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  1. From Obesity to Energy Metabolism: Ontological Perspectives on the Metrics of Human Bodies.Davide Serpico & Andrea Borghini - 2020 - Topoi 40 (3):577-586.
    In this paper, we aim at rethinking the concept of obesity in a way that better captures the connection between underlying medical aspects, on the one hand, and an individual’s developmental history, on the other. Our proposal rests on the idea that obesity is not to be understood as a phenotypic trait or character; rather, obesity represents one of the many possible states of a more complex phenotypic trait that we call ‘energy metabolism.’ We argue that this apparently simple conceptual (...)
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  • Homeostatic Property Cluster Theory without Homeostatic Mechanisms: Two Recent Attempts and their Costs.Yukinori Onishi & Davide Serpico - 2021 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie:1-22.
    The homeostatic property cluster theory is widely influential for its ability to account for many natural-kind terms in the life sciences. However, the notion of homeostatic mechanism has never been fully explicated. In 2009, Carl Craver interpreted the notion in the sense articulated in discussions on mechanistic explanation and pointed out that the HPC account equipped with such notion invites interest-relativity. In this paper, we analyze two recent refinements on HPC: one that avoids any reference to the causes of the (...)
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  • Rethinking creative intelligence: comparative psychology and the concept of creativity.Henry Shevlin - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-21.
    The concept of creativity is a central one in folk psychological explanation and has long been prominent in philosophical debates about the nature of art, genius, and the imagination. The scientific investigation of creativity in humans is also well established, and there has been increasing interest in the question of whether the concept can be rigorously applied to non-human animals. In this paper, I argue that such applications face serious challenges of both a conceptual and methodological character, reflecting deep controversies (...)
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  • Beyond Quantitative and Qualitative Traits: Three Telling Cases in the Life Sciences.Davide Serpico - 2020 - Biology and Philosophy 35 (3):1-26.
    This paper challenges the common assumption that some phenotypic traits are quantitative while others are qualitative. The distinction between these two kinds of traits is widely influential in biological and biomedical research as well as in scientific education and communication. This is probably due to both historical and epistemological reasons. However, the quantitative/qualitative distinction involves a variety of simplifications on the genetic causes of phenotypic variability and on the development of complex traits. Here, I examine three cases from the life (...)
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