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  1. Analysis and/or Interpretation in Neurophysiology? A Transatlantic Discussion Between F. J. J. Buytendijk and K. S. Lashley, 1929–1932. [REVIEW]Julia Gruevska - forthcoming - Journal of the History of Biology:1-27.
    In the interwar period, biologists employed a diverse set of holistic approaches that were connected to different research methodologies. Against this background, this article explores attempts in the 1920s and 1930s to negotiate quantitative and qualitative methods in the field of neurophysiology. It focuses on the work of two scientists on different sides of the Atlantic: the Dutch animal psychologist and physiologist Frederik J.J. Buytendijk and the American neuropsychologist Karl S. Lashley, specifically analyzing their critical correspondence, 1929–1932, on the problems (...)
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  • Kostas Kampourakis and Tobias Uller (Eds.): Philosophy of Science for Biologists. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, UK, 2020, 330 + x pp., £69.99 (hardcover), ISBN: 9781108491839. [REVIEW]Guido I. Prieto - 2021 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 52 (4):613-616.
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  • Biyoloji Felsefesinde Organizma Kavramı.Özlem Yilmaz - 2022 - Kilikya Felsefe Dergisi / Cilicia Journal of Philosophy 1 (1):78-86.
    Çevre sorunlarının katlanarak arttığı ve biyoloji biliminin büyük sıçramalarla geliştiği günümüzde organizma kavramının incelenmesi, hem kendi doğamızı (dolayısıyla da diğer canlılarla etkileşimlerimizi) hem de günümüz biyolojisindeki değişimleri daha iyi anlayabilmemiz için faydalı olacaktır. Bu çalışma, organizma kavramını özellikle organizma-çevre etkileşimi üzerinden inceleyerek günümüz biyolojisindeki önemini vurgulayacaktır. Organizma kavramı özellikle Modern Sentezden, Genişletilmiş Evrimsel Senteze geçişle birlikte ayrı bir önem kazanmıştır. Köklerini yirminci yüzyılın başlarındaki organizma-merkezci biyolojiden alan bu kavramın gelişimi, son birkaç on yıldır biyoloji biliminde gerçekleşmiş olan gelişmelerle (özellikle gelişim (...)
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  • Teleology and the Organism: Kant's Controversial Legacy for Contemporary Biology.Andrea Gambarotto & Auguste Nahas - 2022 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 93:47-56.
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  • Revisiting George Gaylord Simpson’s “The Role of the Individual in Evolution”.Lynn K. Nyhart & Scott Lidgard - 2021 - Biological Theory 16 (4):203-212.
    “The Role of the Individual in Evolution” is a prescient yet neglected 1941 work by the 20th century’s most important paleontologist, George Gaylord Simpson. In a curious intermingling of explanation and critique, Simpson engages questions that would become increasingly fundamental in modern biological theory and philosophy. Did individuality, adaptation, and evolutionary causation reside at more than one level: the cell, the organism, the genetically coherent reproductive group, the social group, or some combination thereof? What was an individual, anyway? In this (...)
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  • Unmodern Synthesis: Developmental Hierarchies and the Origin of Phenotypes.Richard Gawne, Kenneth Z. McKenna & H. Frederik Nijhout - 2018 - Bioessays 40 (1):1600265.
    The question of whether the modern evolutionary synthesis requires an extension has recently become a topic of discussion, and a source of controversy. We suggest that this debate is, for the most part, not about the modern synthesis at all. Rather, it is about the extent to which genetic mechanisms can be regarded as the primary determinants of phenotypic characters. The modern synthesis has been associated with the idea that phenotypes are the result of gene products, while supporters of the (...)
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  • Unknotting reciprocal causation between organism and environment.Jan Baedke, Alejandro Fábregas-Tejeda & Guido I. Prieto - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (5):1-29.
    In recent years, biologists and philosophers of science have argued that evolutionary theory should incorporate more seriously the idea of ‘reciprocal causation.’ This notion refers to feedback loops whereby organisms change their experiences of the environment or alter the physical properties of their surroundings. In these loops, in particular niche constructing activities are central, since they may alter selection pressures acting on organisms, and thus affect their evolutionary trajectories. This paper discusses long-standing problems that emerge when studying such reciprocal causal (...)
