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  1. Herbert Simon’s Silent Revolution.Werner Callebaut - 2007 - Biological Theory 2 (1):76-86.
    Simon’s bounded rationality , the first scientific research program to seriously take the cognitive limitations of decision makers into account, has often been conflated with his more restricted concept of satisficing—choosing an alternative that meets or exceeds specified criteria, but that is not guaranteed to be unique or in any sense “the best.” Proponents of optimization often dismiss bounded rationality out of hand with the following “hallway syllogism” : bounded rationality “boils down to” satisficing; satisficing is “simply” a theory of (...)
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  • A Darwinian dilemma for realist theories of value.Sharon Street - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 127 (1):109-166.
    Contemporary realist theories of value claim to be compatible with natural science. In this paper, I call this claim into question by arguing that Darwinian considerations pose a dilemma for these theories. The main thrust of my argument is this. Evolutionary forces have played a tremendous role in shaping the content of human evaluative attitudes. The challenge for realist theories of value is to explain the relation between these evolutionary influences on our evaluative attitudes, on the one hand, and the (...)
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  • When Science Studies Religion: Six Philosophy Lessons for Science Classes.Massimo Pigliucci - 2013 - Science & Education 22 (1):49-67.
    It is an unfortunate fact of academic life that there is a sharp divide between science and philosophy, with scientists often being openly dismissive of philosophy, and philosophers being equally contemptuous of the naivete ́ of scientists when it comes to the philosophical underpinnings of their own discipline. In this paper I explore the possibility of reducing the distance between the two sides by introducing science students to some interesting philosophical aspects of research in evolutionary biology, using biological theories of (...)
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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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  • On the Relationship between Science and Ethics.Massimo Pigliucci - 2003 - Zygon 38 (4):871-894.
    The relationship between ethics and science has been discussed within the framework of continuity versus discontinuity theories, each of which can take several forms. Continuity theorists claim that ethics is a science or at least that it has deep similarities with the modus operandi of science. Discontinuity theorists reject such equivalency, while at the same time many of them claim that ethics does deal with objective truths and universalizable statements, just not in the same sense as science does. I propose (...)
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  • An Evidence-Based Study of the Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences.Edouard Machery & Kara Cohen - 2012 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 63 (1):177-226.
    The disagreement between philosophers about the scientific worth of the evolutionary behavioral sciences (evolutionary psychology, human behavioral ecology, etc.) is in part due to the fact that critics and advocates of these sciences characterize them very differently. In this article, by analyzing quantitatively the citations made in the articles published in Evolution & Human Behavior between January 2000 and December 2002, we provide some evidence that undermines the characterization of the evolutionary behavioral sciences put forward by their critics.
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  • Adaptationism and the Logic of Research Questions: How to Think Clearly About Evolutionary Causes.Elisabeth A. Lloyd - 2015 - Biological Theory 10 (4):DOI: 10.1007/s13752-015-0214-2.
    This article discusses various dangers that accompany the supposedly benign methods in behavioral evoltutionary biology and evolutionary psychology that fall under the framework of "methodological adaptationism." A "Logic of Research Questions" is proposed that aids in clarifying the reasoning problems that arise due to the framework under critique. The live, and widely practiced, " evolutionary factors" framework is offered as the key comparison and alternative. The article goes beyond the traditional critique of Stephen Jay Gould and Richard C. Lewontin, to (...)
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  • Genes `for' phenotypes: A modern history view.Jonathan Michael Kaplan & Massimo Pigliucci - 2001 - Biology and Philosophy 16 (2):189--213.
    We attempt to improve the understanding of the notion of agene being `for a phenotypic trait or traits. Considering theimplicit functional ascription of one thing being `for another,we submit a more restrictive version of `gene for talk.Accordingly, genes are only to be thought of as being forphenotypic traits when good evidence is available that thepresence or prevalence of the gene in a population is the resultof natural selection on that particular trait, and that theassociation between that trait and the gene (...)
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  • Historical evidence and human adaptations.Jonathan Kaplan - 2002 - Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 69:S294-S304.
    Phylogenetic information is often necessary to distinguish between evolutionary scenarios. Recently, some prominent proponents of evolutionary psychology have acknowledged this, and have claimed that such evidence has in fact been brought to bear on adaptive hypotheses involving complex human psychological traits. Were this possible, it would be a valuable source of evidence regarding hypothesized adaptive traits in humans. However, the structure of the Hominidae family makes this difficult or impossible. For many traits of interest, the closest extant relatives to the (...)
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  • Evolutionary rates and adaptive radiations.Tania Hernández-Hernández - 2019 - Biology and Philosophy 34 (4):41.
    The term adaptive radiation has been recurrently used to describe evolutionary patterns of several lineages, and has been proposed as the main driver of biological diversification. Different definitions and criteria have been proposed to distinguish an adaptive radiation, and the current literature shows disagreements as to how radiating lineages should be circumscribed. Inconsistencies increase when authors try to differentiate a clade under adaptive radiation from clades evolving under ‘regular’ speciation with adaptation, a pattern anticipated and predicted by the evolutionary theory (...)
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  • A Philosophical Evaluation of Adaptationism as a Heuristic Strategy.Sara Green - 2014 - Acta Biotheoretica 62 (4):479-498.
    Adaptationism has for decades been the topic of sophisticated debates in philosophy of biology but methodological adaptationism has not received as much attention as the empirical and explanatory issues. In addition, adaptationism has mainly been discussed in the context of evolutionary biology and not in fields such as zoophysiology and systems biology where this heuristic is also used in design analyses of physiological traits and molecular structures. This paper draws on case studies from these fields to discuss the productive and (...)
