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  1. Discussion: Three Ways to Misunderstand Developmental Systems Theory.Paul E. Griffiths & Russell D. Gray - 2005 - Biology and Philosophy 20 (2-3):417.
    Developmental systems theory (DST) is a general theoretical perspective on development, heredity and evolution. It is intended to facilitate the study of interactions between the many factors that influence development without reviving `dichotomous' debates over nature or nurture, gene or environment, biology or culture. Several recent papers have addressed the relationship between DST and the thriving new discipline of evolutionary developmental biology (EDB). The contributions to this literature by evolutionary developmental biologists contain three important misunderstandings of DST.
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  • The Replicator in Retrospect.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2000 - Biology and Philosophy 15 (3):403-423.
    The history and theoretical role of the concept of a ``replicator''is discussed, starting with Dawkins' and Hull's classic treatmentsand working forward. I argue that the replicator concept is still auseful one for evolutionary theory, but it should be revised insome ways. The most important revision is the recognition that notall processes of evolution by natural selection require thatsomething play the role of a replicator.
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  • Reciprocal Causation and the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis.Andrew Buskell - forthcoming - Biological Theory:1-13.
    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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  • Beyond Categorical Definitions of Life: A Data-Driven Approach to Assessing Lifeness.Christophe Malaterre & Jean-François Chartier - forthcoming - Synthese.
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  • A Sober View of Life. [REVIEW]Paul E. Griffiths - 1997 - Biology and Philosophy 12 (3):427-431.
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  • The Softening of the Modern Synthesis.Joeri Witteveen - 2011 - Acta Biotheoretica 59 (3):333-345.
    The Modern Synthesis has been receiving bad press for some time now. Back in 1983, in an article entitled “The Hardening of the Modern Synthesis” Stephen Jay Gould criticized the way the Modern Synthesis had developed since its inception in the 1930s and early 1940s (Gould 1983). Back then, those who would later become known as ‘architects’ of the synthesis were united in their call for explaining evolution at all levels in terms of causation at one level: genetics. What drove (...)
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  • Transitions in Evolution: A Formal Analysis.Pierrick Bourrat - forthcoming - Synthese.
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  • Do We Need an Extended Evolutionary Synthesis?Massimo Pigliucci - 2007 - Evolution 61 (12):2743-2749.
    The Modern Synthesis (MS) is the current paradigm in evolutionary biology. It was actually built by expanding on the conceptual foundations laid out by its predecessors, Darwinism and neo-Darwinism. For sometime now there has been talk of a new Extended Evolutionary Synthesis (EES), and this article begins to outline why we may need such an extension, and how it may come about. As philosopher Karl Popper has noticed, the current evolutionary theory is a theory of genes, and we still lack (...)
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  • Making the Most of Clade Selection.W. Ford Doolittle - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (2):275-295.
    Clade selection is unpopular with philosophers who otherwise accept multilevel selection theory. Clades cannot reproduce, and reproduction is widely thought necessary for evolution by natural selection, especially of complex adaptations. Using microbial evolutionary processes as heuristics, I argue contrariwise, that (1) clade growth (proliferation of contained species) substitutes for clade reproduction in the evolution of complex adaptation, (2) clade-level properties favoring persistence – species richness, dispersal, divergence, and possibly intraclade cooperation – are not collapsible into species-level traits, (3) such properties (...)
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  • Social Epistemology Transformed: Steve Fuller’s Account of Knowledge as a Divine Spark for Human Domination.William T. Lynch - 2016 - Symposion: Theoretical and Applied Inquiries in Philosophy and Social Sciences 3 (2): 191-205.
    In his new book, Knowledge: The Philosophical Quest in History, Steve Fuller returns to core themes of his program of social epistemology that he first outlined in his 1988 book, Social Epistemology. He develops a new, unorthodox theology and philosophy building upon his testimony in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District in defense of intelligent design, leading to a call for maximal human experimentation. Beginning from the theological premise rooted in the Abrahamic religious tradition that we are created in the (...)
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  • Modern Synthesis is the Light of Microbial Genomics.Austin Booth, Carlos Mariscal & W. Ford Doolittle - 2016 - Annual Reviews of Microbiology 70 (1):279-297.
