Darwinian mechanism of natural selection. Popper gave his first exposition of these ideas very early on. In a letter to Donald Campbell, 1 Popper says that the idea goes back at least to the early thirties. 2 And he had a fairly detailed account of it in his "What is dialectic?", a talk given in 1937 and published in 1940: (...)
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  • Unconscious Goals: Specific or Unspecific? The Potential Harm of the Goal/Gene Analogy.Bence Nanay - 2014 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 37 (2):152-153.
    Huang and Bargh’s definition of goals is ambiguous between ‘specific goals’ – the end-state of a token action I am about to perform – and ‘unspecific goals’ – the end-state of an action-type (without specifying how this would be achieved). The analogy with selfish genes pushes the authors towards the former interpretation, but the latter would provide a more robust theoretical framework.
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  • Information, Complexity and Generative Replication.Geoffrey M. Hodgson & Thorbjørn Knudsen - 2008 - Biology and Philosophy 23 (1):47-65.
    The established definition of replication in terms of the conditions of causality, similarity and information transfer is very broad. We draw inspiration from the literature on self-reproducing automata to strengthen the notion of information transfer in replication processes. To the triple conditions of causality, similarity and information transfer, we add a fourth condition that defines a “generative replicator” as a conditional generative mechanism, which can turn input signals from an environment into developmental instructions. Generative replication must have the potential to (...)
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  • Probabilistic Causation and the Explanatory Role of Natural Selection.Pablo Razeto-Barry & Ramiro Frick - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 42 (3):344-355.
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