Results for 'Compositional biology'

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  1. 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 (...)
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  2. 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 (...), and physiology, which are examples of compositional biology, are in serious need of philosophical attention. For example, the very concept of a "part" is understudied in both philosophy of biology and philosophy of science. ;My dissertation is an attempt to clarify the distinction between formal biology and compositional biology and, in so doing, provide a clear philosophical analysis, with case studies, of compositional biology. Given the social, economic, and medical importance of compositional biology, understanding it is urgent. For my investigation, I draw on the philosophical fields of metaphysics and epistemology, as well as philosophy of biology and philosophy of science. I suggest new ways of thinking about some classic philosophy of science issues, such as modeling, laws of nature, abstraction, explanation, and confirmation. I hint at the relevance of my study of two kinds of biological theorizing to debates concerning the disunity of science. (shrink)
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  3. COMPARING PART-WHOLE REDUCTIVE EXPLANATIONS IN BIOLOGY AND PHYSICS.Alan C. Love & Andreas Hüttemann - 2011 - In Dennis Dieks, Wenceslao Gonzalo, Thomas Uebel, Stephan Hartmann & Marcel Weber (eds.), Explanation, Prediction, and Confirmation. Springer. pp. 183--202.
    Many biologists and philosophers have worried that importing models of reasoning from the physical sciences obscures our understanding of reasoning in the life sciences. In this paper we discuss one example that partially validates this concern: part-whole reductive explanations. Biology and physics tend to incorporate different models of temporality in part-whole reductive explanations. This results from differential emphases on compositional and causal facets of reductive explanations, which have not been distinguished reliably in prior philosophical analyses. Keeping these two (...)
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  4. An Obstacle to Unification in Biological Social Science: Formal and Compositional Styles of Science.Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther - 2005 - Graduate Journal of Social Science 2 (2):40-100.
    I motivate the concept of styles of scientific investigation, and differentiate two styles, formal and compositional. Styles are ways of doing scientific research. Radically different styles exist. I explore the possibility of the unification of biology and social science, as well as the possibility of unifying the two styles I identify. Recent attempts at unifying biology and social science have been premised almost exclusively on the formal style. Through the use of a historical example of defenders of (...)
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  5. A Manifesto for a Processual Philosophy of Biology.John A. Dupre & Daniel J. Nicholson - 2018 - In Daniel J. Nicholson & John A. Dupre (eds.), Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology.
    This chapter argues that scientific and philosophical progress in our understanding of the living world requires that we abandon a metaphysics of things in favour of one centred on processes. We identify three main empirical motivations for adopting a process ontology in biology: metabolic turnover, life cycles, and ecological interdependence. We show how taking a processual stance in the philosophy of biology enables us to ground existing critiques of essentialism, reductionism, and mechanicism, all of which have traditionally been (...)
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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. Causal Selection Versus Causal Parity in Biology: Relevant Counterfactuals and Biologically Normal Interventions.Marcel Weber - forthcoming - In C. Kenneth Waters & James Woodward (eds.), Philosophical Perspectives on Causal Reasoning in Biology. Minnesota Studies in Philosophy of Science. Vol. XXI. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
    Causal selection is the task of picking out, from a field of known causally relevant factors, some factors as elements of an explanation. The Causal Parity Thesis in the philosophy of biology challenges the usual ways of making such selections among different causes operating in a developing organism. The main target of this thesis is usually gene centrism, the doctrine that genes play some special role in ontogeny, which is often described in terms of information-bearing or programming. This paper (...)
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  9. 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 stress (...)
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  10.  80
    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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  11. How-Possibly Explanation in Biology: Lessons From Wilhelm His’s ‘Simple Experiments’ Models.Christopher Pearson - 2018 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 10 (4).
    A common view of how-possibly explanations in biology treats them as explanatorily incomplete. In addition to this interpretation of how-possibly explanation, I argue that there is another interpretation, one which features what I term “explanatory strategies.” This strategy-centered interpretation of how-possibly explanation centers on there being a different explanatory context within which how-possibly explanations are offered. I contend that, in conditions where this strategy context is recognized, how-possibly explanations can be understood as complete explanations. I defend this alternative interpretation (...)