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  • The Origins of Life: The Managed-Metabolism Hypothesis.John E. Stewart - 2018 - Foundations of Science:1-25.
    The ‘managed-metabolism’ hypothesis suggests that a ‘cooperation barrier’ must be overcome if self-producing chemical organizations are to undergo the transition from non-life to life. This dynamical barrier prevents un-managed autocatalytic networks of molecular species from individuating into complex, cooperative organizations. The barrier arises because molecular species that could otherwise make significant cooperative contributions to the success of an organization will often not be supported within the organization, and because side reactions and other ‘free-riding’ processes will undermine cooperation. As a result, (...)
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  • Pathways to Pluralism About Biological Individuality.Beckett Sterner - 2015 - Biology and Philosophy 30 (5):609-628.
    What are the prospects for a monistic view of biological individuality given the multiple epistemic roles the concept must satisfy? In this paper, I examine the epistemic adequacy of two recent accounts based on the capacity to undergo natural selection. One is from Ellen Clarke, and the other is by Peter Godfrey-Smith. Clarke’s position reflects a strong monism, in that she aims to characterize individuality in purely functional terms and refrains from privileging any specific material properties as important in their (...)
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  • The Practical Value of Biological Information for Research.Beckett Sterner - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (2):175-194,.
    Many philosophers are skeptical about the scientific value of the concept of biological information. However, several have recently proposed a more positive view of ascribing information as an exercise in scientific modeling. I argue for an alternative role: guiding empirical data collection for the sake of theorizing about the evolution of semantics. I clarify and expand on Bergstrom and Rosvall’s suggestion of taking a “diagnostic” approach that defines biological information operationally as a procedure for collecting empirical cases. The more recent (...)
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  • Limits to Natural Selection.Nick Barton & Linda Partridge - 2000 - Bioessays 22 (12):1075-1084.
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  • Why Possibly Language Evolved.Peter J. Richerson & Robert Boyd - unknown
    Human syntactic language has no close parallels in other systems of animal communication. Yet it seems to be an important part of the cultural adaptation that serves to make humans the earth’s dominant organism. Why is language restricted to humans given that communication seems to be so useful? We argue that language is part of human cooperation. We talk because others can normally trust what we say to be useful to them, not just to us. Models of gene-culture coevolution give (...)
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  • Mass Extinctions as Major Transitions.Adrian Currie - 2019 - Biology and Philosophy 34 (2):29.
    Both paleobiology and investigations of ‘major evolutionary transitions’ are intimately concerned with the macroevolutionary shape of life. It is surprising, then, how little studies of major transitions are informed by paleontological perspectives and. I argue that this disconnect is partially justified because paleobiological investigation is typically ‘phenomena-led’, while investigations of major transitions are ‘theory-led’. The distinction turns on evidential relevance: in the former case, evidence is relevant in virtue of its relationship to some phenomena or hypotheses concerning those phenomena; in (...)
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  • Variations in Variation and Selection: The Ubiquity of the Variation-and-Selective-Retention Ratchet in Emergent Organizational Complexity. [REVIEW]Mark H. Bickhard & Donald T. Campbell - 2003 - Foundations of Science 8 (3):215-282.
    The variation and selection form of explanationcan be prescinded from the evolutionary biologyhome ground in which it was discovered and forwhich it has been most developed. When this isdone, variation and selection explanations arefound to have potential application to a widerange of phenomena, far beyond the classicalbiological ground and the contemporaryextensions into epistemological domains. Itappears as the form of explanation most suitedto phenomena of fit. It is also found toparticipate in multiple interestingrelationships with other forms of explanation. We proceed with (...)
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  • Okasha’s Evolution and the Levels of Selection: Toward a Broader Conception of Theoretical Biology. [REVIEW]Massimo Pigliucci - 2010 - Biology and Philosophy 25 (3):405-415.
