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  1. An Empiricist Conception of the Relation Between Metaphysics and Science.Sandy C. Boucher - 2019 - Philosophia 47 (5):1355-1378.
    It is widely acknowledged that metaphysical assumptions, commitments and presuppositions play an important role in science. Yet according to the empiricist there is no place for metaphysics as traditionally understood in the scientific enterprise. In this paper I aim to take a first step towards reconciling these seemingly irreconcilable claims. In the first part of the paper I outline a conception of metaphysics and its relation to science that should be congenial to empiricists, motivated by van Fraassen’s work on ‘stances’. (...)
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  • Reciprocal Causation and the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis.Andrew Buskell - 2019 - Biological Theory 14 (4):267-279.
    Kevin Laland and colleagues have put forward a number of arguments motivating an extended evolutionary synthesis. Here I examine Laland et al.'s central concept of reciprocal causation. Reciprocal causation features in many arguments supporting an expanded evolutionary framework, yet few of these arguments are clearly delineated. Here I clarify the concept and make explicit three arguments in which it features. I identify where skeptics can—and are—pushing back against these arguments, and highlight what I see as the empirical, explanatory, and methodological (...)
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  • What’s Wrong with Evolutionary Biology?John J. Welch - 2017 - Biology and Philosophy 32 (2):263-279.
    There have been periodic claims that evolutionary biology needs urgent reform, and this article tries to account for the volume and persistence of this discontent. It is argued that a few inescapable properties of the field make it prone to criticisms of predictable kinds, whether or not the criticisms have any merit. For example, the variety of living things and the complexity of evolution make it easy to generate data that seem revolutionary, and lead to disappointment with existing explanatory frameworks. (...)
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  • New Perspectives on Theory Change in Evolutionary Biology.Alejandro Fábregas-Tejeda - forthcoming - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie:1-9.
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  • Metascientific Views: Challenge and Opportunity for Philosophy of Biology in Practice.Emanuele Serrelli - 2017 - Acta Philosophica 26 (1):65-82.
    In this paper I take evolutionary biology as an example to reflect on the role of philosophy and on the transformations that philosophy is constantly stimulated to do in its own approach when dealing with science. I consider that some intellectual movements within evolutionary biology (more specifically, the various calls for 'synthesis') express metascientific views, i.e., claims about 'what it is to do research' in evolutionary biology at different times. In the construction of metascientific views I see a fundamental role (...)
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  • Beyond the Search for the Subject: An Anti-Essentialist Ontology for Liberal Democracy.Samuel Bagg - forthcoming - European Journal of Political Theory:147488511876388.
    Reading Foucault’s work on power and subjectivity alongside “developmentalist” approaches to evolutionary biology, this article endorses poststructuralist critiques of political ideals grounded in the value of subjective agency. Many political theorists embrace such critiques, of course, but those who do are often skeptical of liberal democracy, and even of normative theory itself. By contrast, those who are left to theorize liberal democracy tend to reject or ignore poststructuralist insights, and have continued to employ dubious ontological assumptions regarding human agents. Against (...)
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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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  • Sewall Wright’s Adaptive Landscapes: 1932 Vs. 1988.Massimo Pigliucci - 2008 - Biology and Philosophy 23 (5):591-603.
    Sewall Wright introduced the metaphor of evolution on “adaptive landscapes” in a pair of papers published in 1931 and 1932. The metaphor has been one of the most influential in modern evolutionary biology, although recent theoretical advancements show that it is deeply flawed and may have actually created research questions that are not, in fact, fecund. In this paper I examine in detail what Wright actually said in the 1932 paper, as well as what he thought of the matter at (...)
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  • Down with Natural Selection? [REVIEW]Massimo Pigliucci - 2009 - Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 52 (1):134-140.
    Biologists are increasingly reexamining the conceptual structure of evolutionary theory, which dates back to the so-called Modern Synthesis of the 1930s and 1940s. Calls for an Extended Evolutionary Synthesis (EES) cite a number of empir- ical and theoretical advances that need to be accounted for, including evolvability, evo- lutionary novelties, capacitors of phenotypic evolution, developmental plasticity, and phenotypic attractors. In Biological Emergences, however, Robert Reid outlines a theory of evolution in which natural selection plays no role or—worse—actually impedes evo- lution (...)
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  • The Economy of Nature: The Structure of Evolution in Linnaeus, Darwin, and the Modern Synthesis.Charles H. Pence & Daniel G. Swaim - 2017 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 8 (3):435-454.