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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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  • Eight Journals Over Eight Decades: A Computational Topic-Modeling Approach to Contemporary Philosophy of Science.Christophe Malaterre, Francis Lareau, Davide Pulizzotto & Jonathan St-Onge - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):2883-2923.
    As a discipline of its own, the philosophy of science can be traced back to the founding of its academic journals, some of which go back to the first half of the twentieth century. While the discipline has been the object of many historical studies, notably focusing on specific schools or major figures of the field, little work has focused on the journals themselves. Here, we investigate contemporary philosophy of science by means of computational text-mining approaches: we apply topic-modeling algorithms (...)
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  • New Perspectives on Theory Change in Evolutionary Biology.Alejandro Fábregas-Tejeda - 2019 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 50 (4):573-581.
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  • Conceptual heterogeneity and the legacy of organicism: thoughts on the life organic: Essay review of Erik Peterson, The life organic: the theoretical biology club and the roots of epigenetics, Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2016, 328 pp., $45.00.Daniel S. Brooks - 2019 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 41 (2):24.
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  • A non-metaphysical evaluation of vitalism in the early twentieth century.Bohang Chen - 2018 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 40 (3):50.
    In biology the term “vitalism” is usually associated with Hans Driesch’s doctrine of the entelechy: entelechies were nonmaterial, bio-specific agents responsible for governing a few peculiar biological phenomena. Since vitalism defined as such violates metaphysical materialism, the received view refutes the doctrine of the entelechy as a metaphysical heresy. But in the early twentieth century, a different, non-metaphysical evaluation of vitalism was endorsed by some biologists and philosophers, which finally led to a logical refutation of the doctrine of the entelechy. (...)
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  • Schwerpunkt: Technische und organische Form – ein altes neues Problem?Marco Tamborini & Mathias Gutmann - 2020 - Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 68 (5):705-711.
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  • O Organism, Where Art Thou? Old and New Challenges for Organism-Centered Biology.Jan Baedke - 2018 - Journal of the History of Biology 52 (2):293-324.
    This paper addresses theoretical challenges, still relevant today, that arose in the first decades of the twentieth century related to the concept of the organism. During this period, new insights into the plasticity and robustness of organisms as well as their complex interactions fueled calls, especially in the UK and in the German-speaking world, for grounding biological theory on the concept of the organism. This new organism-centered biology understood organisms as the most important explanatory and methodological unit in biological investigations. (...)
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  • The Creativity of Natural Selection? Part II: The Synthesis and Since.John Beatty - 2019 - Journal of the History of Biology 52 (4):705-731.
    This is the second of a two-part essay on the history of debates concerning the creativity of natural selection, from Darwin through the evolutionary synthesis and up to the present. In the first part, I focussed on the mid-late nineteenth century to the early twentieth, with special emphasis on early Darwinism and its critics, the self-styled “mutationists.” The second part focuses on the evolutionary synthesis and some of its critics, especially the “neutralists” and “neo-mutationists.” Like Stephen Gould, I consider the (...)
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  • Revisiting Three Decades of Biology and Philosophy: A Computational Topic-Modeling Perspective.Christophe Malaterre, Davide Pulizzotto & Francis Lareau - 2020 - Biology and Philosophy 35 (1):5.
    Though only established as a discipline since the 1970s, philosophy of biology has already triggered investigations about its own history The Oxford handbook of philosophy of biology, Oxford University Press, New York, pp 11–33, 2008). When it comes to assessing the road since travelled—the research questions that have been pursued—manuals and ontologies also offer specific viewpoints, highlighting dedicated domains of inquiry and select work. In this article, we propose to approach the history of the philosophy of biology with a complementary (...)
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  • Organisms, activity, and being: on the substance of process ontology.Christopher J. Austin - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10 (2):1-21.
