Results for 'Theoretical biology'

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  1. Biosemiosis and Causation: Defending Biosemiotics Through Rosen's Theoretical Biology, or, Integrating Biosemiotics and Anticipatory Systems Theory.Arran Gare - 2019 - Cosmos and History 19 (1):31-90.
    The fracture in the emerging discipline of biosemiotics when the code biologist Marcello Barbieri claimed that Peircian biosemiotics is not genuine science raises anew the question: What is science? When it comes to radically new approaches in science, there is no simple answer to this question, because if successful, these new approaches change what is understood to be science. This is what Galileo, Darwin and Einstein did to science, and with quantum theory, opposing interpretations are not merely about what theory (...)
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  2. Overcoming the Newtonian Paradigm: The Unfinished Project of Theoretical Biology From a Schellingian Perspective.Arran Gare - 2013 - Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology 113:5-24.
    Defending Robert Rosen’s claim that in every confrontation between physics and biology it is physics that has always had to give ground, it is shown that many of the most important advances in mathematics and physics over the last two centuries have followed from Schelling’s demand for a new physics that could make the emergence of life intelligible. Consequently, while reductionism prevails in biology, many biophysicists are resolutely anti-reductionist. This history is used to identify and defend a fragmented (...)
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  3. Approaches to the Question, ‘What is Life?’: Reconciling Theoretical Biology with Philosophical Biology.Arran Gare - 2008 - Cosmos and History 4 (1-2):53-77.
    Philosophical biologists have attempted to define the distinction between life and non-life to more adequately define what it is to be human. They are reacting against idealism, but idealism is their point of departure, and they have embraced the reaction by idealists against the mechanistic notion of humans developed by the scientific materialists. Theoretical biologists also have attempted to develop a more adequate conception of life, but their point of departure has been within science itself. In their case, it (...)
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  4. Okasha’s Evolution and the Levels of Selection: Toward a Broader Conception of Theoretical Biology: Oxford University Press, Oxford. [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 (...)
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  5.  67
    Evolutionary Causation: Biological and Philosophical Reflections. Vienna Series in Theoretical Biology Edited by Tobias Uller and Kevin N. Laland. [REVIEW]Charles H. Pence - 2020 - The Quarterly Review of Biology 95 (2):150-151.
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  6.  87
    Biology and Theology in Aristotle's Theoretical and Practical Sciences.Monte Johnson - 2021 - In Sophia Connell (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Aristotle's Biology. Cambridge, UK: pp. 12-29.
    Biology and theology are interdependent theoretical sciences for Aristotle. In prominent discussions of the divine things (the stars and their unmoved movers) Aristotle appeals to the science of living things, and in prominent discussions of the nature of plants and animals Aristotle appeals to the nature of the divine. There is in fact a single continuous series of living things that includes gods, humans, animals, and plants, all of them in a way divine. Aristotle has this continuum of (...)
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  7. The Biosemiotic Approach in Biology : Theoretical Bases and Applied Models.Joao Queiroz, Claus Emmeche, Kalevi Kull & Charbel El-Hani - 2011 - In George Terzis & Robert Arp (eds.), Information and Living Systems -- Philosophical and Scientific Perspectives. MIT Press. pp. 91-130.
    Biosemiotics is a growing fi eld that investigates semiotic processes in the living realm in an attempt to combine the fi ndings of the biological sciences and semiotics. Semiotic processes are more or less what biologists have typically referred to as “ signals, ” “ codes, ”and “ information processing ”in biosystems, but these processes are here understood under the more general notion of semiosis, that is, the production, action, and interpretation of signs. Thus, biosemiotics can be seen as (...) interpreted as a study of living sign systems — which also means that semiosis or sign process can be seen as the very nature of life itself. In other words, biosemiotics is a field of research investigating semiotic processes (meaning, signification, communication, and habit formation in living systems) and the physicochemical preconditions for sign action and interpretation. -/- (...). (shrink)
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  8. Regulatory Evolution and Theoretical Arguments in Evolutionary Biology.Stavros Ioannidis - 2013 - Science & Education 22 (2):279-292.