    The debate about the levels of selection has been one of the most controversial both in evolutionary biology and in philosophy of science. Okasha’s book makes the sort of contribution that simply will not be able to be ignored by anyone interested in this field for many years to come. However, my interest here is in highlighting some examples of how Okasha goes about discussing his material to suggest that his book is part of an increasingly interesting trend that sees (...)
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  • Biological Levers and Extended Adaptationism.Gillian Barker - 2008 - Biology and Philosophy 23 (1):1-25.
    Two critiques of simple adaptationism are distinguished: anti-adaptationism and extended adaptationism. Adaptationists and anti-adaptationists share the presumption that an evolutionary explanation should identify the dominant simple cause of the evolutionary outcome to be explained. A consideration of extended-adaptationist models such as coevolution, niche construction and extended phenotypes reveals the inappropriateness of this presumption in explaining the evolution of certain important kinds of features—those that play particular roles in the regulation of organic processes, especially behavior. These biological or behavioral ‘levers’ are (...)
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  • Complexity, Natural Selection and the Evolution of Life and Humans.Börje Ekstig - 2015 - Foundations of Science 20 (2):175-187.
    In this paper, I discuss the concept of complexity. I show that the principle of natural selection as acting on complexity gives a solution to the problem of reconciling the seemingly contradictory notion of generally increasing complexity and the observation that most species don’t follow such a trend. I suggest the process of evolution to be illustrated by means of a schematic diagram of complexity versus time, interpreted as a form of the Tree of Life. The suggested model implies that (...)
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  • Immunity and the Emergence of Individuality.Thomas Pradeu - 2013 - In Philippe Huneman & Frédéric Bouchard (eds.), From Groups to Individuals. Evolution and Emerging Individuality. MIT Press. pp. 77.
    Since, it has become clear that individuality is not to be considered as a given, but rather as something which needs to be explained. How has individuality emerged through evolution, and how has it subsequently been maintained? In particular, why is it that multicellular organisms appeared and persisted, despite the obvious interest of each cell of favoring its own replication? Several biologists see the immune system as one of the key components for explaining the maintenance of multicellular organisms’ individuality. Indeed, (...)
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  • Human Metasystem Transition Theory.Cadell Last - 2015 - Journal of Evolution and Technology 25 (1):1-16.
    Metasystem transitions are events representing the evolutionary emergence of a higher level of organization through the integration of subsystems into a higher “metasystem”. Such events have occurred several times throughout the history of life. The emergence of new levels of organization has occurred within the human system three times; and has resulted in three broadly defined levels of higher control; producing three broadly defined levels of group selection. These are “Human Metasystem Transitions”. Throughout these HMST several common system-level patterns have (...)
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  • Language Networks: Their Structure, Function, and Evolution.Ricard V. Solé, Bernat Corominas-Murtra, Sergi Valverde & Luc Steels - 2010 - Complexity 15 (6):20-26.
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  • Individuals, Groups, Fitness and Utility: Multi-Level Selection Meets Social Choice Theory.Samir Okasha - 2009 - Biology and Philosophy 24 (5):561-584.
    In models of multi-level selection, the property of Darwinian fitness is attributed to entities at more than one level of the biological hierarchy, e.g. individuals and groups. However, the relation between individual and group fitness is a controversial matter. Theorists disagree about whether group fitness should always, or ever, be defined as total (or average) individual fitness. This paper tries to shed light on the issue by drawing on work in social choice theory, and pursuing an analogy between fitness and (...)
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  • Darwinism Extended: A Survey of How the Idea of Cultural Evolution Evolved.Chris Buskes - 2013 - Philosophia 41 (3):661-691.
    In the past 150 years there have been many attempts to draw parallels between cultural and biological evolution. Most of these attempts were flawed due to lack of knowledge and false ideas about evolution. In recent decades these shortcomings have been cleared away, thus triggering a renewed interest in the subject. This paper offers a critical survey of the main issues and arguments in that discussion. The paper starts with an explication of the Darwinian algorithm of evolution. It is argued (...)
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  • Development, Culture, and the Units of Inheritance.James Griesemer - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (3):368.