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  • Constraints and spandrels in Gould's structure of evolutionary theory.Todd A. Grantham - 2004 - Biology and Philosophy 19 (1):29-43.
    Gould's Structure ofEvolutionary Theory argues that Darwinism hasundergone significant revision. Although Gouldsucceeds in showing that hierarchicalapproaches have expanded Darwinism, hiscritique of adaptationism is less successful. Gould claims that the ubiquity of developmentalconstraints and spandrels has forced biologiststo soften their commitment to adaptationism. Iargue that Gould overstates his conclusion; hisprincipal claims are compatible with at leastsome versions of adaptationism. Despite thisweakness, Gould's discussion of adaptationism –particularly his discussions of the exaptivepool and cross-level spandrels – shouldprovoke new work in evolutionary theory and (...)
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  • Adaptationism.Peter Godfrey-Smith & Jon F. Wilkins - 2007 - In Sarkar Sahotra & Anya Plutynski (eds.), A Companion to the Philosophy of Biology. Oxford, UK: Blackwell. pp. 186–201.
    This chapter contains section titled: Introduction The Development of the Debate Varieties of Adaptationism The Role of Zoom and Grain References.
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  • An organisational approach to biological communication.Ramiro Frick, Leonardo Bich & Alvaro Moreno - 2019 - Acta Biotheoretica (2):103-128.
    This paper aims to provide a philosophical and theoretical account of biological communication grounded in the notion of organisation. The organisational approach characterises living systems as organised in such a way that they are capable to self-produce and self-maintain while in constant interaction with the environment. To apply this theoretical framework to the study of biological communication, we focus on a specific approach, based on the notion of influence, according to which communication takes place when a signal emitted by a (...)
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  • Introduction: A Primer on adaptationism.Patrick Forber - 2009 - Biology and Philosophy 24 (2):155-159.
    Evolutionary biology, indeed any science that attempts to reconstruct prehistory, faces practical limitations on available data. These limitations create the problem of contrast failure: specific observations may fail to discriminate between rival evolutionary hypotheses. Assessing the risk of contrast failure provides a way to evaluate testing protocols in evolutionary science. Here I will argue that part of the methodological critique in the Spandrels paper involves diagnosing contrast failure problems. I then distinguish the problem of contrast failure from the more familiar (...)
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  • Developmental biology, natural selection, and the conceptual boundaries of the modern evolutionary synthesis.David J. Depew & Bruce H. Weber - 2017 - Zygon 52 (2):468-490.
    Using the evolution of the stickleback family of subarctic fish as a touchstone, we explore the effect of new discoveries about regulatory genetics, developmental plasticity, and epigenetic inheritance on the conceptual foundations of the Modern Evolutionary Synthesis. Identifying the creativity of natural selection as the hallmark of the Modern Synthesis, we show that since its inception its adherents have pursued a variety of research projects that at first seemed to conflict with its principles, but were accommodated. We situate challenges coming (...)
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  • What is menstruation for? On the projectibility of functional predicates in menstruation research.S. Clough - 2002 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 33 (4):719-732.
    In 1993, biologist Margie Profet captured the attention of the popular press with the publication of her radical thesis: menstruation has a function. Traditional theories, she claims, typically view menstruation as a functionless by-product of cyclic flux. The details of Profet's functional account are similarly radical: she argues that menstruation has been naturally selected to defend the female reproductive tract from sperm-borne pathogens. There are a number of weaknesses in Profet's evolutionary analysis. However, I focus on a set of pragmatic (...)
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  • Handbook of Evolutionary Thinking in the Sciences.Thomas Heams, Philippe Huneman, Guillaume Lecointre & Marc Silberstein (eds.) - 2015 - Springer.
    The Darwinian theory of evolution is itself evolving and this book presents the details of the core of modern Darwinism and its latest developmental directions. The authors present current scientific work addressing theoretical problems and challenges in four sections, beginning with the concepts of evolution theory, its processes of variation, heredity, selection, adaptation and function, and its patterns of character, species, descent and life. The second part of this book scrutinizes Darwinism in the philosophy of science and its usefulness in (...)
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  • Adaptationism.Steven Hecht Orzack - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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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 focuses 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 approach (...)
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  • Environmental Ethics.Roberta L. Millstein - 2013 - In K. Kampourakis (ed.), The Philosophy of Biology: A Companion for Educators. Springer.
    A number of areas of biology raise questions about what is of value in the natural environment and how we ought to behave towards it: conservation biology, environmental science, and ecology, to name a few. Based on my experience teaching students from these and similar majors, I argue that the field of environmental ethics has much to teach these students. They come to me with pent-up questions and a feeling that more is needed to fully engage in their subjects, and (...)
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  • Adaptación y función - El papel de los conceptos funcionales en la teoría de la selección natural darwiniana.Santiago Ginnobili - 2009 - Ludus Vitalis 17 (31):3-24.
    La discusión acerca de funciones es de larga data en filosofía. Normalmente se describe a la revolución científica del siglo XVII como eliminando las causas finales y la teleología de la física. Sin embargo, el lenguaje funcional cumple un papel central en ciertas áreas de la práctica biológica. Esto ha llevado a muchos filósofos a intentar elucidar el concepto de función, en algunos casos para defender la relevancia de estos usos, en otros para mostrar que se trata de meras formas (...)
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