    The cis-regulatory hypothesis is one of the most important claims of evolutionary developmental biology. In this paper I examine the theoretical argument for cis-regulatory evolution and its role within evolutionary theorizing. I show that, although the argument has some weaknesses, it acts as a useful example for the importance of current scientific debates for science education.
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  9.  92
    Revamping Molecular Biology for the Twentieth First Century, or Putting Back the Theoretical Horse Ahead of the Technological Cart.Armando Aranda-Anzaldo - 2010 - Ludus Vitalis 18 (33):267-270.
    Molecular biology is a relatively new and very successful branch of science but currently it faces challenges posed by very complex issues that cannot be addressed by a traditional reductionist approach. However, despite its origins in the providential shift of some theoretical physicists to biology, currently molecular biology is immersed in a blind trend in which high-throughput technology, able to generate trillions of data, is becoming the leading edge of a discipline that has traded rational and (...)
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  10. Biological Normativity: A New Hope for Naturalism?Walter Veit - 2021 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 24 (2):291-301.
    Since Boorse [Philos Sci 44:542–573, 1977] published his paper “Health as a theoretical concept” one of the most lively debates within philosophy of medicine has been on the question of whether health and disease are in some sense ‘objective’ and ‘value-free’ or ‘subjective’ and ‘value-laden’. Due to the apparent ‘failure’ of pure naturalist, constructivist, or normativist accounts, much in the recent literature has appealed to more conciliatory approaches or so-called ‘hybrid accounts’ of health and disease. A recent paper by (...)
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  11. How Biology Became Social and What It Means for Social Theory.Maurizio Meloni - 2014 - The Sociological Review 62:593-614.
    In this paper I first offer a systematic outline of a series of conceptual novelties in the life-sciences that have favoured, over the last three decades, the emergence of a more social view of biology. I focus in particular on three areas of investigation: (1) technical changes in evolutionary literature that have provoked a rethinking of the possibility of altruism, morality and prosocial behaviours in evolution; (2) changes in neuroscience, from an understanding of the brain as an isolated data (...)
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  12. Synthetic Biology and Biofuels.Catherine Kendig - 2014 - In Paul B. Thompson & David M. Kaplan (eds.), Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics. Springer.
    Synthetic biology is a field of research that concentrates on the design, construction, and modification of new biomolecular parts and metabolic pathways using engineering techniques and computational models. By employing knowledge of operational pathways from engineering and mathematics such as circuits, oscillators, and digital logic gates, it uses these to understand, model, rewire, and reprogram biological networks and modules. Standard biological parts with known functions are catalogued in a number of registries (e.g. Massachusetts Institute of Technology Registry of Standard (...)
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  13. Biological Information, Causality and Specificity - an Intimate Relationship.Karola Stotz & Paul E. Griffiths - 2017 - In Sara Imari Walker, Paul Davies & George Ellis (eds.), From Matter to Life: Information and Causality. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press. pp. 366-390.
    In this chapter we examine the relationship between biological information, the key biological concept of specificity, and recent philosophical work on causation. We begin by showing how talk of information in the molecular biosciences grew out of efforts to understand the sources of biological specificity. We then introduce the idea of ‘causal specificity’ from recent work on causation in philosophy, and our own, information theoretic measure of causal specificity. Biological specificity, we argue, is simple the causal specificity of certain biological (...)
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  14. ‘On the Different Ways of ‘‘Doing Theory’’ in Biology‘.Massimo Pigliucci - 2013 - Biological Theory 7 (4): 287-297.
    ‘‘Theoretical biology’’ is a surprisingly heter- ogeneous field, partly because it encompasses ‘‘doing the- ory’’ across disciplines as diverse as molecular biology, systematics, ecology, and evolutionary biology. Moreover, it is done in a stunning variety of different ways, using anything from formal analytical models to computer sim- ulations, from graphic representations to verbal arguments. In this essay I survey a number of aspects of what it means to do theoretical biology, and how they compare (...)
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  15. Thought Experiments in Biology.Guillaume Schlaepfer & Marcel Weber - 2018 - In Michael T. Stuart, Yiftach J. H. Fehige & James Robert Brown (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Thought Experiments. London: Routledge. pp. 243-256.