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  12. 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 initial (...)
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  13. The Phylogeography Debate and the Epistemology of Model-Based Evolutionary Biology.Alfonso Arroyo-Santos, Mark E. Olson & Francisco Vergara-Silva - 2014 - Biology and Philosophy 29 (6):833-850.
    Phylogeography, a relatively new subdicipline of evolutionary biology that attempts to unify the fields of phylogenetics and population biology in an explicit geographical context, has hosted in recent years a highly polarized debate related to the purported benefits and limitations that qualitative versus quantitative methods might contribute or impose on inferential processes in evolutionary biology. Here we present a friendly, non-technical introduction to the conflicting methods underlying the controversy, and exemplify it with a balanced selection of quotes (...)
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  14. The Epistemology of Causal Selection: Insights From Systems Biology.Beckett Sterner - forthcoming - In C. Kenneth Waters (ed.), Causal Reasoning in Biology. University of Minnesota Press.
    Among the many causes of an event, how do we distinguish the important ones? Are there ways to distinguish among causes on principled grounds that integrate both practical aims and objective knowledge? Psychologist Tania Lombrozo has suggested that causal explanations “identify factors that are ‘exportable’ in the sense that they are likely to subserve future prediction and intervention” (Lombrozo 2010, 327). Hence portable causes are more important precisely because they provide objective information to prediction and intervention as practical aims. However, (...)
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  15. The Sum of the Parts: Large-Scale Modeling in Systems Biology.Fridolin Gross & Sara Green - 2017 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 9 (10).
    Systems biologists often distance themselves from reductionist approaches and formulate their aim as understanding living systems “as a whole.” Yet, it is often unclear what kind of reductionism they have in mind, and in what sense their methodologies would offer a superior approach. To address these questions, we distinguish between two types of reductionism which we call “modular reductionism” and “bottom-up reductionism.” Much knowledge in molecular biology has been gained by decomposing living systems into functional modules or through detailed (...)
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  16. How Development Changes Evolution: Conceptual and Historical Issues in Evolutionary Developmental Biology.Stavros Ioannidis - 2008 - Biology and Philosophy 23 (4):567-578.
    Evolutionary developmental biology (Evo-Devo) is a new and rapidly developing field of biology which focuses on questions in the intersection of evolution and development and has been seen by many as a potential synthesis of these two fields. This synthesis is the topic of the books reviewed here. Integrating Evolution and Development (edited by Roger Sansom and Robert Brandon), is a collection of papers on conceptual issues in Evo-Devo, while From Embryology to Evo-Devo (edited by Manfred Laubichler and (...)
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  17. Groups on Groups: Some Dynamics and Possible Resolution of the Units of Selection Debates in Evolutionary Biology[REVIEW]Elisabeth A. Lloyd - 2000 - Biology and Philosophy 15 (3):389-401.
    David Hull's analysis of conceptual change in science, as presentedin his book, Science as a Process (1988), provides a useful framework for understanding one of the scientific controversies in which he actively and constructively intervened, the units of selectiondebates in evolutionary biology. What follows is a brief overview ofthose debates and some reflections on them.
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  18. Evolutionary Biology: Puzzle Solving or Paradigm Shifting?Massimo Pigliucci - 2006 - Quarterly Review of Biology 81 (4):377-379.
    How does evolutionary biology fit with Thomas Kuhn's famous distinction between puzzle solving and paradigm shifts in science?
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  19. Philosophy of Experimental Biology.Jacob Stegenga - 2009 - Erkenntnis 71 (3):431-436.
    Philosophers have committed sins while studying science, it is said – philosophy of science focused on physics to the detriment of biology, reconstructed idealizations of scientific episodes rather than attending to historical details, and focused on theories and concepts to the detriment of experiments. Recent generations of philosophers of science have tried to atone for these sins, and by the 1980s the exculpation was in full swing. Marcel Weber’s Philosophy of Experimental Biology is a zenith mea culpa for (...)