    Developmental systems theory (DST) expands the unit of replication from genes to whole systems of developmental resources, which DST interprets in terms of cycling developmental processes. Expansion seems required by DST's argument against privileging genes in evolutionary and developmental explanations of organic traits. DST and the expanded replicator brook no distinction between biological and cultural evolution. However, by endorsing a single expanded unit of inheritance and leaving the classical molecular notion of gene intact, DST achieves only a nominal reunification of (...)
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  • Evolution Unbound: Releasing the Arrow of Complexity.Kevin B. Korb & Alan Dorin - 2011 - Biology and Philosophy 26 (3):317-338.
    The common opinion has been that evolution results in the continuing development of more complex forms of life, generally understood as more complex organisms. The arguments supporting that opinion have recently come under scrutiny and been found wanting. Nevertheless, the appearance of increasing complexity remains. So, is there some sense in which evolution does grow complexity? Artificial life simulations have consistently failed to reproduce even the appearance of increasing complexity, which poses a challenge. Simulations, as much as scientific theories, are (...)
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  • Evolutionary Perspectives on Molecular Medicine: Cancer From an Evolutionary Perspective.A. Plutynski - forthcoming - In G. Boniolo & M. J. Nathan (eds.), Philosophy of Molecular Medicine: Foundational Issues in Research and Practice. Routledge.
    There is an active research program currently underway, which treats cancer progression as an evolutionary process. This contribution investigates the ways that cancer progression is like and unlike evolution in other contexts. The aim is to take a multi-level perspective on cancer, investigating the levels at which selection may be acting, the unit or target of selection, the relative roles of selection and drift, and the idea that cancer progression may be a by-product of selection at other levels of organization.
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  • Manfred D. Laubichler and Gerd B. Müller : Modeling Biology: Structures, Behaviors, Evolution.Brett Calcott - 2009 - Acta Biotheoretica 57 (3):383-387.
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  • An Evolutionary Theory of Schizophrenia: Cortical Connectivity, Metarepresentation, and the Social Brain.Jonathan Kenneth Burns - 2004 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (6):831-855.
    Schizophrenia is a worldwide, prevalent disorder with a multifactorial but highly genetic aetiology. A constant prevalence rate in the face of reduced fecundity has caused some to argue that an evolutionary advantage exists in unaffected relatives. Here, I critique this adaptationist approach, and review – and find wanting – Crow's “speciation” hypothesis. In keeping with available biological and psychological evidence, I propose an alternative theory of the origins of this disorder. Schizophrenia is a disorder of the social brain, and it (...)
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  • Density-Dependent Selection Revisited: Mechanisms Linking Explanantia and Explananda.Marion Blute - 2016 - Biological Theory 11 (2):113-121.
    Interest in the most general theory of the evolutionary ecology of life histories ever proposed—that of density-independent versus density-dependent selection—peaked in the 1980s and 1990s respectively but declined somewhat thereafter because of arguments over its theoretical coherence and some empirical failures; although as is shown here, not so much as is commonly supposed. In this article, some conceptual analyses and clarification of terms in the conditions for its application, and in the explanantia of the theory are presented. These make intelligible (...)
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  • In Darwin's Wake, Where Am I?Daniel C. Dennett - 2001 - Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 75 (2):11 - 30.
    He was not just my teacher and my friend. He was my hero, a man who was quietly but passionately committed to truth, to clarity, to understanding everything under the sun–and to making himself understood. More than anybody else he has made me proud to be a philosopher, so I would like to dedicate my Presidential Address to his memory.
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  • Which Comes First in Major Transitions: The Behavioral Chicken, or the Evolutionary Egg?Michael Trestman - 2013 - Biological Theory 7 (1):48 - 55.
    This paper takes a close look at the role of behavior in the “major transitions” in evolution—events during which inheritance and development, and therefore the process of adaptation by natural selection, are reorganized at a new level of compositional hierarchy—and at the requirements for sufficiently explaining these important events in the history of life. I argue that behavior played a crucial role in driving at least some of the major transitions. Because behavioral interactions can become stably organized in novel ways (...)
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  • Molecular Organisms.Maureen A. O’Malley - 2016 - Biology and Philosophy 31 (4):571-589.