    Unlike in physics, the category of thought experiment is not very common in biology. At least there are no classic examples that are as important and as well-known as the most famous thought experiments in physics, such as Galileo’s, Maxwell’s or Einstein’s. The reasons for this are far from obvious; maybe it has to do with the fact that modern biology for the most part sees itself as a thoroughly empirical discipline that engages either in real natural history (...)
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  16. Pre-Theoretical Assumptions in Evolutionary Explanations of Female Sexuality.Elisabeth A. Lloyd - 1993 - Philosophical Studies 69 (2-3):139-153.
    My contribution to this Symposium focuses on the links between sexuality and reproduction from the evolutionary point of view.' The relation between women's sexuality and reproduction is particularly importantb ecause of a vital intersectionb etweenp olitics and biology feminists have noticed, for more than a century, that women's identity is often defined in terms of her reproductive capacity. More recently, in the second wave of the feminist movement in the United States, debates about women'si dentityh ave explicitlyi ncludeds exuality;m (...)
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  17. Neither Logical Empiricism nor Vitalism, but Organicism: What the Philosophy of Biology Was.Daniel J. Nicholson & Richard Gawne - 2015 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 37 (4):345-381.
    Philosophy of biology is often said to have emerged in the last third of the twentieth century. Prior to this time, it has been alleged that the only authors who engaged philosophically with the life sciences were either logical empiricists who sought to impose the explanatory ideals of the physical sciences onto biology, or vitalists who invoked mystical agencies in an attempt to ward off the threat of physicochemical reduction. These schools paid little attention to actual biological science, (...)
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  18. Model Organisms Are Not (Theoretical) Models.Arnon Levy & Adrian Currie - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (2):327-348.
    Many biological investigations are organized around a small group of species, often referred to as ‘model organisms’, such as the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. The terms ‘model’ and ‘modelling’ also occur in biology in association with mathematical and mechanistic theorizing, as in the Lotka–Volterra model of predator-prey dynamics. What is the relation between theoretical models and model organisms? Are these models in the same sense? We offer an account on which the two practices are shown to have different (...)
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  19. 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 (...)
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  20. Defusing Ideological Defenses in Biology.Angela Potochnik - 2013 - BioScience 63 (2):118-123.
    Ideological language is widespread in theoretical biology. Evolutionary game theory has been defended as a worldview and a leap of faith, and sexual selection theory has been criticized for what it posits as basic to biological nature. Views such as these encourage the impression of ideological rifts in the field. I advocate an alternative interpretation, whereby many disagreements between different camps of biologists merely reflect methodological differences. This interpretation provides a more accurate and more optimistic account of the (...)
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  21. Parts and Theories in Compositional Biology.Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther - 2006 - Biology and Philosophy 21 (4):471-499.
    I analyze the importance of parts in the style of biological theorizing that I call compositional biology. I do this by investigating various aspects, including partitioning frames and explanatory accounts, of the theoretical perspectives that fall under and are guided by compositional biology. I ground this general examination in a comparative analysis of three different disciplines with their associated compositional theoretical perspectives: comparative morphology, functional morphology, and developmental biology. I glean data for this analysis from (...)
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  22. Measurement in Biology is Methodized by Theory.Maël Montévil - 2019 - Biology and Philosophy 34 (3):35.
    We characterize access to empirical objects in biology from a theoretical perspective. Unlike objects in current physical theories, biological objects are the result of a history and their variations continue to generate a history. This property is the starting point of our concept of measurement. We argue that biological measurement is relative to a natural history which is shared by the different objects subjected to the measurement and is more or less constrained by biologists. We call symmetrization the (...)
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  23. The Meaning of “Theory” in Biology.Massimo Pigliucci, Kim Sterelny & Werner Callebaut - 2013 - Biological Theory 7 (4):285-286.
    The articles in this issue reflect the results of the 25th Altenberg Workshop in Theoretical Biology on ‘‘The Meaning of ‘Theory’ in Biology’’ held at the Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research, Altenberg, Austria, 30 June–3 July, 2011.
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  24. The Return of the Organism as a Fundamental Explanatory Concept in Biology.Daniel J. Nicholson - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (5):347-359.
    Although it may seem like a truism to assert that biology is the science that studies organisms, during the second half of the twentieth century the organism category disappeared from biological theory. Over the past decade, however, biology has begun to witness the return of the organism as a fundamental explanatory concept. There are three major causes: (a) the realization that the Modern Synthesis does not provide a fully satisfactory understanding of evolution; (b) the growing awareness of the (...)
