Results for 'population biology'

997 found
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  1. Population Thinking Vs. Essentialism in Biology and Evolutionary Economics.George Liagouras - 2017 - In Evolutionary Political Economy in Action. A Cyprus Symposium, Routledge. London & New York: pp. 36-53.
    The standard perception of the dichotomy between population thinking and essentialism (typological thinking) in evolutionary economics descends from the golden age of the neo-Darwinian Synthesis. Over the last few decades the received view on population thinking has been seriously challenged in biology and its philosophy. First, the strong version of population thinking that banishes essentialism witnessed important tensions stemming from the ontological status of species. These tensions have been amplified by the demise of positivism and the (...)
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  2. Population Pluralism and Natural Selection.Jacob Stegenga - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (1):1-29.
    I defend a radical interpretation of biological populations—what I call population pluralism—which holds that there are many ways that a particular grouping of individuals can be related such that the grouping satisfies the conditions necessary for those individuals to evolve together. More constraining accounts of biological populations face empirical counter-examples and conceptual difficulties. One of the most intuitive and frequently employed conditions, causal connectivity—itself beset with numerous difficulties—is best construed by considering the relevant causal relations as ‘thick’ causal concepts. (...)
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  3. Individuating Population Lineages: A New Genealogical Criterion.Beckett Sterner - 2017 - Biology and Philosophy 32 (5):683-703.
    Contemporary biology has inherited two key assumptions from the Modern Synthesis about the nature of population lineages: sexual reproduction is the exemplar for how individuals in population lineages inherit traits from their parents, and random mating is the exemplar for reproductive interaction. While these assumptions have been extremely fruitful for a number of fields, such as population genetics and phylogenetics, they are increasingly unviable for studying the full diversity and evolution of life. I introduce the “mixture” (...)
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  4. Population Thinking as Trope Nominalism.Bence Nanay - 2010 - Synthese 177 (1):91 - 109.
    The concept of population thinking was introduced by Ernst Mayr as the right way of thinking about the biological domain, but it is difficult to find an interpretation of this notion that is both unproblematic and does the theoretical work it was intended to do. I argue that, properly conceived, Mayr’s population thinking is a version of trope nominalism: the view that biological property-types do not exist or at least they play no explanatory role. Further, although population (...)
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  5. Population” Is Not a Natural Kind of Kinds.Jacob Stegenga - 2010 - Biological Theory 5 (2):154-160.
    Millstein (2009) argues against conceptual pluralism with respect to the definition of “population,” and proposes her own definition of the term. I challenge both Millstein's negative arguments against conceptual pluralism and her positive proposal for a singular definition of population. The concept of population, I argue, does not refer to a natural kind; populations are constructs of biologists variably defined by contexts of inquiry.
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  6. The Proper Role of Population Genetics in Modern Evolutionary Theory.Massimo Pigliucci - 2008 - Biological Theory 3 (4):316-324.
    Evolutionary biology is a field currently animated by much discussion concerning its conceptual foundations. On the one hand, we have supporters of a classical view of evolutionary theory, whose backbone is provided by population genetics and the so-called Modern Synthesis (MS). On the other hand, a number of researchers are calling for an Extended Synthe- sis (ES) that takes seriously both the limitations of the MS (such as its inability to incorporate developmental biology) and recent empirical and (...)
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  7. Population” Is Not a Natural Kind of Kinds.Jacob Stegenga - 2010 - Biological Theory 5 (2):154–160.
    Millstein argues against conceptual pluralism with respect to the definition of “population,” and proposes her own definition of the term. I challenge both Millstein’s negative arguments against conceptual pluralism and her positive proposal for a singular definition of population. The concept of population, I argue, does not refer to a natural kind; populations are constructs of biologists variably defined by contexts of inquiry.
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  8. The Mind, the Lab, and the Field: Three Kinds of Populations in Scientific Practice.Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther, Ryan Giordano, Michael D. Edge & Rasmus Nielsen - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 52:12-21.
    Scientists use models to understand the natural world, and it is important not to conflate model and nature. As an illustration, we distinguish three different kinds of populations in studies of ecology and evolution: theoretical, laboratory, and natural populations, exemplified by the work of R.A. Fisher, Thomas Park, and David Lack, respectively. Biologists are rightly concerned with all three types of populations. We examine the interplay between these different kinds of populations, and their pertinent models, in three examples: the notion (...)
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  9. On the Concept of Biological Race and its Applicability to Humans.Massimo Pigliucci & Jonathan Kaplan - 2003 - Philosophy of Science 70 (5):1161-1172.