    We argue that the economy of nature constitutes an invocation of structure in the biological sciences, one largely missed by philosophers of biology despite the turn in recent years toward structural explanations throughout the philosophy of science. We trace a portion of the history of this concept, beginning with the theologically and economically grounded work of Linnaeus, moving through Darwin’s adaptation of the economy of nature and its reconstitution in genetic terms during the first decades of the Modern Synthesis. What (...)
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  • How Discordant Morphological and Molecular Evolution Among Microorganisms Can Revise Our Notions of Biodiversity on Earth.Daniel J. G. Lahr, Haywood Dail Laughinghouse, Angela M. Oliverio, Feng Gao & Laura A. Katz - 2014 - Bioessays 36 (10):950-959.
    Microscopy has revealed tremendous diversity of bacterial and eukaryotic forms. Recent molecular analyses show discordance in estimates of biodiversity between morphological and molecular analyses. Moreover, phylogenetic analyses of the diversity of microbial forms reveal evidence of convergence at scales as deep as interdomain: morphologies shared between bacteria and eukaryotes. Here, we highlight examples of such discordance, focusing on exemplary lineages such as testate amoebae, ciliates, and cyanobacteria. These have long histories of morphological study, enabling deeper analyses on both the molecular (...)
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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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  • Integrating Evolution and Development: From Theory to Practice. [REVIEW]Thomas A. C. Reydon - 2011 - Acta Biotheoretica 59 (1):81-86.
    Roger Sansom and Robert N. Brandon (eds.): Integrating Evolution and Development: From Theory to Practice Content Type Journal Article Pages 81-86 DOI 10.1007/s10441-010-9121-x Authors Thomas A. C. Reydon, Institute of Philosophy & Center for Philosophy and Ethics of Science (ZEWW), Leibniz Universität Hannover, Im Moore 21, 30167 Hannover, Germany Journal Acta Biotheoretica Online ISSN 1572-8358 Print ISSN 0001-5342 Journal Volume Volume 59 Journal Issue Volume 59, Number 1.
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  • Selection at Multiple Levels: Evolution and the Levels of Selection, Samir Okasha . Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006, (288 Pp; £32.00 Hbk; ISBN 978-0-19-926797-2).Simon M. Huttegger - 2007 - Biological Theory 2 (4):429-431.
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  • Perspectives on Integrating Developmental and Evolutionary Biology: Genes in Development: Re-Reading the Molecular Paradigm, Eva M. Neumann-Held and Christoph Rehmann-Sutter , Eds. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2006, (384 Pp; $23.95 Pbk; ISBN 0-8223-3656-1).Jonathan Kaplan - 2007 - Biological Theory 2 (4):427-429.
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  • A Soul of Truth in Things Erroneous: Popper’s “Amateurish” Evolutionary Philosophy in Light of Contemporary Biology.Davide Vecchi & Lorenzo Baravalle - 2015 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 36 (4):525-545.
    This paper will critically assess Popper’s evolutionary philosophy. There exists a rich literature on the topic with which we have many reservations. We believe that Popper’s evolutionary philosophy should be assessed in light of the intriguing theoretical insights offered, during the last 10 years or so, by the philosophy of biology, evolutionary biology and molecular biology. We will argue that, when analysed in this manner, Popper’s ideas concerning the nature of selection, Lamarckism and the theoretical limits of neo-Darwinism can be (...)
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  • Interdisciplinary Lessons for the Teaching of Biology From the Practice of Evo-Devo.Alan C. Love - 2013 - Science & Education 22 (2):255-278.
    Evolutionary developmental biology (Evo-devo) is a vibrant area of contemporary life science that should be (and is) increasingly incorporated into teaching curricula. Although the inclusion of this content is important for biological pedagogy at multiple levels of instruction, there are also philosophical lessons that can be drawn from the scientific practices found in Evo-devo. One feature of particular significance is the interdisciplinary nature of Evo-devo investigations and their resulting explanations. Instead of a single disciplinary approach being the most explanatory or (...)
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  • Interdisciplinary Lessons for the Teaching of Biology From the Practice of Evo-Devo.Alan C. Love - 2013 - Science & Education 22 (2):255–278.
    Evolutionary developmental biology (Evo-devo) is a vibrant area of contemporary life science that should be (and is) increasingly incorporated into teaching curricula. Although the inclusion of this content is important for biological pedagogy at multiple levels of instruction, there are also philosophical lessons that can be drawn from the scientific practices found in Evo-devo. One feature of particular significance is the interdisciplinary nature of Evo-devo investigations and their resulting explanations. Instead of a single disciplinary approach being the most explanatory or (...)
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  • Underdetermination and Evidence in the Developmental Plasticity Debate.Karen Kovaka - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (1):127-152.
