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Ellen Clarke
University of Leeds
  1. The Multiple Realizability of Biological Individuals.Ellen Clarke - 2013 - Journal of Philosophy 110 (8):413-435.
    Biological theory demands a clear organism concept, but at present biologists cannot agree on one. They know that counting particular units, and not counting others, allows them to generate explanatory and predictive descriptions of evolutionary processes. Yet they lack a unified theory telling them which units to count. In this paper, I offer a novel account of biological individuality, which reconciles conflicting definitions of ‘organism’ by interpreting them as describing alternative realisers of a common functional role, and then defines individual (...)
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  2. Plant Individuality and Multilevel Selection Theory.Ellen Clarke - 2011 - In Kim Sterelny & Brett Calcott (eds.), The Major Transitions Revisited. MIT Press. pp. 227--250.
    This chapter develops the idea that the germ-soma split and the suppression of individual fitness differences within the corporate entity are not always essential steps in the evolution of corporate individuals. It illustrates some consequences for multilevel selection theory. It presents evidence that genetic heterogeneity may not always be a barrier to successful functioning as a higher-level individual. This chapter shows that levels-of-selection theorists are wrong to assume that the central problem in transitions is always that of minimizing within-group competition. (...)
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  3. Plant Individuality: A Solution to the Demographer’s Dilemma.Ellen Clarke - 2012 - Biology and Philosophy 27 (3):321-361.
    The problem of plant individuality is something which has vexed botanists throughout the ages, with fashion swinging back and forth from treating plants as communities of individuals (Darwin 1800 ; Braun and Stone 1853 ; Münch 1938 ) to treating them as organisms in their own right, and although the latter view has dominated mainstream thought most recently (Harper 1977 ; Cook 1985 ; Ariew and Lewontin 2004 ), a lively debate conducted mostly in Scandinavian journals proves that the issues (...)
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  4. Origins of Evolutionary Transitions.Ellen Clarke - 2014 - Journal of Biosciences 39 (2):303-317.
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  5.  91
    Is Evolution Fundamental When It Comes to Defining Biological Ontology?Ellen Clarke - forthcoming - In Shamik Dasgupta & Brad Westlake (eds.), Current Controversies in Philosophy of Science. Routledge.
    I argue for the usefulness of the evolutionary kind of biological individual.
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  6. Adaptation, Multilevel Selection and Organismality: A Clash of Perspectives.Ellen Clarke - forthcoming - In Richard Joyce (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Evolution and Philosophy. Routledge.
    The concept of adaptation is pivotal to modern evolutionary thinking, but it has long been the subject of controversy, especially in respect of the relative roles of selection versus constraints in explaining the traits of organisms. This paper tackles a different problem for the concept of adaptation: its interpretation in light of multilevel selection theory. In particular, I arbitrate a dispute that has broken out between the proponents of rival perspectives on multilevel adaptations. Many experts now say that multilevel and (...)
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  7. Evolutionary Transitions to Multicellular Life. [REVIEW]Ellen Clarke - 2016 - Quarterly Review of Biology 91 (3):370-371.
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  8. Review of JAMIE ELWICK, Styles of Reasoning in the British Life Sciences: Shared Assumptions, 1820–1858. [REVIEW]Ellen Clarke - 2009 - British Journal for the History of Science 42 (1):143-145.
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