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  20. Essentialism in Biology.John S. Wilkins - manuscript
    Essentialism in philosophy is the position that things, especially kinds of things, have essences, or sets of properties, that all members of the kind must have, and the combination of which only members of the kind do, in fact, have. It is usually thought to derive from classical Greek philosophy and in particular from Aristotle’s notion of “what it is to be” something. In biology, it has been claimed that pre-evolutionary views of living kinds, or as they are sometimes (...)
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  21. Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology.Daniel J. Nicholson & John A. Dupre (eds.) - 2018 - Oxford University Press.
    This collection of essays explores the metaphysical thesis that the living world is not made up of substantial particles or things, as has often been assumed, but is rather constituted by processes. The biological domain is organised as an interdependent hierarchy of processes, which are stabilised and actively maintained at different timescales. Even entities that intuitively appear to be paradigms of things, such as organisms, are actually better understood as processes. Unlike previous attempts to articulate processual views of biology, (...)
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  22. The Mismeasure of Machine: Synthetic Biology and the Trouble with Engineering Metaphors.Maarten Boudry & Massimo Pigliucci - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences (4):660-668.
    The scientific study of living organisms is permeated by machine and design metaphors. Genes are thought of as the ‘‘blueprint’’ of an organism, organisms are ‘‘reverse engineered’’ to discover their func- tionality, and living cells are compared to biochemical factories, complete with assembly lines, transport systems, messenger circuits, etc. Although the notion of design is indispensable to think about adapta- tions, and engineering analogies have considerable heuristic value (e.g., optimality assumptions), we argue they are limited in several important respects. In (...)
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  23. 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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  24. The Importance of Symbiosis in Philosophy of Biology: An Analysis of the Current Debate on Biological Individuality and its Historical Roots.Javier Suárez - 2018 - Symbiosis 76 (2):77-96.
    Symbiosis plays a fundamental role in contemporary biology, as well as in recent thinking in philosophy of biology. The discovery of the importance and universality of symbiotic associations has brought new light to old debates in the field, including issues about the concept of biological individuality. An important aspect of these debates has been the formulation of the hologenome concept of evolution, the notion that holobionts are units of natural selection in evolution. This review examines the philosophical assumptions (...)
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  25. 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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  26. What Constitutes an Explanation in Biology?Angela Potochnik - forthcoming - In Kostas Kampourakis & Tobias Uller (eds.), Philosophy of Science for Biologists. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
    One of biology's fundamental aims is to generate understanding of the living world around—and within—us. In this chapter, I aim to provide a relatively nonpartisan discussion of the nature of explanation in biology, grounded in widely shared philosophical views about scientific explanation. But this discussion also reflects what I think is important for philosophers and biologists alike to appreciate about successful scientific explanations, so some points will be controversial, at least among philosophers. I make three main points: (1) (...)
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  27. 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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  28. 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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  29. The Mismeasure of Machine: Synthetic Biology and the Trouble with Engineering Metaphors.Maarten Boudry & Massimo Pigliucci - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):660-668.
    The scientific study of living organisms is permeated by machine and design metaphors. Genes are thought of as the ‘‘blueprint’’ of an organism, organisms are ‘‘reverse engineered’’ to discover their functionality, and living cells are compared to biochemical factories, complete with assembly lines, transport systems, messenger circuits, etc. Although the notion of design is indispensable to think about adaptations, and engineering analogies have considerable heuristic value (e.g., optimality assumptions), we argue they are limited in several important respects. In particular, the (...)
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  30. ‘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 with the (...)
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  31. Scientific Realism, the Semantic View and Evolutionary Biology.Fabio Sterpetti - 2016 - In Emiliano Ippoliti, Fabio Sterpetti & Thomas Nickles (eds.), Models and Inferences in Science. Springer. pp. 55-76.