    According to contemporary ‘process ontology’, organisms are best conceptualised as spatio-temporally extended entities whose mereological composition is fundamentally contingent and whose essence consists in changeability. In contrast to the Aristotelian precepts of classical ‘substance ontology’, from the four-dimensional perspective of this framework, the identity of an organism is grounded not in certain collections of privileged properties, or features which it could not fail to possess, but in the succession of diachronic relations by which it persists, or ‘perdures’ as one entity (...)
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  • Reconceptualizing the Organism: From Complex Machine to Flowing Stream.Daniel J. Nicholson - 2018 - In Daniel J. Nicholson & John A. Dupre (eds.), Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology.
    This chapter draws on insights from non-equilibrium thermodynamics to demonstrate the ontological inadequacy of the machine conception of the organism. The thermodynamic character of living systems underlies the importance of metabolism and calls for the adoption of a processual view, exemplified by the Heraclitean metaphor of the stream of life. This alternative conception is explored in its various historical formulations and the extent to which it captures the nature of living systems is examined. Following this, the chapter considers the metaphysical (...)
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  • A Manifesto for a Processual Philosophy of Biology.John A. Dupre & Daniel J. Nicholson - 2018 - In Daniel J. Nicholson & John A. Dupre (eds.), Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology.
    This chapter argues that scientific and philosophical progress in our understanding of the living world requires that we abandon a metaphysics of things in favour of one centred on processes. We identify three main empirical motivations for adopting a process ontology in biology: metabolic turnover, life cycles, and ecological interdependence. We show how taking a processual stance in the philosophy of biology enables us to ground existing critiques of essentialism, reductionism, and mechanicism, all of which have traditionally been associated with (...)
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  • Genidentity and Biological Processes.Thomas Pradeu - 2018 - In Daniel J. Nicholson & John Dupre (eds.), Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford University Press.
    A crucial question for a process view of life is how to identify a process and how to follow it through time. The genidentity view can contribute decisively to this project. It says that the identity through time of an entity X is given by a well-identified series of continuous states of affairs. Genidentity helps address the problem of diachronic identity in the living world. This chapter describes the centrality of the concept of genidentity for David Hull and proposes an (...)
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  • Autopoiesis, Biological Autonomy and the Process View of Life.Anne Sophie Meincke - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 9 (1):5.
    In recent years, an increasing number of theoretical biologists and philosophers of biology have been opposing reductionist research agendas by appealing to the concept of biological autonomy which draws on the older concept of autopoiesis. In my paper, I investigate some of the ontological implications of this approach. The emphasis on autonomy and autopoiesis, together with the associated idea of organisational closure, might evoke the impression that organisms are to be categorised ontologically as substances: ontologically independent, well-individuated, discrete particulars. However, (...)
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  • Typology and Natural Kinds in Evo-Devo.Ingo Brigandt - 2021 - In Laura Nuño De La Rosa & Gerd Müller (eds.), Evolutionary Developmental Biology: A Reference Guide. Cham: Springer. pp. 483-493.
    The traditional practice of establishing morphological types and investigating morphological organization has found new support from evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo), especially with respect to the notion of body plans. Despite recurring claims that typology is at odds with evolutionary thinking, evo-devo offers mechanistic explanations of the evolutionary origin, transformation, and evolvability of morphological organization. In parallel, philosophers have developed non-essentialist conceptions of natural kinds that permit kinds to exhibit variation and undergo change. This not only facilitates a construal of species (...)
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  • Revisiting Hans Böker’s "Species Transformation Through Reconstruction: Reconstruction Through Active Reaction of Organisms".Alejandro Fábregas-Tejeda, Abigail Nieves Delgado & Jan Baedke - 2021 - Biological Theory 16 (2):63-75.
    Against the common historiographic narratives of evolutionary biology, the first decades of the 20th century were theoretically far richer than usually assumed. This especially refers to the hitherto neglected role that early theoretical biologists played in introducing visionary research perspectives and concepts before the institutionalization of the Modern Synthesis. Here, we present one of these scholars, the German theoretical biologist and ecomorphologist Hans Böker, by reviewing his 1935 paper “Artumwandlung durch Umkonstruktion, Umkonstruktion durch aktives Reagieren der Organismen”, published in the (...)