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  25. From Physics to Biology by Extending Criticality and Symmetry Breakings.Giuseppe Longo & Maël Montévil - 2011 - Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology 106:340 - 347.
    Symmetries play a major role in physics, in particular since the work by E. Noether and H. Weyl in the first half of last century. Herein, we briefly review their role by recalling how symmetry changes allow to conceptually move from classical to relativistic and quantum physics. We then introduce our ongoing theoretical analysis in biology and show that symmetries play a radically different role in this discipline, when compared to those in current physics. By this comparison, we (...)
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  26. Causal Graphs and Biological Mechanisms.Alexander Gebharter & Marie I. Kaiser - 2014 - In Marie I. Kaiser, Oliver Scholz, Daniel Plenge & Andreas Hüttemann (eds.), Explanation in the special sciences: The case of biology and history. Dordrecht: Springer. pp. 55-86.
    Modeling mechanisms is central to the biological sciences – for purposes of explanation, prediction, extrapolation, and manipulation. A closer look at the philosophical literature reveals that mechanisms are predominantly modeled in a purely qualitative way. That is, mechanistic models are conceived of as representing how certain entities and activities are spatially and temporally organized so that they bring about the behavior of the mechanism in question. Although this adequately characterizes how mechanisms are represented in biology textbooks, contemporary biological research (...)
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  27. Holistic Biology: Back on Stage? Comments on Post-Genomics in Historical Perspective.Alfred Gierer - 2002 - Philosophia Naturalis 39 (1):25-44.
    A strong motivation for the human genome project was to relate biological features to the structure and function of small sets of genes, and ideally to individual genes. However, it is now increasingly realized that many problems require a "systems" approach emphasizing the interplay of large numbers of genes, and the involvement of complex networks of gene regulation. This implies a new emphasis on integrative, systems theoretical approaches. It may be called 'holistic' if the term is used without irrational (...)
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  28. Rethinking Woodger’s Legacy in the Philosophy of Biology.Daniel J. Nicholson & Richard Gawne - 2014 - Journal of the History of Biology 47 (2):243-292.
    The writings of Joseph Henry Woodger (1894–1981) are often taken to exemplify everything that was wrongheaded, misguided, and just plain wrong with early twentieth-century philosophy of biology. Over the years, commentators have said of Woodger: (a) that he was a fervent logical empiricist who tried to impose the explanatory gold standards of physics onto biology, (b) that his philosophical work was completely disconnected from biological science, (c) that he possessed no scientific or philosophical credentials, and (d) that his (...)
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  29. Biological Explanation.Angela Potochnik - 2013 - In Kostas Kampourakis (ed.), The Philosophy of Biology: A Companion for Educators. Springer. pp. 49-65.
    One of the central aims of science is explanation: scientists seek to uncover why things happen the way they do. This chapter addresses what kinds of explanations are formulated in biology, how explanatory aims influence other features of the field of biology, and the implications of all of this for biology education. Philosophical treatments of scientific explanation have been both complicated and enriched by attention to explanatory strategies in biology. Most basically, whereas traditional philosophy of science (...)
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  30. Formal Biology and Compositional Biology as Two Kinds of Biological Theorizing.Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther - 2003 - Dissertation, Indiana University, HPS
    There are two fundamentally distinct kinds of biological theorizing. "Formal biology" focuses on the relations, captured in formal laws, among mathematically abstracted properties of abstract objects. Population genetics and theoretical mathematical ecology, which are cases of formal biology, thus share methods and goals with theoretical physics. "Compositional biology," on the other hand, is concerned with articulating the concrete structure, mechanisms, and function, through developmental and evolutionary time, of material parts and wholes. Molecular genetics, biochemistry, developmental (...)
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  31. Reflections on a Theory of Organisms: Holism in Biology.Walter M. Elsasser - 1987 - Published for the Johns Hopkins Dept. Of Earth and Planetary Sciences by the Johns Hopkins University Press.
