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  1. Information in Biology.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2007 - In David L. Hull & Michael Ruse (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to the Philosophy of Biology. Cambridge University Press. pp. 103--119.
    The concept of information has acquired a strikingly prominent role in contemporary biology. This trend is especially marked within genetics, but it has also become important in other areas, such as evolutionary theory and developmental biology, particularly where these fields border on genetics. The most distinctive biological role for informational concepts, and the one that has generated the most discussion, is in the description of the relations between genes and the various structures and processes that genes play a role in (...)
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  • Who is a Modeler?M. Weisberg - 2007 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 58 (2):207-233.
    Many standard philosophical accounts of scientific practice fail to distinguish between modeling and other types of theory construction. This failure is unfortunate because there are important contrasts among the goals, procedures, and representations employed by modelers and other kinds of theorists. We can see some of these differences intuitively when we reflect on the methods of theorists such as Vito Volterra and Linus Pauling on the one hand, and Charles Darwin and Dimitri Mendeleev on the other. Much of Volterra's and (...)
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  • Inherited Representations Are Read in Development.Nicholas Shea - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (1):1-31.
    Recent theoretical work has identified a tightly-constrained sense in which genes carry representational content. Representational properties of the genome are founded in the transmission of DNA over phylogenetic time and its role in natural selection. However, genetic representation is not just relevant to questions of selection and evolution. This paper goes beyond existing treatments and argues for the heterodox view that information generated by a process of selection over phylogenetic time can be read in ontogenetic time, in the course of (...)
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  • Fitness and Function.D. M. Walsh - 1996 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 47 (4):553-574.
    According to historical theories of biological function, a trait's function is determined by natural selection in the past. I argue that, in addition to historical functions, ahistorical functions ought to be recognized. I propose a theory of biological function which accommodates both. The function of a trait is the way it contributes to fitness and fitness can only be determined relative to a selective regime. Therefore, the function of a trait can only be specified relative to a selective regime. Apart (...)
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  • What’s Transmitted? Inherited Information.Nicholas Shea - 2011 - Biology and Philosophy 26 (2):183-189.
    Commentary on Bergstrom and Rosvall, ‘The transmission sense of information’, Biology and Philosophy. In response to worries that uses of the concept of information in biology are metaphorical or insubstantial, Bergstrom and Rosvall have identified a sense in which DNA transmits information down the generations. Their ‘transmission view of information’ is founded on a claim about DNA’s teleofunction. Bergstrom and Rosvall see their transmission view of information as a rival to semantic accounts. This commentary argues that it is complementary. The (...)
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  • Signals: Evolution, Learning, and Information.Brian Skyrms - 2010 - Oxford University Press.
    Brian Skyrms offers a fascinating demonstration of how fundamental signals are to our world. He uses various scientific tools to investigate how meaning and communication develop. Signals operate in networks of senders and receivers at all levels of life, transmitting and processing information. That is how humans and animals think and interact.
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  • Error and the Growth of Experimental Knowledge.Deborah Mayo - 1996 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 15 (1):455-459.
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  • Biological Codes and Topological Causation.Benjamin Jantzen & David Danks - 2008 - Philosophy of Science 75 (3):259-277.
    Various causal details of the genetic process of translation have been singled out to account for its privileged status as a ‘code'. We explicate the biological uses of coding talk by characterizing a class of special causal processes in which topological properties are the causally relevant ones. This class contains both the process of translation and communication theoretic coding processes as special cases. We propose a formalism in terms of graphs for expressing our theory of biological codes and discuss its (...)
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  • Knowledge and the Flow of Information.Fred Dretske - 1981 - Philosophy of Science 49 (2):297-300.
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  • Language, Thought, and Other Biological Categories.Ruth Garrett Millikan - 1984 - Behaviorism 14 (1):51-56.
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  • Representing and Intervening: Introductory Topics in the Philosophy of Natural Science.Ian Hacking - 1983 - Noûs 22 (2):299-307.