    Protistology, and evolutionary protistology in particular, is experiencing a golden research era. It is an extended one that can be dated back to the 1970s, which is when the molecular rebirth of microbial phylogeny began in earnest. John Archibald, a professor of evolutionary microbiology at Dalhousie University, focuses on the beautiful story of endosymbiosis in his book, John Archibald, One Plus One Equals One: Symbiosis and the Origin of Complex Life. However, this historical narrative could be treated as synecdochal of (...)
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  • Plant Individuality: A Solution to the Demographer’s Dilemma.Ellen Clarke - 2012 - Biology and Philosophy 27 (3):321-361.
    The problem of plant individuality is something which has vexed botanists throughout the ages, with fashion swinging back and forth from treating plants as communities of individuals (Darwin 1800 ; Braun and Stone 1853 ; Münch 1938 ) to treating them as organisms in their own right, and although the latter view has dominated mainstream thought most recently (Harper 1977 ; Cook 1985 ; Ariew and Lewontin 2004 ), a lively debate conducted mostly in Scandinavian journals proves that the issues (...)
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  • Response to Commentaries on “The Transmission Sense of Information”.Carl T. Bergstrom & Martin Rosvall - 2011 - Biology and Philosophy 26 (2):195-200.
    Response to commentaries on “The Transmission Sense of Information” Content Type Journal Article Pages 195-200 DOI 10.1007/s10539-011-9257-3 Authors Carl T. Bergstrom, Department of Biology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-1800, USA Martin Rosvall, Integrated Science Lab, Department of Physics, Umeå University, 901 87 Umeå, Sweden Journal Biology and Philosophy Online ISSN 1572-8404 Print ISSN 0169-3867 Journal Volume Volume 26 Journal Issue Volume 26, Number 2.
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  • Will a Stroke of Neuroscience Ever Eradicate Evil?Ronald de Sousa & Douglas Heinrichs - 2010 - In Luca Malatesti & John McMillan (eds.), Responsibility and Psychopathy: Interfacing Law, Psychiatry and Philosophy. Oxford University Press, Usa.
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  • Eukaryogenesis: How Special, Really?Austin Booth & W. Ford Doolittle - 2015 - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America:1-8.
    Eukaryogenesis is widely viewed as an improbable evolutionary transition uniquely affecting the evolution of life on this planet. However, scientific and popular rhetoric extolling this event as a singularity lacks rigorous evidential and statistical support. Here, we question several of the usual claims about the specialness of eukaryogenesis, focusing on both eukaryogenesis as a process and its outcome, the eukaryotic cell. We argue in favor of four ideas. First, the criteria by which we judge eukaryogenesis to have required a genuinely (...)
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  • Visions of Evolution: Self-Organization Proposes What Natural Selection Disposes.David Batten, Stanley Salthe & Fabio Boschetti - 2008 - Biological Theory 3 (1):17-29.
    This article reviews the seven “visions” of evolution proposed by Depew and Weber , concluding that each posited relationship between natural selection and self-organization has suited different aims and approaches. In the second section of the article, we show that these seven viewpoints may be collapsed into three fundamentally different ones: natural selection drives evolution; self-organization drives evolution; and natural selection and self-organization are complementary aspects of the evolutionary process. We then argue that these three approaches are not mutually exclusive, (...)
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  • Language Co-Evolved with the Rule of Law.Chris Knight - 2007 - Mind and Society 7 (1):109-128.
    Many scholars assume a connection between the evolution of language and that of distinctively human group-level morality. Unfortunately, such thinkers frequently downplay a central implication of modern Darwinian theory, which precludes the possibility of innate psychological mechanisms evolving to benefit the group at the expense of the individual. Group level moral regulation is indeed central to public life in all known human communities. The production of speech acts would be impossible without this. The challenge, therefore, is to explain on a (...)
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  • The Transition to Experiencing: I. Limited Learning and Limited Experiencing.Simona Ginsburg & Eva Jablonka - 2007 - Biological Theory 2 (3):218-230.