    Are living organisms--as Descartes argued--just machines? Or is the nature of life such that it can never be fully explained by mechanistic models? In this thought-provoking and controversial book, eminent geophysicist Walter M. Elsasser argues that the behavior of living organisms cannot be reduced to physico-chemical causality. Suggesting that molecular biology today is at the same point as Newtonian physics on the eve of the quantum revolution, Elsasser lays the foundation for a theoretical biology that points the (...)
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  32. Theoretical Ecology as Etiological From the Start.Justin Donhauser - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 60:67-76.
    The world’s leading environmental advisory institutions look to ecological theory and research as an objective guide for policy and resource management decision-making. In addition to various theoretical merits of doing so, it is therefore crucially important to clear up confusions about ecology’s conceptual foundations and to make plain the basic workings of inferential methods used in the science. Through discussion of key moments in the genesis of the theoretical branch of ecology, this essay elucidates a general heuristic role (...)
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  33. Stepping Beyond the Newtonian Paradigm in Biology. Towards an Integrable Model of Life: Accelerating Discovery in the Biological Foundations of Science.Plamen L. Simeonov, Edwin Brezina, Ron Cottam, Andreé C. Ehresmann, Arran Gare, Ted Goranson, Jaime Gomez‐Ramirez, Brian D. Josephson, Bruno Marchal, Koichiro Matsuno, Robert S. Root-­Bernstein, Otto E. Rössler, Stanley N. Salthe, Marcin Schroeder, Bill Seaman & Pridi Siregar - 2012 - In Plamen L. Simeonov, Leslie S. Smith & Andreé C. Ehresmann (eds.), Integral Biomathics: Tracing the Road to Reality. Springer. pp. 328-427.
    The INBIOSA project brings together a group of experts across many disciplines who believe that science requires a revolutionary transformative step in order to address many of the vexing challenges presented by the world. It is INBIOSA’s purpose to enable the focused collaboration of an interdisciplinary community of original thinkers. This paper sets out the case for support for this effort. The focus of the transformative research program proposal is biology-centric. We admit that biology to date has been (...)
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  34. A Framework for Philosophical Biology.Sepehr Ehsani - manuscript
    Advances in biology, at least over the past two centuries, have mostly relied on theories that were subsequently revised, expanded or eventually refuted using experimental and other means. The field of theoretical biology used to primarily provide a basis, similar to theoretical physics in the physical sciences, to rationally examine the frameworks within which biological experiments were carried out and to shed light on overlooked gaps in understanding. Today, however, theoretical biology has generally become (...)
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  35. Reference, Truth, and Biological Kinds.Marcel Weber - 2014 - In: J. Dutant, D. Fassio and A. Meylan (Eds.) Liber Amicorum Pascal Engel.
    This paper examines causal theories of reference with respect to how plausible an account they give of non-physical natural kind terms such as ‘gene’ as well as of the truth of the associated theoretical claims. I first show that reference fixism for ‘gene’ fails. By this, I mean the claim that the reference of ‘gene’ was stable over longer historical periods, for example, since the classical period of transmission genetics. Second, I show that the theory of partial reference does (...)
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  36.  49
    Biological and Linguistic Diversity. Transdisciplinary Explorations for a Socioecology of Languages.Albert Bastardas-Boada - 2002 - Diverscité Langues 7.
    As a sort of intellectual provocation and as a lateral thinking strategy for creativity, this chapter seeks to determine what the study of the dynamics of biodiversity can offer linguists. In recent years, the analogical equation "language = biological species" has become more widespread as a metaphorical source for conceptual renovation, and, at the same time, as a justification for the defense of language diversity. Language diversity would be protected in a way similar to the mobilization that has taken place (...)
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  37. Is Defining Life Pointless? Operational Definitions at the Frontiers of Biology.Leonardo Bich & Sara Green - 2017 - Synthese:1-28.
    Despite numerous and increasing attempts to define what life is, there is no consensus on necessary and sufficient conditions for life. Accordingly, some scholars have questioned the value of definitions of life and encouraged scientists and philosophers alike to discard the project. As an alternative to this pessimistic conclusion, we argue that critically rethinking the nature and uses of definitions can provide new insights into the epistemic roles of definitions of life for different research practices. This paper examines the possible (...)
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  38. The Proximate–Ultimate Distinction and Evolutionary Developmental Biology: Causal Irrelevance Versus Explanatory Abstraction.Massimo Pigliucci & Raphael Scholl - 2015 - Biology and Philosophy 30 (5):653-670.