    I identify a controversial hypothesis in evolutionary biology called the plasticity-first hypothesis. I argue that the plasticity-first hypothesis is underdetermined and that the most popular means of studying the plasticity-first hypothesis are insufficient to confirm or disconfirm it. I offer a strategy for overcoming this problem. Researchers need to develop a richer middle range theory of plasticity-first evolution that allows them to identify distinctive empirical traces of the hypothesis. They can then use those traces to discriminate between rival explanations of (...)
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  • Extended Evolutionary Psychology: The Importance of Transgenerational Developmental Plasticity.Karola Stotz - 2014 - Frontiers in Psychology 5.
    What kind mechanisms one deems central for the evolutionary process deeply influences one's understanding of the nature of organisms, including cognition. Reversely, adopting a certain approach to the nature of life and cognition and the relationship between them or between the organism and its environment should affect one's view of evolutionary theory. This paper explores this reciprocal relationship in more detail. In particular it argues that the view of living and cognitive systems, especially humans, as deeply integrated beings embedded in (...)
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  • Using Causal Models to Integrate Proximate and Ultimate Causation.Jun Otsuka - 2015 - Biology and Philosophy 30 (1):19-37.
    Ernst Mayr’s classical work on the nature of causation in biology has had a huge influence on biologists as well as philosophers. Although his distinction between proximate and ultimate causation recently came under criticism from those who emphasize the role of development in evolutionary processes, the formal relationship between these two notions remains elusive. Using causal graph theory, this paper offers a unified framework to systematically translate a given “proximate” causal structure into an “ultimate” evolutionary response, and illustrates evolutionary implications (...)
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  • The Price Equation and Extended Inheritance.Heikki Helanterä & Tobias Uller - 2010 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 2 (20130604).
    The presence of various mechanisms of non-genetic inheritance is one of the main problems for current evolutionary theory according to several critics. Sufficient empirical and conceptual reasons exist to take this claim seriously, but there is little consensus on the implications of multiple inheritance systems for evolutionary processes. Here we use the Price Equation as a starting point for a discussion of the differences between four recently proposed categories of inheritance systems; genetic, epigenetic, behavioral and symbolic. Specifically, we address how (...)
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  • Sewall Wright’s Adaptive Landscapes: 1932 Vs. 1988.Massimo Pigliucci - 2008 - Biology and Philosophy 23 (5):625-628.
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  • Theory is as Theory Does: Scientific Practice and Theory Structure in Biology.Alan C. Love - 2013 - Biological Theory 7 (4):325-337, 430.
    Using the context of controversies surrounding evolutionary developmental biology (EvoDevo) and the possibility of an Extended Evolutionary Synthesis, I provide an account of theory structure as idealized theory presentations that are always incomplete (partial) and shaped by their conceptual content (material rather than formal organization). These two characteristics are salient because the goals that organize and regulate scientific practice, including the activity of using a theory, are heterogeneous. This means that the same theory can be structured differently, in part because (...)
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  • EvoDevo Shapes the Extended Synthesis.Gerd B. Müller - 2014 - Biological Theory 9 (2):119-121.
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  • Merging Biological Metaphors. Creativity, Darwinism and Biosemiotics.Carlos David Suárez Pascal - 2017 - Biosemiotics 10 (3):369-378.
    Evolutionary adaptation has been suggested as the hallmark of life that best accounts for life’s creativity. However, current evolutionary approaches still fail to give an adequate account of it, even if they are able to explain both the origin of novelties and the proliferation of certain traits in a population. Although modern-synthesis Darwinism is today usually appraised as too narrow a position to cope with all the complexities of developmental and structural biology—not to say biosemiotic phenomena—, Darwinism need not be (...)
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  • Is a General Theory of Life Possible? Seeking the Nature of Life in the Context of a Single Example.Carol E. Cleland - 2013 - Biological Theory 7 (4):368-379.
    Is one of the roles of theory in biology answering the question “What is life?” This is true of theory in many other fields of science. So why should not it be the case for biology? Yet efforts to identify unifying concepts and principles of life have been disappointing, leading some (pluralists) to conclude that life is not a natural kind. In this essay I argue that such judgments are premature. Life as we know it on Earth today represents a (...)
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  • Two “EvoDevos”.Marta Linde Medina - 2010 - Biological Theory 5 (1):7-11.
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  • Adaptation as Process: The Future of Darwinism and the Legacy of Theodosius Dobzhansky.David J. Depew - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 42 (1):89-98.
