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  1. The Mind, the Lab, and the Field: Three Kinds of Populations in Scientific Practice.Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther, Ryan Giordano, Michael D. Edge & Rasmus Nielsen - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 52:12-21.
    Scientists use models to understand the natural world, and it is important not to conflate model and nature. As an illustration, we distinguish three different kinds of populations in studies of ecology and evolution: theoretical, laboratory, and natural populations, exemplified by the work of R.A. Fisher, Thomas Park, and David Lack, respectively. Biologists are rightly concerned with all three types of populations. We examine the interplay between these different kinds of populations, and their pertinent models, in three examples: the notion (...)
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  • Prediction in Selectionist Evolutionary Theory.Rasmus Gr⊘Nfeldt Winther - 2009 - Philosophy of Science 76 (5):889-901.
    Selectionist evolutionary theory has often been faulted for not making novel predictions that are surprising, risky, and correct. I argue that it in fact exhibits the theoretical virtue of predictive capacity in addition to two other virtues: explanatory unification and model fitting. Two case studies show the predictive capacity of selectionist evolutionary theory: parallel evolutionary change in E. coli, and the origin of eukaryotic cells through endosymbiosis.
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  • Revisiting George Gaylord Simpson’s “The Role of the Individual in Evolution”.Lynn K. Nyhart & Scott Lidgard - 2021 - Biological Theory 16 (4):203-212.
    “The Role of the Individual in Evolution” is a prescient yet neglected 1941 work by the 20th century’s most important paleontologist, George Gaylord Simpson. In a curious intermingling of explanation and critique, Simpson engages questions that would become increasingly fundamental in modern biological theory and philosophy. Did individuality, adaptation, and evolutionary causation reside at more than one level: the cell, the organism, the genetically coherent reproductive group, the social group, or some combination thereof? What was an individual, anyway? In this (...)
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  • The Handicap Principle and the Argument of Subversion From Within.Christian Baron - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (3):347-355.
    This paper examines the very disparate positions that various actors have taken towards the argument of subversion from within in a set of related debates on group selection, altruism and the handicap principle. Using this set of debates as a case study, this paper argues that different applications of epistemic values were one of the factors behind the disagreements between John Maynard Smith and Amotz Zahavi over a number of important evolutionary issues. The paper also argues that these different applications (...)
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