    Mayr’s proximate–ultimate distinction has received renewed interest in recent years. Here we discuss its role in arguments about the relevance of developmental to evolutionary biology. We show that two recent critiques of the proximate–ultimate distinction fail to explain why developmental processes in particular should be of interest to evolutionary biologists. We trace these failures to a common problem: both critiques take the proximate–ultimate distinction to neglect specific causal interactions in nature. We argue that this is implausible, and that the (...)
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  39. Possibility Spaces and the Notion of Novelty: From Music to Biology.Maël Montévil - 2019 - Synthese 196 (11):4555-4581.
    We provide a new perspective on the relation between the space of description of an object and the appearance of novelties. One of the aims of this perspective is to facilitate the interaction between mathematics and historical sciences. The definition of novelties is paradoxical: if one can define in advance the possibles, then they are not genuinely new. By analyzing the situation in set theory, we show that defining generic (i.e., shared) and specific (i.e., individual) properties of elements of a (...)
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  40. The Mathematical Theory of Categories in Biology and the Concept of Natural Equivalence in Robert Rosen.Franck Varenne - 2013 - Revue d'Histoire des Sciences 66 (1):167-197.
    The aim of this paper is to describe and analyze the epistemological justification of a proposal initially made by the biomathematician Robert Rosen in 1958. In this theoretical proposal, Rosen suggests using the mathematical concept of “category” and the correlative concept of “natural equivalence” in mathematical modeling applied to living beings. Our questions are the following: According to Rosen, to what extent does the mathematical notion of category give access to more “natural” formalisms in the modeling of living beings? (...)
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  41. Infinite Graphs in Systematic Biology, with an Application to the Species Problem.Samuel A. Alexander - 2013 - Acta Biotheoretica 61 (2):181--201.
    We argue that C. Darwin and more recently W. Hennig worked at times under the simplifying assumption of an eternal biosphere. So motivated, we explicitly consider the consequences which follow mathematically from this assumption, and the infinite graphs it leads to. This assumption admits certain clusters of organisms which have some ideal theoretical properties of species, shining some light onto the species problem. We prove a dualization of a law of T.A. Knight and C. Darwin, and sketch a decomposition (...)
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  42. Genuine Biological Autonomy: How Can the Spooky Finger of Mind Play on the Physical Keyboard of the Brain?Grandpierre Attila - 2012 - In Dr Gregory T. Papanikos (ed.), ATINER CONFERENCE PAPER SERIES No: PHI2012-0197.
    Although biological autonomy is widely discussed, its description in scientific terms remains elusive. I present here a series of recent evidences on the existence of genuine biological autonomy. Nevertheless, nowadays it seems that the only acceptable ground to account for any natural phenomena, including biological autonomy, is physics. But if this were the case, then arguably there would be no way to account for genuine biological autonomy. The way out of such a situation is to build up an exact (...) biology, and one of the first steps is to clarify the basic concepts of biology, among them biological aim, function and autonomy. We found a physical mechanism to realize biological autonomy, namely, biologically initiated vacuum processes. In the newly emerging picture, biological autonomy shows up as a new, fundamental and inevitable element in our scientific world picture. It offers new perspectives for solving problems regarding the origin and nature of life, connecting ancient Greek philosophy with modern science. Namely, our proposal sheds light in what sense can the God as conceived by Xenophanes can move the material objects of the Universe by its thoughts without toil. (shrink)
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  43. Differentiating and Defusing Theoretical Ecology's Criticisms: A Rejoinder to Sagoff's Reply to Donhauser (2016).Justin Donhauser - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 63:70-79.
    In a (2016) paper in this journal, I defuse allegations that theoretical ecological research is problematic because it relies on teleological metaphysical assumptions. Mark Sagoff offers a formal reply. In it, he concedes that I succeeded in establishing that ecologists abandoned robust teleological views long ago and that they use teleological characterizations as metaphors that aid in developing mechanistic explanations of ecological phenomena. Yet, he contends that I did not give enduring criticisms of theoretical ecology a fair shake (...)
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  44. The Theoretical Costs of DNA Barcoding.Monika Piotrowska - 2009 - Biological Theory 4 (3):235-239.