    Biological research on race has often been seen as motivated by or lending credence to underlying racist attitudes; in part for this reason, recently philosophers and biologists have gone through great pains to essentially deny the existence of biological human races. We argue that human races, in the biological sense of local populations adapted to particular environments, do in fact exist; such races are best understood through the common ecological concept of ecotypes. However, human ecotypic races do not in general (...)
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  10. 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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  11. Darwinian Populations and Natural Selection. [REVIEW]Massimo Pigliucci - 2009 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2009 (8).
    Ever since the publication of Richard Dawkins' The Selfish Gene, a book for the lay reader that popularized the ideas of influential evolutionary biologists like William Hamilton and George Williams, there has been much discussion of so-called "universal Darwinism". Dawkins' dual aim was to reduce evolutionary phenomena to the level of the gene, while at the same time abstracting the Darwinian process of natural selection of "replicators" and making it into something that would apply beyond the domain of biology.
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  12. 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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  13. 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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  14.  48
    Merging Biological Metaphors. Creativity, Darwinism and Biosemiotics.Carlos David Suárez Pascal - 2017 - Biosemiotics 10 (3):369-378.
    Evolutionary adaptation has been suggested as the hallmark of life that best accounts for life’s creativity. However, current evolutionary approaches still fail to give an adequate account of it, even if they are able to explain both the origin of novelties and the proliferation of certain traits in a population. Although modern-synthesis Darwinism is today usually appraised as too narrow a position to cope with all the complexities of developmental and structural biology—not to say biosemiotic phenomena—, Darwinism need (...)
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  15. 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 (...)
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  16. Are Clusters Races? A Discussion of the Rhetorical Appropriation of Rosenberg Et Al.'s “Genetic Structure of Human Populations”.Melissa Wills - 2017 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 9 (12).
    Noah Rosenberg et al.'s 2002 article “Genetic Structure of Human Populations” reported that multivariate genomic analysis of a large cell line panel yielded reproducible groupings (clusters) suggestive of individuals' geographical origins. The paper has been repeatedly cited as evidence that traditional notions of race have a biological basis, a claim its authors do not make. Critics of this misinterpretation have often suggested that it follows from interpreters' personal biases skewing the reception of an objective piece of scientific writing. I contend, (...)
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  17. Kin Selection, Group Selection, and the Varieties of Population Structure.Jonathan Birch - 2020 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (1):259-286.
    Various results show the ‘formal equivalence’ of kin and group selectionist methodologies, but this does not preclude there being a real and useful distinction between kin and group selection processes. I distinguish individual- and population-centred approaches to drawing such a distinction, and I proceed to develop the latter. On the account I advance, the differences between kin and group selection are differences of degree in the structural properties of populations. A spatial metaphor provides a useful framework for thinking about (...)
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  18. Modeling of Biological and Social Phases of Big History.Leonid Grinin, Andrey V. Korotayev & Alexander V. Markov - 2015 - In Leonid Grinin & Andrey Korotayev (eds.), Evolution: From Big Bang to Nanorobots. Volgograd,Russia: Uchitel Publishing House. pp. 111-150.
    In the first part of this article we survey general similarities and differences between biological and social macroevolution. In the second (and main) part, we consider a concrete mathematical model capable of describing important features of both biological and social macroevolution. In mathematical models of historical macrodynamics, a hyperbolic pattern of world population growth arises from non-linear, second-order positive feedback between demographic growth and technological development. Based on diverse paleontological data and an analogy with macrosociological models, we suggest that (...)
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  19. Lineage Population: A Concept Needed by an Observer of Nature?John Fuerst - 2017 - Mankind Quarterly 57 (4):590-631.
    The genealogy-based classificatory programs of Kant and Darwin are briefly discussed for context. It is detailed how in biology there is no unambiguous term to reference infraspecific-level descent-based divisions. The term lineage population is introduced and defined for analytic purposes as one of a set of inter-fertile divisions of organisms into which members are arranged by propinquity of descent. It is argued that the lineage population concept avoids the ambiguities associated with related biological and anthropological concepts and (...)
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  20.  97
    Mathematical Modeling of Biological and Social Evolutionary Macrotrends.Leonid Grinin, Alexander V. Markov & Andrey V. Korotayev - 2014 - In History & Mathematics: Trends and Cycles. Volgograd,Russia: Uchitel Publishing House. pp. 9-48.