    The semantic view of theories is normally considered to be an ac-count of theories congenial to Scientific Realism. Recently, it has been argued that Ontic Structural Realism could be fruitfully applied, in combination with the semantic view, to some of the philosophical issues peculiarly related to bi-ology. Given the central role that models have in the semantic view, and the relevance that mathematics has in the definition of the concept of model, the fo-cus will be on population genetics, which is (...)
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  32.  23
    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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  33. Mathematical Biology and the Existence of Biological Laws.Mauro Dorato - 2012 - In D. Dieks, S. Hartmann, T. Uebel & M. Weber (eds.), Probabilities, Laws and Structure. Springer.
    An influential position in the philosophy of biology claims that there are no biological laws, since any apparently biological generalization is either too accidental, fact-like or contingent to be named a law, or is simply reducible to physical laws that regulate electrical and chemical interactions taking place between merely physical systems. In the following I will stress a neglected aspect of the debate that emerges directly from the growing importance of mathematical models of biological phenomena. My main aim is (...)
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  34.  71
    Reduction.Andreas Hüttemann & Alan Love - 2016 - In Paul Humphreys (ed.), The Oxford Handbook in Philosophy of Science. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 460-484.
    Reduction and reductionism have been central philosophical topics in analytic philosophy of science for more than six decades. Together they encompass a diversity of issues from metaphysics and epistemology. This article provides an introduction to the topic that illuminates how contemporary epistemological discussions took their shape historically and limns the contours of concrete cases of reduction in specific natural sciences. The unity of science and the impulse to accomplish compositional reduction in accord with a layer-cake vision of the sciences, (...)
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  35. The End and Rebirth of Nature? From Politics of Nature to Synthetic Biology.Massimiliano Simons - 2016 - Philosophica -- Revista Do Departamento de Filosofia da Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa 47:109-124.
    In this article, two different claims about nature are discussed. On the one hand, environmental philosophy has forced us to reflect on our position within nature. We are not the masters of nature as was claimed before. On the other hand there are the recent developments within synthetic biology. It claims that, now at last, we can be the masters of nature we have never been before. The question is then raised how these two claims must be related to (...)
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  36. Are Ecology and Evolutionary Biology “Soft” Sciences?Massimo Pigliucci - 2002 - Annales Zoologici Finnici 39:87-98.
    Research in ecology and evolutionary biology (evo-eco) often tries to emulate the “hard” sciences such as physics and chemistry, but to many of its practitioners feels more like the “soft” sciences of psychology and sociology. I argue that this schizophrenic attitude is the result of lack of appreciation of the full consequences of the peculiarity of the evo-eco sciences as lying in between a-historical disciplines such as physics and completely historical ones as like paleontology. Furthermore, evo-eco researchers have gotten (...)
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  37.  78
    Essay in Formal Biology.Nikolay Milkov - 2020 - In Newton da Costa & Shyam Wuppuluri (eds.), Wittgensteinian (adj.): Looking at the World from the Viewpoint of Wittgenstein's Philosophy. Berlin: Springer. pp. 473-86.
    The task of this essay is to put biological individuals in formal terms. This approach is not directly interested in matters of time (for example, in evolution), but rather in the formal shape of biological objects. So it is different from, but not opposed to, natural science. In his later years, Wittgenstein made similar investigations in psychology and mathematics. Unfortunately, he found no time to make extensive remarks on philosophy of biology. This is what we are going to advance (...)
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  38. The Nature of Evolutionary Biology: At the Borderlands Between Historical and Experimental Science.Massimo Pigliucci - 2013 - In Kostas Kampourakis (ed.), The Philosophy of Biology: A Companion for Educators. Springer.
    The scientific status of evolutionary theory seems to be more or less perennially under question. I am not referring here (just) to the silliness of young Earth creation- ism (Pigliucci 2002; Boudry and Braeckman 2010), or even of the barely more intel- lectually sophisticated so-called Intelligent Design theory (Recker 2010; Brigandt this volume), but rather to discussions among scientists and philosophers of science concerning the epistemic status of evolutionary theory (Sober 2010). As we shall see in what follows, this debate (...)
