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History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences

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https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27910006/william-d-hamilton-s-brazilian-lectures-and-his-unpublished-model-regarding-wynne-edwards-s-idea-of-natural-selection-with-a-note-on-pluralism-and-different-philosophical-approaches-to-evolution
#1
Emanuele Coco
In 1975, the English evolutionist William Donald Hamilton (1936-2000) held in Brazil a series of lectures entitled "Population genetics and social behaviour". The unpublished notes of these conferences-written by Hamilton and recently discovered at the British Library-offer an opportunity to reflect on some of the author's ideas about evolution. The year of the conference is particularly significant, as it took place shortly after the applications of the Price equation with which Hamilton was able to build a model that included several levels of selection...
December 2016: History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27885570/neo-darwinists-and-neo-aristotelians-how-to-talk-about-natural-purpose
#2
Peter Woodford
This paper examines the points of disagreement between Neo-Darwinian and recent Neo-Aristotelian discussions of the status of purposive language in biology. I discuss recent Neo-Darwinian "evolutionary" treatments and distinguish three ways to deal with the philosophical status of teleological language of purpose: teleological error theory, methodological teleology, and Darwinian teleological realism. I then show how "non-evolutionary" Neo-Aristotelian approaches in the work of Michael Thompson and Philippa Foot differ from these by offering a view of purposiveness grounded in life-cycle patterns, rather than in long-term evolutionary processes or natural selection...
December 2016: History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27854053/epigenetics-ambiguities-and-implications
#3
Karola Stotz, Paul Griffiths
Everyone has heard of 'epigenetics', but the term means different things to different researchers. Four important contemporary meanings are outlined in this paper. Epigenetics in its various senses has implications for development, heredity, and evolution, and also for medicine. Concerning development, it cements the vision of a reactive genome strongly coupled to its environment. Concerning heredity, both narrowly epigenetic and broader 'exogenetic' systems of inheritance play important roles in the construction of phenotypes...
December 2016: History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27854052/laws-of-organization-and-chemical-analysis-blainville-and-m%C3%A3-ller
#4
François Duchesneau
When "general physiology" emerged as a basic field of research within biology in the early nineteenth century, Henri Ducrotay de Blainville (1777-1850) on the one hand and Johannes Peter Müller (1801-1858) on the other appealed to chemical analysis to account for the properties and operations of organisms that were observed to differ from what was found in inorganic compounds. Their aim was to establish laws of vital organization that would be based on organic chemical processes, but would also be of use to explain morphological and functional differences among life forms...
December 2016: History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27854051/denise-phillips-and-sharon-kingsland-eds-new-perspectives-on-the-history-of-life-sciences-and-agriculture-springer-international-publishing-2015-vii%C3%A2-%C3%A2-509%C3%A2-pp-%C3%A2-181-89-hardcover
#5
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27832455/stage-hands-make-up-artists-and-other-backstage-characters-in-the-drama-of-science
#6
Neeraja Sankaran
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
December 2016: History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27832454/a-tale-of-two-biographies-the-myth-and-truth-of-barbara-mcclintock
#7
Esha Shah
Evelyn Fox Keller wrote first biography of the Nobel Prize winning geneticist Barbara McClintock in which Keller discussed how McClintock felt being rejected by her peers in the 1950s because she questioned the dominant idea of the particulate gene and instead proposed that the genetic material jumped positions on the chromosome which indicated that the gene did not control but was controlled by the cellular environment. Keller's story of McClintock's life is an account of a woman scientist's conception of science and how her unorthodox views isolated her from the main stream science...
December 2016: History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27813029/dissolution-of-hypotheses-in-biochemistry-three-case-studies
#8
Michael Fry
The history of biochemistry and molecular biology is replete with examples of erroneous theories that persisted for considerable lengths of time before they were rejected. This paper examines patterns of dissolution of three such erroneous hypotheses: The idea that nucleic acids are tetrads of the four nucleobases ('the tetranucleotide hypothesis'); the notion that proteins are collinear with their encoding genes in all branches of life; and the hypothesis that proteins are synthesized by reverse action of proteolytic enzymes...
December 2016: History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27726106/some-conceptual-issues-in-the-transition-from-chemistry-to-biology
#9
Alvaro Moreno
The transition from chemistry to biology is an extremely complex issue because of the huge phenomenological differences between the two domains and because this transition has many different aspects and dimensions. In this paper, I will try to analyze how chemical systems have developed a cohesive, self-maintaining and functionally differentiated system that recruits its organization to stay far from equilibrium. This organization cannot exist but in an individualized form, and yet, it unfolds both a diachronic-historical and a synchronic collective dimension...
December 2016: History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27704401/tim-lewens-cultural-evolution-conceptual-challenges-oxford-university-press-x-205-p-2015-45-00
#10
Peter J Richerson
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
December 2016: History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27686564/theorizing-epigenesis-in-a-time-of-preexistence-from-the-end-of-the-seventeenth-century-to-the-1720s
#11
Angela Ferraro
According to a classic periodization in the history of science, biological thought as it emerged in France from the last decades of the seventeenth century to the 1740s was strongly committed to the doctrine of the preexistence of germs. Nicolas Malebranche's role in disseminating this paradigm, particularly in the milieu of the Académie Royale des Sciences during the years when Bernard Le Bouyer de Fontenelle was its secretary, has been studied in detail, especially by Jacques Roger. However, much less has been said about the authors who argued against this doctrine prior to the appearance of the relevant pieces by Pierre-Louis Moreau de Maupertuis, Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon, and Denis Diderot...