    In the first part of this article we survey general similarities and differences between biological and social macroevolution. In the second (and main) part, we consider a concrete mathematical model capable of describing important features of both biological and social macroevolution. In mathematical models of historical macrodynamics, a hyperbolic pattern of world population growth arises from non-linear, second-order positive feedback between demographic growth and technological development. Based on diverse paleontological data and an analogy with macrosociological models, we suggest that (...)
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  21.  83
    The Theory of the Selfish Gene Applied to the Human Population.Richard Startup - 2021 - Advances in Anthropology 11 (3):179-200.
    In a study drawing from both evolutionary biology and the social sciences, evidence and argument is assembled in support of the comprehensive appli- cation of selfish gene theory to the human population. With a focus on genes giving rise to characteristically-human cooperation (“cooperative genes”) in- volving language and theory of mind, one may situate a whole range of pat- terned behaviour—including celibacy and even slavery—otherwise seeming to present insuperable difficulties. Crucially, the behaviour which tends to propa- gate the (...)
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  22.  38
    Mathematical Explanations in Evolutionary Biology or Naturalism? A Challenge for the Statisticalist.Fabio Sterpetti - 2021 - Foundations of Science 27 (3):1073-1105.
    This article presents a challenge that those philosophers who deny the causal interpretation of explanations provided by population genetics might have to address. Indeed, some philosophers, known as statisticalists, claim that the concept of natural selection is statistical in character and cannot be construed in causal terms. On the contrary, other philosophers, known as causalists, argue against the statistical view and support the causal interpretation of natural selection. The problem I am concerned with here arises for the statisticalists because (...)
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  23. Laws, Models, and Theories in Biology: A Unifying Interpretation.Pablo Lorenzano - 2020 - In Lorenzo Baravalle & Luciana Zaterka (eds.), Life and Evolution, History, Philosophy and Theory of the Life Sciences. pp. 163-207.
    Three metascientific concepts that have been object of philosophical analysis are the concepts oflaw, model and theory. The aim ofthis article is to present the explication of these concepts, and of their relationships, made within the framework of Sneedean or Metatheoretical Structuralism (Balzer et al. 1987), and of their application to a case from the realm of biology: Population Dynamics. The analysis carried out will make it possible to support, contrary to what some philosophers of science in general (...)
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  24. 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 (...)
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  25. On Similarities Between Biological and Social Evolutionary Mechanisms: Mathematical Modeling.Leonid Grinin - 2013 - Cliodynamics: The Journal of Theoretical and Mathematical History 4:185-228.
    In the first part of this article we survey general similarities and differences between biological and social macroevolution. In the second (and main) part, we consider a concrete mathematical model capable of describing important features of both biological and social macroevolution. In mathematical models of historical macrodynamics, a hyperbolic pattern of world population growth arises from non-linear, second-order positive feedback between demographic growth and technological development. This is more or less identical with the working of the collective learning mechanism. (...)
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  26. The Normative Structure of Mathematization in Systematic Biology.Beckett Sterner & Scott Lidgard - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 46 (1):44-54.
    We argue that the mathematization of science should be understood as a normative activity of advocating for a particular methodology with its own criteria for evaluating good research. As a case study, we examine the mathematization of taxonomic classification in systematic biology. We show how mathematization is a normative activity by contrasting its distinctive features in numerical taxonomy in the 1960s with an earlier reform advocated by Ernst Mayr starting in the 1940s. Both Mayr and the numerical taxonomists sought (...)
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  27. Semantics in Support of Biodiversity: An Introduction to the Biological Collections Ontology and Related Ontologies.Ramona L. Walls, John Deck, Robert Guralnik, Steve Baskauf, Reed Beaman, Stanley Blum, Shawn Bowers, Pier Luigi Buttigieg, Neil Davies, Dag Endresen, Maria Alejandra Gandolfo, Robert Hanner, Alyssa Janning, Barry Smith & Others - 2014 - PLoS ONE 9 (3):1-13.
    The study of biodiversity spans many disciplines and includes data pertaining to species distributions and abundances, genetic sequences, trait measurements, and ecological niches, complemented by information on collection and measurement protocols. A review of the current landscape of metadata standards and ontologies in biodiversity science suggests that existing standards such as the Darwin Core terminology are inadequate for describing biodiversity data in a semantically meaningful and computationally useful way. Existing ontologies, such as the Gene Ontology and others in the Open (...)