    I begin with a description of the benefits and limits of DNA barcoding as presented by its advocates not its critics. Next, I argue that due to the mutually dependent relationship between defining and delimiting species, all systems of classification are grounded in theory, even if only implicitly. I then proceed to evaluate DNA barcoding in that context. In particular, I focus on the barcoders’ use of a sharp boundary by which to delimit species, arguing that this boundary brings along (...)
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  45. Editorial. Special Issue on Integral Biomathics: Can Biology Create a Profoundly New Mathematics and Computation?Plamen L. Simeonov, Koichiro Matsuno & Robert S. Root-Bernstein - 2013 - J. Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology 113 (1):1-4.
    The idea behind this special theme journal issue was to continue the work we have started with the INBIOSA initiative (www.inbiosa.eu) and our small inter-disciplinary scientific community. The result of this EU funded project was a white paper (Simeonov et al., 2012a) defining a new direction for future research in theoretical biology we called Integral Biomathics and a volume (Simeonov et al., 2012b) with contributions from two workshops and our first international conference in this field in 2011. The (...)
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  46. Analogical Reflection as a Source for the Science of Life: Kant and the Possibility of the Biological Sciences.Dalia Nassar - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 2016 (58):57-66.
    In contrast to the previously widespread view that Kant's work was largely in dialogue with the physical sciences, recent scholarship has highlighted Kant's interest in and contributions to the life sciences. Scholars are now investigating the extent to which Kant appealed to and incorporated insights from the life sciences and considering the ways he may have contributed to a new conception of living beings. The scholarship remains, however, divided in its interest: historians of science are concerned with the content of (...)
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  47. Systems and Organizations: Theoretical Tools, Conceptual Distinctions and Epistemological Implications.Bich Leonardo - 2016 - In Gianfranco Minati, Eliano Pessa & Mario Abram (eds.), Towards a post-Bertalanffy systemics. New York: Springers. pp. 203-209.
    The aim of this paper is to present some system-theoretical notions ─ such as constraint, closure, integration, coordination, etc. ─ which have recently raised a renovated interest and have undergone a deep development, especially in those branches of philosophy of biology characterized by a systemic approach. The im- plications of these notions for the analysis and characterization of self-maintaining organizations will be discussed with the aid of examples taken from models of minimal living systems, and some conceptual distinctions (...)
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  48. Randomness Increases Order in Biological Evolution.Giuseppe Longo & Maël Montévil - 2012 - In M. Dinneen, B. Khoussainov & A. Nies (eds.), Computation, Physics and Beyond. Berlin Heidelberg: pp. 289-308.
    n this text, we revisit part of the analysis of anti-entropy in Bailly and Longo (2009} and develop further theoretical reflections. In particular, we analyze how randomness, an essential component of biological variability, is associated to the growth of biological organization, both in ontogenesis and in evolution. This approach, in particular, focuses on the role of global entropy production and provides a tool for a mathematical understanding of some fundamental observations by Gould on the increasing phenotypic complexity along evolution. (...)
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  49.  57
    Interactive Models in Synthetic Biology: Exploring Biological and Cognitive Inter-Identities.Leonardo Bich - 2020 - Frontiers in Psychology 11.
    The aim of this article is to investigate the relevance and implications of synthetic models for the study of the interactive dimension of minimal life and cognition, by taking into consideration how the use of artificial systems may contribute to an understanding of the way in which interactions may affect or even contribute to shape biological identities. To do so, this article analyzes experimental work in synthetic biology on different types of interactions between artificial and natural systems, more specifically: (...)
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  50. Objects and Processes: Two Notions for Understanding Biological Information.Agustín Mercado-Reyes, Pablo Padilla Longoria & Alfonso Arroyo-Santos - forthcoming - Journal of Theoretical Biology.
    In spite of being ubiquitous in life sciences, the concept of information is harshly criticized. Uses of the concept other than those derived from Shannon's theory are denounced as pernicious metaphors. We perform a computational experiment to explore whether Shannon's information is adequate to describe the uses of said concept in commonplace scientific practice. Our results show that semantic sequences do not have unique complexity values different from the value of meaningless sequences. This result suggests that quantitative theoretical frameworks (...)
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