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  • Revisiting D.W. Smithers’s “Cancer: An Attack on Cytologism”.Ana M. Soto & Carlos Sonnenschein - 2020 - Biological Theory 15 (4):180-187.
    David Waldron Smithers was, among other things, a physician and a pioneer of cancer radiotherapy and a well-respected figure in British medicine and public health. From the 1940s until his retirement from medical practice in 1973, he was the director of the Radiotherapy Department at the Royal Marsden Hospital and London University Chair of Radiotherapy at the Institute of Cancer Research. Using massive amounts of clinical observations, which he interpreted from an organicist viewpoint, and his impressive synthetic thinking, he proposed (...)
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  • The Emerging Structure of the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis: Where Does Evo-Devo Fit In?Alejandro Fábregas-Tejeda & Francisco Vergara-Silva - 2018 - Theory in Biosciences 137.
    The Extended Evolutionary Synthesis (EES) debate is gaining ground in contemporary evolutionary biology. In parallel, a number of philosophical standpoints have emerged in an attempt to clarify what exactly is represented by the EES. For Massimo Pigliucci, we are in the wake of the newest instantiation of a persisting Kuhnian paradigm; in contrast, Telmo Pievani has contended that the transition to an EES could be best represented as a progressive reformation of a prior Lakatosian scientific research program, with the extension (...)
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  • Revisiting Three Decades of Biology and Philosophy : A Computational Topic-Modeling Perspective.Christophe Malaterre, Davide Pulizzotto & Francis Lareau - 2020 - Biology and Philosophy 35 (1):5.
    Though only established as a discipline since the 1970s, philosophy of biology has already triggered investigations about its own history The Oxford handbook of philosophy of biology, Oxford University Press, New York, pp 11–33, 2008). When it comes to assessing the road since travelled—the research questions that have been pursued—manuals and ontologies also offer specific viewpoints, highlighting dedicated domains of inquiry and select work. In this article, we propose to approach the history of the philosophy of biology with a complementary (...)
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  • Technische Form und Konstruktion.Marco Tamborini - 2020 - Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 68 (5):712-733.
    In this paper, I delineate the first pages of a philosophical genealogy which outlines the cornerstones of a philosophy of bio-technical forms. In so doing, the essay contributes to the philosophical understanding of some key scientific concepts. In particular, it analyses the philosophical and historical preconditions, the epistemic assumptions, as well as the ontological commitments of the concept of form as used in digital design and in bionics. In the first section, I investigate Ernst Kapp’s philosophy of technical forms. In (...)
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  • Population and Organismal Perspectives on Trait Origins.Brian McLoone - 2020 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 83:101288.
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  • Philosophy of Cell Biology.William Bechtel & Andrew Bollhagen - 2019 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Realization in Biology?Sergio Balari & Guillermo Lorenzo - 2019 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 41 (1):5.
    It is widely assumed that functional and dispositional properties are not identical to their physical base, but that there is some kind of asymmetrical ontological dependence between them. In this regard, a popular idea is that the former are realized by the latter, which, under the non-identity assumption, is generally understood to be a non-causal, constitutive relation. In this paper we examine two of the most widely accepted approaches to realization, the so-called ‘flat view’ and the ‘dimensioned view’, and we (...)
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  • The History of Science and the Science of History: Computational Methods, Algorithms, and the Future of the Field.Abraham Gibson & Cindy Ermus - 2019 - Isis 110 (3):555-566.
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  • Levels of Organization in Biology.Markus Eronen & Daniel Stephen Brooks - unknown - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Levels of organization are structures in nature, usually defined by part-whole relationships, with things at higher levels being composed of things at the next lower level. Typical levels of organization that one finds in the literature include the atomic, molecular, cellular, tissue, organ, organismal, group, population, community, ecosystem, landscape, and biosphere levels. References to levels of organization and related hierarchical depictions of nature are prominent in the life sciences and their philosophical study, and appear not only in introductory textbooks and (...)
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