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  28. A Conceptual Taxonomy of Adaptation in Evolutionary Biology.Emanuele Serrelli & Francesca Micol Rossi - manuscript
    The concept of adaptation is employed in many fields such as biology, psychology, cognitive sciences, robotics, social sciences, even literacy and art,1 and its meaning varies quite evidently according to the particular research context in which it is applied. We expect to find a particularly rich catalogue of meanings within evolutionary biology, where adaptation has held a particularly central role since Darwin’s The Origin of Species (1859) throughout important epistemological shifts and scientific findings that enriched and diversified the (...)
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  29.  74
    Aristotle and the Search of a Rational Framework for Biology.Armando Aranda-Anzaldo - 2019 - Organisms 3 (2):54-64.
    Chance and necessity are mainstays of explanation in current biology, dominated by the neo-Darwinian outlook, a blend of the theory of evolution by natural selection with the basic tenets of population genetics. In such a framework the form of living organisms is somehow a side effect of highly contingent, historical accidents. Thus, at a difference of other sciences, biology apparently lacks theoretical principles that in a law-like fashion may explain the emergence and persistence of the characteristic forms (...)
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  30.  8
    Two Kinds of Historical Explanation in Evolutionary Biology.Nina Kranke - 2022 - Biology and Philosophy 37 (3):1-21.
    Historical explanations in evolutionary biology are commonly characterized as narrative explanations. Examples include explanations of the evolution of particular traits and explanations of macroevolutionary transitions. In this paper I present two case studies of explanations in accounts of pathogen evolution and host-pathogen coevolution, respectively, and argue that one of them is captured well by established accounts of time-sequenced narrative explanation. The other one differs from narrative explanations in important respects, even though it shares some characteristics with them as it (...)
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  31. Remarks on the Biology, Psychology and Politics of Religion.Michael Richard Starks - 2019 - Las Vegas, NV USA: Reality Press.
    In my view all behavior is an expression of our evolved psychology and so intimately connected to religion, morals and ethics, if one knows how to look at them. -/- Many will find it strange that I spend little time discussing the topics common to most discussions of religion, but in my view it is essential to first understand the generalities of behavior and this necessitates a good understanding of biology and psychology which are mostly noticeable by their absence (...)
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  32. Edible Insects – Defining Knowledge Gaps in Biological and Ethical Considerations of Entomophagy.Isabella Pali-Schöll, Regina Binder, Yves Moens, Friedrich Polesny & Susana Monsó - 2019 - Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition 17 (59):2760-2771.
    While seeking novel food sources to feed the increasing population of the globe, several alternatives have been discussed, including algae, fungi or in vitro meat. The increasingly propagated usage of farmed insects for human nutrition raises issues regarding food safety, consumer information and animal protection. In line with law, insects like any other animals must not be reared or manipulated in a way that inflicts unnecessary pain, distress or harm on them. Currently, there is a great need for research (...)
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  33. The Nature of Race: The Genealogy of the Concept and the Biological Construct’s Contemporaneous Utility.John Fuerst - 2015 - Open Behavioral Genetics.
    Racial constructionists, anti-naturalists, and anti-realists have challenged users of the biological race concept to provide and defend, from the perspective of biology, biological philosophy, and ethics, a biologically informed concept of race. In this paper, an ontoepistemology of biology is developed. What it is, by this, to be "biological real" and "biologically meaningful" and to represent a "biological natural division" is explained. Early 18th century race concepts are discussed in detail and are shown to be both sensible and (...)
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  34. How to Study Adaptation (and Why to Do It That Way).Mark E. Olson & Alfonso Arroyo-Santos - 2015 - Quarterly Review of Biology 90 (2):167-191.
    Some adaptationist explanations are regarded as maximally solid and others fanciful just-so stories. Just-so stories are explanations based on very little evidence. Lack of evidence leads to circular-sounding reasoning: “this trait was shaped by selection in unseen ancestral populations and this selection must have occurred because the trait is present.” Well-supported adaptationist explanations include evidence that is not only abundant but selected from comparative, populational, and optimality perspectives, the three adaptationist subdisciplines. Each subdiscipline obtains its broad relevance in evolutionary (...) via assumptions that can only be tested with the methods of the other subdisciplines. However, even in the best-supported explanations, assumptions regarding variation, heritability, and fitness in unseen ancestral populations are always present. These assumptions are accepted given how well they would explain the data if they were true. This means that some degree of “circularity” is present in all evolutionary explanations. Evolutionary explanation corresponds not to a deductive structure, as biologists usually assert, but instead to ones such as abduction or induction. With these structures in mind, we show the way to a healthier view of “circularity” in evolutionary biology, and why integration across the comparative, populational, and optimality approaches is necessary. (shrink)
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  35. Optimality Modeling in a Suboptimal World.Angela Potochnik - 2009 - Biology and Philosophy 24 (2):183-197.