    This is the first of two papers in which we propose an evolutionary route for the transition from sensory processing to unlimited experiencing, or basic consciousness. We argue that although an evolutionary analysis does not provide a formal definition and set of sufficient conditions for consciousness, it can identify crucial factors and suggest what evolutionary changes enabled the transition. We believe that the raw material from which feelings were molded by natural selection was a global sensory state that we call (...)
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  • Culture is Part of Human Biology.Peter J. Richerson & Robert Boyd - unknown
    Rates of violence in the American South have long been much greater than in the North. Accounts of duels, feuds, bushwhackings, and lynchings occur prominently in visitors’ accounts, newspaper articles, and autobiography from the 18th Century onward. According to crime statistics these differences persist today. In their book, Culture of Honor, Richard Nisbett and Dov Cohen argue that the South is more violent than the North because Southerners have different, culturally acquired beliefs about personal honor than Northerners. The South was (...)
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  • The Origins of Life: The Managed-Metabolism Hypothesis.John E. Stewart - 2019 - Foundations of Science 24 (1):171-195.
    The ‘managed-metabolism’ hypothesis suggests that a ‘cooperation barrier’ must be overcome if self-producing chemical organizations are to undergo the transition from non-life to life. This dynamical barrier prevents un-managed autocatalytic networks of molecular species from individuating into complex, cooperative organizations. The barrier arises because molecular species that could otherwise make significant cooperative contributions to the success of an organization will often not be supported within the organization, and because side reactions and other ‘free-riding’ processes will undermine cooperation. As a result, (...)
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  • Agency, Meaning, Perception and Mimicry: Perspectives From the Process of Life and Third Way of Evolution.R. I. Vane-Wright - 2019 - Biosemiotics 12 (1):57-77.
    The concept of biological mimicry is viewed as a ‘process of life’ theory rather than a ‘process of change’ theory—regardless of the historical interest and heuristic value of the subject for the study of evolution. Mimicry is a dynamic ecological system reflecting the possibilities for mutualism and parasitism created by a pre-established bipartite signal-based relationship between two organisms – a potential model and its signal receiver. In a mimicry system agency and perception play essential, interconnected roles. Mimicry thus describes emergent (...)
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  • Two Purposes of Black Hole Production.Clément Vidal - 2012 - Foundations of Science 17 (1):13-15.
    Crane envisions the speculative conjecture that intelligent civilizations might want and be able to produce black holes in the very far future. He implicitly suggests two main purposes of this enterprise: (i) energy production and (ii) universe production. We discuss those two options. The commentary is obviously highly speculative and should be read accordingly.
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  • Ageing as a Price of Cooperation and Complexity.Huba J. M. Kiss, Ágoston Mihalik, Tibor Nánási, Bálint Őry, Zoltán Spiró, Csaba Sőti & Peter Csermely - 2009 - Bioessays 31 (6):651-664.
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  • Too Early? On the Apparent Conflict of Astrobiology and Cosmology.Milan M. Ćirković - 2006 - Biology and Philosophy 21 (3):369-379.
    An interesting consequence of the modern cosmological paradigm is the spatial infinity of the universe. When coupled with naturalistic understanding of the origin of life and intelligence, which follows the basic tenets of astrobiology, and with some fairly incontroversial assumptions in the theory of observation selection effects, this infinity leads, as Ken Olum has recently shown, to a paradoxical conclusion. Olum's paradox is related, to the famous Fermi's paradox in astrobiology and “SETI” studies. We, hereby, present an evolutionary argument countering (...)
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  • A Synthesis and a Practical Approach to Complex Systems.Nicolas Brodu - 2009 - Complexity 15 (1):36-60.
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  • What Levels of Explanation in the Behavioural Sciences?Giuseppe Boccignone & Roberto Cordeschi (eds.) - 2015 - Frontiers Media SA.
    Complex systems are to be seen as typically having multiple levels of organization. For instance, in the behavioural and cognitive sciences, there has been a long lasting trend, promoted by the seminal work of David Marr, putting focus on three distinct levels of analysis: the computational level, accounting for the What and Why issues, the algorithmic and the implementational levels specifying the How problem. However, the tremendous developments in neuroscience knowledge about processes at different scales of organization together with the (...)
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