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  • Representing and Intervening: Introductory Topics in the Philosophy of Natural Science.Ian Hacking - 1983 - Cambridge University Press.
    This 1983 book is a lively and clearly written introduction to the philosophy of natural science, organized around the central theme of scientific realism. It has two parts. 'Representing' deals with the different philosophical accounts of scientific objectivity and the reality of scientific entities. The views of Kuhn, Feyerabend, Lakatos, Putnam, van Fraassen, and others, are all considered. 'Intervening' presents the first sustained treatment of experimental science for many years and uses it to give a new direction to debates about (...)
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  • Error and the Growth of Experimental Knowledge.Deborah Mayo - 1996 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 48 (3):455-459.
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  • Science Without Laws.Ronald N. Giere - 1999 - Mind 111 (441):111-114.
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  • Knowlegde and the Flow of Information.F. Dretske - 1989 - Trans/Form/Ação 12:133-139.
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  • How the Laws of Physics Lie.Nancy Cartwright - 1983 - Oxford University Press.
    In this sequence of philosophical essays about natural science, the author argues that fundamental explanatory laws, the deepest and most admired successes of modern physics, do not in fact describe regularities that exist in nature. Cartwright draws from many real-life examples to propound a novel distinction: that theoretical entities, and the complex and localized laws that describe them, can be interpreted realistically, but the simple unifying laws of basic theory cannot.
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  • Varieties of Meaning: The 2002 Jean Nicod Lectures.Ruth Garrett Millikan - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 75 (3):674-681.
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  • The Concept of Information in Biology.John Maynard Smith - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (2):177-194.
    The use of informational terms is widespread in molecular and developmental biology. The usage dates back to Weismann. In both protein synthesis and in later development, genes are symbols, in that there is no necessary connection between their form (sequence) and their effects. The sequence of a gene has been determined, by past natural selection, because of the effects it produces. In biology, the use of informational terms implies intentionality, in that both the form of the signal, and the response (...)
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  • Information in Biology: A Fictionalist Account.Arnon Levy - 2011 - Noûs 45 (4):640-657.
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  • Data-Driven Sciences: From Wonder Cabinets to Electronic Databases.Bruno J. Strasser - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 43 (1):85-87.
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  • The Use of Information Theory in Biology: Lessons From Social Insects.Jessica Pfeifer - 2006 - Biological Theory 1 (3):317-330.
    In this paper, I discuss how information theory has been used in the study of animal communication, as well as how these uses are justified. Biologists justify their use of Shannon’s information measures by the work they do in allowing for comparisons between different organisms and because they measure a quantity that is purported to be important for natural selection. I argue that there are problems with both sorts of justification. To make these difficulties clear, I focus on the use (...)
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  • Information: Its Interpretation, its Inheritance, and its Sharing.Eva Jablonka - 2002 - Philosophy of Science 69 (4):578-605.
    The semantic concept of information is one of the most important, and one of the most problematical concepts in biology. I suggest a broad definition of biological information: a source becomes an informational input when an interpreting receiver can react to the form of the source (and variations in this form) in a functional manner. The definition accommodates information stemming from environmental cues as well as from evolved signals, and calls for a comparison between information‐transmission in different types of inheritance (...)
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  • Data-Driven Sciences: From Wonder Cabinets to Electronic Databases.Bruno J. Strasser - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 43 (1):85-87.
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  • Senders, Receivers, and Genetic Information: Comments on Bergstrom and Rosvall.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2011 - Biology and Philosophy 26 (2):177-181.
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  • Formalization and the Meaning of “Theory” in the Inexact Biological Sciences.James Griesemer - 2013 - Biological Theory 7 (4):298-310.
    Exact sciences are described as sciences whose theories are formalized. These are contrasted to inexact sciences, whose theories are not formalized. Formalization is described as a broader category than mathematization, involving any form/content distinction allowing forms, e.g., as represented in theoretical models, to be studied independently of the empirical content of a subject-matter domain. Exactness is a practice depending on the use of theories to control subject-matter domains and to align theoretical with empirical models and not merely a state of (...)