    The fate of optimality modeling is typically linked to that of adaptationism: the two are thought to stand or fall together (Gould and Lewontin, Proc Relig Soc Lond 205:581–598, 1979; Orzack and Sober, Am Nat 143(3):361–380, 1994). I argue here that this is mistaken. The debate over adaptationism has tended to focus on one particular use of optimality models, which I refer to here as their strong use. The strong use of an optimality model involves the claim that selection is (...)
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  36. Prisoners of Abstraction? The Theory and Measure of Genetic Variation, and the Very Concept of 'Race'.Jonathan Michael Kaplan & Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther - 2013 - Biological Theory 7 (1):401-412.
    It is illegitimate to read any ontology about "race" off of biological theory or data. Indeed, the technical meaning of "genetic variation" is fluid, and there is no single theoretical agreed-upon criterion for defining and distinguishing populations (or groups or clusters) given a particular set of genetic variation data. Thus, by analyzing three formal senses of "genetic variation"—diversity, differentiation, and heterozygosity—we argue that the use of biological theory for making epistemic claims about "race" can only seem plausible when it relies (...)
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  37. Realism, Antirealism, and Conventionalism About Race.Jonathan Michael Kaplan & Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (5):1039-1052.
    This paper distinguishes three concepts of "race": bio-genomic cluster/race, biological race, and social race. We map out realism, antirealism, and conventionalism about each of these, in three important historical episodes: Frank Livingstone and Theodosius Dobzhansky in 1962, A.W.F. Edwards' 2003 response to Lewontin (1972), and contemporary discourse. Semantics is especially crucial to the first episode, while normativity is central to the second. Upon inspection, each episode also reveals a variety of commitments to the metaphysics of race. We conclude by interrogating (...)
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  38. Natura człowieka z podwójnej perspektywy Nietzschego, czyli o związkach języka z kulturą i biologią.Marek Jędrasik - 2008 - Humanistyka I Przyrodoznawstwo 14:313-334.
    The abstract Everyone who gets to know deeper with the Nietzsche philosophy is forced to think about a mutual relationship of a culture and a biology. The main problem to correct show of above relationships is the understanding of the meaning of a language with reference to the culture and the biology. Considerations which are represented here are inspired by the Nietzsche philosophy. They are split by three parts. In the first part there is shown the meaning of (...)
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  39. Against the New Racial Naturalism.Adam Hochman - 2013 - Journal of Philosophy 110 (6):331–51.
    Support for the biological concept of race declined slowly but steadily during the second half of the twentieth century. However, debate about the validity of the race concept has recently been reignited. Genetic-clustering studies have shown that despite the small proportion of genetic variation separating continental populations, it is possible to assign some individuals to their continents of origin, based on genetic data alone. Race naturalists have interpreted these studies as empirically confirming the existence of human subspecies, and by extension (...)
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  40. On the Limits of Quantitative Genetics for the Study of Phenotypic Evolution.Massimo Pigliucci & Carl D. Schlichting - 1997 - Acta Biotheoretica 45 (2):143-160.
    During the last two decades the role of quantitative genetics in evolutionary theory has expanded considerably. Quantitative genetic-based models addressing long term phenotypic evolution, evolution in multiple environments (phenotypic plasticity) and evolution of ontogenies (developmental trajectories) have been proposed. Yet, the mathematical foundations of quantitative genetics were laid with a very different set of problems in mind (mostly the prediction of short term responses to artificial selection), and at a time in which any details of the genetic machinery were virtually (...)
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  41. Clines, Clusters, and Clades in the Race Debate.Matthew Kopec - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (5):1053-1065.
    Although there once was a general consensus among race scholars that applying race categories to humans is biologically illegitimate, this consensus has been erased over the past decade. This is largely due to advances in population genetics that allow biologists to pick out genetic population clusters that approximate some of our common sense racial categories. In this paper, I argue that this new ability really ought not undermine our confidence in the biological illegitimacy of the human races. Unfortunately, (...)
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  42. Natural Selection and the Maximization of Fitness.Jonathan Birch - 2016 - Biological Reviews 91 (3):712-727.