    Conceptions of adaptation have varied in the history of genetic Darwinism depending on whether what is taken to be focal is the process of adaptation, adapted states of populations, or discrete adaptations in individual organisms. I argue that Theodosius Dobzhansky’s view of adaptation as a dynamical process contrasts with so-called “adaptationist” views of natural selection figured as “design-without-a-designer” of relatively discrete, enumerable adaptations. Correlated with these respectively process and product oriented approaches to adaptive natural selection are divergent pictures of organisms (...)
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  • Extending and Expanding the Darwinian Synthesis: The Role of Complex Systems Dynamics.Bruce H. Weber - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 42 (1):75-81.
    Darwinism is defined here as an evolving research tradition based upon the concepts of natural selection acting upon heritable variation articulated via background assumptions about systems dynamics. Darwin’s theory of evolution was developed within a context of the background assumptions of Newtonian systems dynamics. The Modern Evolutionary Synthesis, or neo-Darwinism, successfully joined Darwinian selection and Mendelian genetics by developing population genetics informed by background assumptions of Boltzmannian systems dynamics. Currently the Darwinian Research Tradition is changing as it incorporates new information (...)
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  • The so-Called Extended Synthesis and Population Genetics.Lindsay R. Craig - 2010 - Biological Theory 5 (2):117-123.
    In recent years, several prominent biologists have pointed to the relatively new field of evolutionary developmental biology as evidence of an Extended Synthesis in evolutionary biology. More particularly, these biologists claim that theoretical and empirical EvoDevo research is extending the Modern Synthesis framework of evolutionary theory through investigation of evolutionarily important concepts that are not part of the framework developed during the 20th century. To describe the current changes in evolutionary biology as an Extended Synthesis, however, is incorrect. Through review (...)
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  • Gerd B. Müller and Massimo Pigliucci—Extended Synthesis: Theory Expansion or Alternative?Lindsay R. Craig - 2010 - Biological Theory 5 (4):395-396.
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  • The Proper Role of Population Genetics in Modern Evolutionary Theory.Massimo Pigliucci - 2008 - Biological Theory 3 (4):316-324.
    Evolutionary biology is a field currently animated by much discussion concerning its conceptual foundations. On the one hand, we have supporters of a classical view of evolutionary theory, whose backbone is provided by population genetics and the so-called Modern Synthesis (MS). On the other hand, a number of researchers are calling for an Extended Synthe- sis (ES) that takes seriously both the limitations of the MS (such as its inability to incorporate developmental biology) and recent empirical and theoretical research on (...)
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  • Extending and Expanding the Darwinian Synthesis: The Role of Complex Systems Dynamics.Bruce H. Weber - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 42 (1):75-81.
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  • Adaptation as Process: The Future of Darwinism and the Legacy of Theodosius Dobzhansky.David J. Depew - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 42 (1):89-98.
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  • The Comet Cometh: Evolving Developmental Systems.Johannes Jaeger, Manfred Laubichler & Werner Callebaut - 2015 - Biological Theory 10 (1):36-49.
    In a recent opinion piece, Denis Duboule has claimed that the increasing shift towards systems biology is driving evolutionary and developmental biology apart, and that a true reunification of these two disciplines within the framework of evolutionary developmental biology may easily take another 100 years. He identifies methodological, epistemological, and social differences as causes for this supposed separation. Our article provides a contrasting view. We argue that Duboule’s prediction is based on a one-sided understanding of systems biology as a science (...)
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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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  • The So-Called Extended Synthesis and Population Genetics.Lindsay R. Craig - 2010 - Biological Theory 5 (2):117-123.
    In recent years, several prominent biologists have pointed to the relatively new field of evolutionary developmental biology as evidence of an Extended Synthesis in evolutionary biology. More particularly, these biologists claim that theoretical and empirical EvoDevo research is extending the Modern Synthesis framework of evolutionary theory through investigation of evolutionarily important concepts that are not part of the framework developed during the 20th century. To describe the current changes in evolutionary biology as an Extended Synthesis, however, is incorrect. Through review (...)
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  • What is a Gene For?Lindell Bromham - 2016 - Biology and Philosophy 31 (1):103-123.
    The word “gene” means different things to different people, and can even be used in multiple ways by the same individual. In this review, I follow a particular thread running through Griffith and Stotz’s “Genetics and Philosophy: an introduction”, which is the way that methods of investigation influence the way we define the concept of “gene”, from nineteen century breeding experiments to twenty-first century big data bioinformatics. These different views lead to a set of gene concepts, which only partially overlap (...)
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  • Genetic= Heritable (Genetic# DNA).Root Gorelick & Manfred D. Laubichler - 2008 - Biological Theory 3 (1):79-84.
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  • Extending the Modern Synthesis with Ants: Ant Encounters.Heikki Helanterä - 2011 - Biology and Philosophy 26 (6):935-944.
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