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  39. Synthetic Biology and Synthetic Knowledge.Christophe Malaterre - 2013 - Biological Theory (8):346–356.
    Probably the most distinctive feature of synthetic biology is its being “synthetic” in some sense or another. For some, synthesis plays a unique role in the production of knowledge that is most distinct from that played by analysis: it is claimed to deliver knowledge that would otherwise not be attained. In this contribution, my aim is to explore how synthetic biology delivers knowledge via synthesis, and to assess the extent to which this knowledge is distinctly synthetic. On the (...)
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  40. Origin of Quantum Mechanical Results and Life: A Clue From Quantum Biology.Biswaranjan Dikshit - 2018 - Neuroquantology 16 (4):26-33.
    Although quantum mechanics can accurately predict the probability distribution of outcomes in an ensemble of identical systems, it cannot predict the result of an individual system. All the local and global hidden variable theories attempting to explain individual behavior have been proved invalid by experiments (violation of Bell’s inequality) and theory. As an alternative, Schrodinger and others have hypothesized existence of free will in every particle which causes randomness in individual results. However, these free will theories have failed to quantitatively (...)
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  41. 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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  42. Scientific Essentialism in the Light of Classification Practice in Biology – a Case Study of Phytosociology.Adam P. Kubiak & Rafał R. Wodzisz - 2012 - Zagadnienia Naukoznawstwa 48 (194):231-250.
    In our paper we investigate a difficulty arising when one tries to reconsiliateessentialis t’s thinking with classification practice in the biological sciences. The article outlinessome varieties of essentialism with particular attention to the version defended by Brian Ellis. Weunderline the basic difference: Ellis thinks that essentialism is not a viable position in biology dueto its incompatibility with biological typology and other essentialists think that these two elementscan be reconciled. However, both parties have in common metaphysical starting point and theylack (...)
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  43. Well-Structured Biology: Numerical Taxonomy's Epistemic Vision for Systematics.Beckett Sterner - 2014 - In Andrew Hamilton (ed.), The Evolution of Phylogenetic Systematics. University of California Press. pp. 213-244.
    What does it look like when a group of scientists set out to re-envision an entire field of biology in symbolic and formal terms? I analyze the founding and articulation of Numerical Taxonomy between 1950 and 1970, the period when it set out a radical new approach to classification and founded a tradition of mathematics in systematic biology. I argue that introducing mathematics in a comprehensive way also requires re-organizing the daily work of scientists in the field. Numerical (...)
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  44. Biology's Last Paradigm Shift. The Transition From Natural Theology to Darwinism.Massimo Pigliucci - 2012 - Paradigmi 2012 (3):45-58.
    The theory of evolution, which provides the conceptual framework for all modern research in organismal biology and informs research in molecular bi- ology, has gone through several stages of expansion and refinement. Darwin and Wallace (1858) of course proposed the original idea, centering on the twin concepts of natural selection and common descent. Shortly thereafter, Wallace and August Weismann worked toward the complete elimination of any Lamarckian vestiges from the theory, leaning in particular on Weismann’s (1893) concept of the (...)
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  45. 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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  46. 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? Is (...)
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  47. Recent Work in The Philosophy of Biology.Christopher J. Austin - 2017 - Analysis 77 (2):anx032.
    The biological sciences have always proven a fertile ground for philosophical analysis, one from which has grown a rich tradition stemming from Aristotle and flowering with Darwin. And although contemporary philosophy is increasingly becoming conceptually entwined with the study of the empirical sciences with the data of the latter now being regularly utilised in the establishment and defence of the frameworks of the former, a practice especially prominent in the philosophy of physics, the development of that tradition hasn’t received the (...)
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  48. 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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  49. Review: Peter Godfrey-Smith. Philosophy of Biology[REVIEW]Cailin O’Connor - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (4):731-733.
    Review of Peter Godfrey-Smith's Philosophy of Biology.
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  50. 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 state (...)
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