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  • Genetics and Philosophy : An Introduction.Paul Griffiths & Karola Stotz - 2013 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    In the past century, nearly all of the biological sciences have been directly affected by discoveries and developments in genetics, a fast-evolving subject with important theoretical dimensions. In this rich and accessible book, Paul Griffiths and Karola Stotz show how the concept of the gene has evolved and diversified across the many fields that make up modern biology. By examining the molecular biology of the 'environment', they situate genetics in the developmental biology of whole organisms, and reveal how the molecular (...)
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  • A Mathematical Theory of Communication.Claude E. Shannon - 1948 - Bell System Technical Journal 27:379–423.
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  • Complexity and the Function of Mind in Nature.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 1996 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 48 (4):613-617.
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  • Towards Philosophical Foundations of Systems Biology: Introduction.Fred C. Boogerd, Frank J. Bruggeman, Jan-Hendrik S. Hofmeyr & Hans V. Westerhoff - 2007 - In Fred C. Boogerd, Frank J. Bruggeman, Jan-Hendrik S. Hofmeyr & Hans V. Westerhoff (eds.), Systems Biology: Philosophical Foundations. Elsevier.
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  • Models as Mediators: Perspectives on Natural and Social Science.Mary S. Morgan & Margaret Morrison (eds.) - 1999 - Cambridge University Press.
    Models as Mediators discusses the ways in which models function in modern science, particularly in the fields of physics and economics. Models play a variety of roles in the sciences: they are used in the development, exploration and application of theories and in measurement methods. They also provide instruments for using scientific concepts and principles to intervene in the world. The editors provide a framework which covers the construction and function of scientific models, and explore the ways in which they (...)
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  • Genetic Information as Instructional Content.Ulrich E. Stegmann - 2005 - Philosophy of Science 72 (3):425-443.
    The concept of genetic information is controversial because it attributes semantic properties to what seem to be ordinary biochemical entities. I argue that nucleic acids contain information in a semantic sense, but only about a limited range of effects. In contrast to other recent proposals, however, I analyze genetic information not in terms of a naturalized account of biological functions, but instead in terms of the way in which molecules determine their products during processes known as template-directed syntheses. I argue (...)
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  • How the Laws of Physics Lie.Nancy Cartwright - 1985 - Philosophy of Science 52 (3):478-480.
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  • Discovering Complexity Decomposition and Localization as Strategies in Scientific Research.William Bechtel & Robert C. Richardson - 1993 - Princeton.
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  • Reductionism and its Heuristics: Making Methodological Reductionism Honest.William Wimsatt - 2006 - Synthese 151 (3):445-475.
    Methodological reductionists practice ‘wannabe reductionism’. They claim that one should pursue reductionism, but never propose how. I integrate two strains in prior work to do so. Three kinds of activities are pursued as “reductionist”. “Successional reduction” and inter-level mechanistic explanation are legitimate and powerful strategies. Eliminativism is generally ill-conceived. Specific problem-solving heuristics for constructing inter-level mechanistic explanations show why and when they can provide powerful and fruitful tools and insights, but sometimes lead to erroneous results. I show how traditional metaphysical (...)
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  • Re-Engineering Philosophy for Limited Beings. Piecewise Approximations to Reality.William C. Wimsatt - 2010 - Critica 42 (124):108-117.
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  • The Major Transitions in Evolution.John Maynard Smith & Eors Szathmary - 1996 - Journal of the History of Biology 29 (1):151-152.
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  • Transforming Objects Into Data: How Minute Technicalities of Recording “Species Location” Entrench a Basic Challenge for Biodiversity.Ayelet Shavit & James Griesemer - 2011 - In M. Carrier & A. Nordmann (eds.), Science in the Context of Application. Springer. pp. 169--193.
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  • .David Lamb (ed.) - 1987 - Croom Helm.
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