December 2016: History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27645228/from-ecological-records-to-big-data-the-invention-of-global-biodiversity
#12
Vincent Devictor, Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent
This paper is a critical assessment of the epistemological impact of the systematic quantification of nature with the accumulation of big datasets on the practice and orientation of ecological science. We examine the contents of big databases and argue that it is not just accumulated information; records are translated into digital data in a process that changes their meanings. In order to better understand what is at stake in the 'datafication' process, we explore the context for the emergence and quantification of biodiversity in the 1980s, along with the concept of the global environment...
December 2016: History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27619986/a-history-of-chorological-categories
#13
S Fattorini
One of the purposes of the research program referred to as "systematic biogeography" is the use of species distributions to identify regions and reconstruct biotic area relationships. The reverse, i.e. to group species according to the areas that they live in, leads to the recognition of chorological categories. Biogeographers, working under these two different approaches, have proposed several terms to refer to groups of species that have similar distributions, such as "element", "chorotype" and "component"...
September 2016: History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27580611/active-matter-then-and-now
#14
Evelyn Fox Keller
Historically, living was divided from dead, inert matter by its autonomous activity. Today, a number of materials not themselves alive are characterized as having inherent activity, and this activity has become the subject of a hot new field of physics, "Active Matter", or "Soft matter become alive." For active matter scientists, the relation of physics to biology is guaranteed in one direction by the assertion that the cell is a material, and hence its study can be considered a branch of material science, and in the other direction, by the claim that the physical dynamics of this material IS what brings the cell to life, and therefore its study is a proper branch of biology...
September 2016: History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27412708/bad-math-in-linnaeus-philosophia-botanica
#15
János Podani, András Szilágyi
In Philosophia Botanica (1751), Carolus Linnaeus (1707-1778) presented a calculation of the number of plant genera that may be distinguished based on his taxonomic concepts. In order to derive that number, he relied upon the organs of fructification, which represent the flower and the fruit, by selecting over 30 elements from them, and then assuming that each could vary by four dimensions. However, while Linnaeus was good in counting stamens and pistils, he and many of his followers who edited or translated Philosophia Botanica were less careful, basing their calculations of the number of possible genera on flawed assumptions, or even introducing basic arithmetic errors...
September 2016: History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27385114/teresa-ortiz-g%C3%A3-mez-and-mar%C3%A3-a-jes%C3%A3%C2%BAs-santesmases-eds-gendered-drugs-and-medicine-historical-and-socio-cultural-perspectives-ashgate-publishing-farnham-and-burlington-vt-2014-246%C3%A2-pp-%C3%A2-65-hard-cover
#16
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27385113/missing-concepts-in-natural-selection-theory-reconstructions
#17
Santiago Ginnobili
The concept of fitness has generated a lot of discussion in philosophy of biology. There is, however, relative agreement about the need to distinguish at least two uses of the term: ecological fitness on the one hand, and population genetics fitness on the other. The goal of this paper is to give an explication of the concept of ecological fitness by providing a reconstruction of the theory of natural selection in which this concept was framed, that is, based on the way the theory was put to use in Darwin's main texts...
September 2016: History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27338571/the-right-tool-and-the-right-place-for-the-job-the-importance-of-the-field-in-experimental-neurophysiology-1880-1945
#18
Samantha K Muka
This paper seeks to contribute to understandings of practice and place in the history of early American neurophysiology by exploring research with jellyfish at marine stations. Jellyfish became a particularly important research tool to experimental physiologists studying neurological subjects at the turn of the twentieth century. But their enthusiasm for the potential of this organism was constrained by its delicacy in captivity. The discovery of hardier species made experimentation at the shore possible and resulted in two epicenters of neurophysiological research on the American East Coast: the Marine Biological Laboratory and the Carnegie Institution's Dry Tortugas Laboratory...
September 2016: History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27338570/a-causal-dispositional-account-of-fitness
#19
Vanessa Triviño, Laura Nuño de la Rosa
The notion of fitness is usually equated to reproductive success. However, this actualist approach presents some difficulties, mainly the explanatory circularity problem, which have lead philosophers of biology to offer alternative definitions in which fitness and reproductive success are distinguished. In this paper, we argue  that none of these alternatives is satisfactory and, inspired by Mumford and Anjum's dispositional theory of causation, we offer a definition of fitness as a causal dispositional property...
September 2016: History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27325061/malte-christian-ebach-origins-of-biogeography-the-role-of-biological-classification-in-early-plant-and-animal-geography-dordrecht-heidelberg-new-york-london-springer-2015-xiv%C3%A2-%C3%A2-173%C3%A2-pp-hardcover-99-99-%C3%A2
#20
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