    The notion that natural selection is a process of fitness maximization gets a bad press in population genetics, yet in other areas of biology the view that organisms behave as if attempting to maximize their fitness remains widespread. Here I critically appraise the prospects for reconciliation. I first distinguish four varieties of fitness maximization. I then examine two recent developments that may appear to vindicate at least one of these varieties. The first is the ‘new’ interpretation of Fisher's (...)
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  43. Are Human Races Cladistic Subspecies?Zinhle Mncube - 2015 - South African Journal of Philosophy 34 (2):163-174.
    In the article titled ‘A new perspective on the race debate’,Robin O. Andreasen argues that contrary to popular scientific belief, human races are biologically real—it is just that we are wrong about them. Andreasen calls her contemporary biological concept of race ‘the cladistic race concept’ (or CRC). Her theory uses theory from cladistics—a systematic school founded by entomologist Willi Hennig in 1950—to define human races genealogically as cladistic subspecies. In this paper I will argue that despite its promise as a (...)
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  44. Race: Deflate or Pop?Adam Hochman - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 57.
    Neven Sesardic has recently defended his arguments in favour of racial naturalism—the view that race is a valid biological category—in response to my criticism of his work. While Sesardic claims that a strong version of racial naturalism can survive critique, he has in fact weakened his position considerably. He concedes that conventional racial taxonomy is arbitrary and he no longer identifies ‘races’ as human subspecies. Sesardic now relies almost entirely on Theodosius Dobzhansky’s notion of race-as-population. This weak approach to (...)
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  45. What Evolvability Really Is.Rachael L. Brown - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science (3):axt014.
    In recent years, the concept of evolvability has been gaining in prominence both within evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo) and the broader field of evolutionary biology. Despite this, there remains considerable disagreement about what evolvability is. This article offers a solution to this problem. I argue that, in focusing too closely on the role played by evolvability as an explanandum in evo-devo, existing philosophical attempts to clarify the evolvability concept have been overly narrow. Within evolutionary biology more broadly, (...)
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  46.  89
    Species in the Age of Discordance.Matthew H. Haber - 2019 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 11 (21).
    Biological lineages move through time, space, and each other. As they do, they diversify, diverge, and grade away from and into one another. One result of this is genealogical discordance; i.e., the lineages of a biological entity may have different histories. We see this on numerous levels, from microbial networks, to holobionts, to population-level lineages. This paper considers how genealogical discordance impacts our study of species. More specifically, I consider this in the context of three framing questions: (1) How, (...)
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  47. The Idea of a Scientific Concept of Race.Michael O. Hardimon - 2012 - Journal of Philosophical Research 37:249-282.
    This article challenges the orthodox view that there is and can be no scientifically valid concept of race applicable to human beings by presenting a candidate scientific concept of biological race. The populationist concept of race specifies that a “race” is a subdivision of Homo sapiens—a group of populations that exhibits a distinctive pattern of genetically transmitted phenotypic characters and that belongs to an endogamous biological lineage initiated by a geographically separated and reproductively isolated founding population. The viability of (...)
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  48. Race and Reference.Adam Hochman - 2019 - Biology and Philosophy 34 (2):32.
    The biological race debate is at an impasse. Issues surrounding hereditarianism aside, there is little empirical disagreement left between race naturalists and anti-realists about biological race. The disagreement is now primarily semantic. This would seem to uniquely qualify philosophers to contribute to the biological race debate. However, philosophers of race are reluctant to focus on semantics, largely because of their worries about the ‘flight to reference’. In this paper, I show how philosophers can contribute to the debate without taking the (...)
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  49. Natural Selection, Causality, and Laws: What Fodor and Piatelli-Palmarini Got Wrong.Elliott Sober - 2010 - Philosophy of Science 77 (4):594-607.
    In their book What Darwin Got Wrong, Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini construct an a priori philosophical argument and an empirical biological argument. The biological argument aims to show that natural selection is much less important in the evolutionary process than many biologists maintain. The a priori argument begins with the claim that there cannot be selection for one but not the other of two traits that are perfectly correlated in a population; it concludes that there cannot be an (...)
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  50. Human Races.Guido Barbujani & Massimo Pigliucci - 2013 - Current Biology 23:185-187.
    What is a race? Ernst Mayr (1904–2005) distinguishes between species in which biological change is continuous in space, and species in which groups of populations with different character combinations are separated by borders. In the latter species, the entities separated by borders are geographic races or subspecies. Many anthropology textbooks describe human races as discrete (or nearly discrete) clusters of individuals, geographically localized, each of which shares a set of ancestors, and hence can be distinguished from other races by their (...)
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