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  1. Is Defining Life Pointless? Operational Definitions at the Frontiers of Biology.Leonardo Bich & Sara Green - 2017 - Synthese:1-28.
    Despite numerous and increasing attempts to define what life is, there is no consensus on necessary and sufficient conditions for life. Accordingly, some scholars have questioned the value of definitions of life and encouraged scientists and philosophers alike to discard the project. As an alternative to this pessimistic conclusion, we argue that critically rethinking the nature and uses of definitions can provide new insights into the epistemic roles of definitions of life for different research practices. This paper examines the possible (...)
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  • Neither Logical Empiricism nor Vitalism, but Organicism: What the Philosophy of Biology Was.Daniel J. Nicholson & Richard Gawne - 2015 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 37 (4):345-381.
    Philosophy of biology is often said to have emerged in the last third of the twentieth century. Prior to this time, it has been alleged that the only authors who engaged philosophically with the life sciences were either logical empiricists who sought to impose the explanatory ideals of the physical sciences onto biology, or vitalists who invoked mystical agencies in an attempt to ward off the threat of physicochemical reduction. These schools paid little attention to actual biological science, and as (...)
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  • Téléologie et fonctions en biologie. Une approche non causale des explications téléofonctionnelles.Alberto Molina Pérez - 2017 - Dissertation, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
    This dissertation is focused on teleology and functions in biology. More precisely, it focuses on the scientific legitimacy of teleofunctional attributions and explanations in biology. It belongs to a multi-faceted debate that can be traced back to at least the 1970s. One aspect of the debate concerns the naturalization of functions. Most authors try to reduce, translate or explain functions and teleology in terms of efficient causes so that they find their place in the framework of the natural sciences. Our (...)
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  • What Organisms Once Were and Might Yet Be.Christopher Shields - 2017 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 9 (7).
    Organisms receded from view in much of twentieth-century biology, only to undergo a sort of renaissance at the start of the twenty-first. The story of why this should be so is complicated and fascinating, but belongs primarily to the history of biology. On the other hand, to the extent that it is so, a question naturally arises: what, after all, are organisms? This question has a long and complicated history of its own, both within and without of biology; an investigation (...)
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  • Die Aussagekraft wirklichkeitsferner Gedankenexperimente für Theorien personaler Identität.Marc Andree Weber - 2017 - In Andreas Oberprantacher & Anne Siegetsleitner (eds.), Mensch sein – Fundament, Imperativ oder Floskel Beiträge zum 10. Kongress der Österreichischen Gesellschaft für Philosophie. Innsbruck, Austria: pp. 493-503.
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  • Hierarchy Theory of Evolution and the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis: Some Epistemic Bridges, Some Conceptual Rifts.Alejandro Fábregas-Tejeda & Francisco Vergara-Silva - 2018 - Evolutionary Biology 45 (2):127-139.
    Contemporary evolutionary biology comprises a plural landscape of multiple co-existent conceptual frameworks and strenuous voices that disagree on the nature and scope of evolutionary theory. Since the mid-eighties, some of these conceptual frameworks have denounced the ontologies of the Modern Synthesis and of the updated Standard Theory of Evolution as unfinished or even flawed. In this paper, we analyze and compare two of those conceptual frameworks, namely Niles Eldredge’s Hierarchy Theory of Evolution (with its extended ontology of evolutionary entities) and (...)
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  • El olvido del organismo: un análisis de las concepciones acerca de lo vivo y su valor en la biología actual.Constanza Rendón & Gabriela Klier - 2018 - Scientiae Studia 15 (2):459.
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  • The Rumors of Bergson’s Demise May Have Been Exaggerated: Novelty, Complexity, and Emergence in Biological Evolution.Steven Peck - 2019 - Foundations of Science 24 (3):541-557.
    Early 20th century philosopher Henri Bergson posited an initial push that propelled the diversity of life forward into a varied, novel future: The élan vital, a necessary force or impulse that animated life’s progress and development. His idea had largely been abandoned by mid-century. Even so, much of the conceptual and explanatory work this impulse targeted is yet in want of an explanation. In particular, Bergson’s derelict ideas on evolution addressed three areas that have once again become relevant in the (...)
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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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  • Biological Individuals.Robert A. Wilson & Matthew J. Barker - 2019 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 1 (1).
    The impressive variation amongst biological individuals generates many complexities in addressing the simple-sounding question what is a biological individual? A distinction between evolutionary and physiological individuals is useful in thinking about biological individuals, as is attention to the kinds of groups, such as superorganisms and species, that have sometimes been thought of as biological individuals. More fully understanding the conceptual space that biological individuals occupy also involves considering a range of other concepts, such as life, reproduction, and agency. There has (...)
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  • Why is Warrant Normative?Peter J. Graham - 2019 - Philosophical Issues 29 (1):110-128.
    Having an etiological function to F is sufficient to have a competence to F. Having an etiological function to reliably F is sufficient to have a reliable competence, a competence to reliably F. Epistemic warrant consists in the normal functioning of the belief-forming process when the process has forming true beliefs reliably as an etiological function. Epistemic warrant requires reliable competence. Warrant divides into two grades. The first consists in normal functioning, when the process has forming true beliefs reliably as (...)
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  • Self-Tolerance Revisited.Nelson M. Vaz - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 55:128-132.
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