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History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences

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https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28900879/darwinism-in-metaethics-what-if-the-universal-acid-cannot-be-contained
#1
Eleonora Severini, Fabio Sterpetti
The aim of this article is to explore the impact of Darwinism in metaethics and dispel some of the confusion surrounding it. While the prospects for a Darwinian metaethics appear to be improving, some underlying epistemological issues remain unclear. We will focus on the so-called Evolutionary Debunking Arguments (EDAs) which, when applied in metaethics, are defined as arguments that appeal to the evolutionary origins of moral beliefs so as to undermine their epistemic justification. The point is that an epistemic disanalogy can be identified in the debate on EDAs between moral beliefs and other kinds of beliefs, insofar as only the former are regarded as vulnerable to EDAs...
September 12, 2017: History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28895068/hughlings-jackson-and-the-doctrine-of-concomitance-mind-brain-theorising-between-metaphysics-and-the-clinic
#2
M Chirimuuta
John Hughlings Jackson (1835-1911) is a major figure at the origins of neurology and neuroscience in Britain. Alongside his contributions to clinical medicine, he left a large corpus of writing on localisation of function in the nervous system and other theoretical topics. In this paper I focus on Jackson's "doctrine of concomitance"-his parallelist theory of the mind-brain relationship. I argue that the doctrine can be given both an ontological and a causal interpretation, and that the causal aspect of the doctrine is especially significant for Jackson and his contemporaries...
September 11, 2017: History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28836228/catherine-larr%C3%A3-re-rapha%C3%A3-l-larr%C3%A3-re-penser-et-agir-avec-la-nature-une-enqu%C3%A3%C2%AAte-philosophique-%C3%A3-ditions-la-d%C3%A3-couverte-coll-sciences-humaines-france-2015-374%C3%A2-pp-%C3%A2-14-99
#3
Héloïse Varin
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
September 2017: History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28766282/erratum-to-ren%C3%A3-dubos-tuberculosis-and-the-ecological-facets-of-virulence
#4
Mark Honigsbaum
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
September 2017: History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28726213/how-mechanisms-explain-interfield-cooperation-biological-chemical-study-of-plant-growth-hormones-in-utrecht-and-pasadena-1930-1938
#5
Caterina Schürch
This article examines to what extent a particular case of cross-disciplinary research in the 1930s was structured by mechanistic reasoning. For this purpose, it identifies the interfield theories that allowed biologists and chemists to use each other's techniques and findings, and that provided the basis for the experiments performed to identify plant growth hormones and to learn more about their role in the mechanism of plant growth. In 1930, chemists and biologists in Utrecht and Pasadena began to cooperatively study plant growth...
September 2017: History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28677044/ren%C3%A3-dubos-tuberculosis-and-the-ecological-facets-of-virulence
#6
Mark Honigsbaum
Reflecting on his scientific career toward the end of his life, the French-educated medical researcher René Dubos presented his flowering as an ecological thinker as a story of linear progression-the inevitable product of the intellectual seeds planted in his youth. But how much store should we set by Dubos's account of his ecological journey? Resisting retrospective biographical readings, this paper seeks to relate the development of Dubos's ecological ideas to his experimental practices and his career as a laboratory researcher...
September 2017: History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28631189/marco-solinas-from-aristotle-s-teleology-to-darwin-s-genealogy-the-stamp-of-inutility-palgrave-macmillan-basingstoke-2015-200%C3%A2-pp-95-00-hardcover
#7
Bernardino Fantini
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
September 2017: History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28840517/ultimate-and-proximate-explanations-of-strong-reciprocity
#8
Jack Vromen
Strong reciprocity (SR) has recently been subject to heated debate. In this debate, the "West camp" (West et al. in Evol Hum Behav 32(4):231-262, 2011), which is critical of the case for SR, and the "Laland camp" (Laland et al. in Science, 334(6062):1512-1516, 2011, Biol Philos 28(5):719-745, 2013), which is sympathetic to the case of SR, seem to take diametrically opposed positions. The West camp criticizes advocates of SR for conflating proximate and ultimate causation. SR is said to be a proximate mechanism that is put forward by its advocates as an ultimate explanation of human cooperation...
August 23, 2017: History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28819925/the-behavioural-ecology-of-irrational-behaviours
#9
Philippe Huneman, Johannes Martens
Natural selection is often envisaged as the ultimate cause of the apparent rationality exhibited by organisms in their specific habitat. Given the equivalence between selection and rationality as maximizing processes, one would indeed expect organisms to implement rational decision-makers. Yet, many violations of the clauses of rationality have been witnessed in various species such as starlings, hummingbirds, amoebas and honeybees. This paper attempts to interpret such discrepancies between economic rationality (defined by the main axioms of rational choice theory) and biological rationality (defined by natural selection)...
August 17, 2017: History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28808914/from-pleistocene-to-holocene-the-prehistory-of-southwest-asia-in-evolutionary-context
#10
Trevor Watkins
In this paper I seek to show how cultural niche construction theory offers the potential to extend the human evolutionary story beyond the Pleistocene, through the Neolithic, towards the kind of very large-scale societies in which we live today. The study of the human past has been compartmentalised, each compartment using different analytical vocabularies, so that their accounts are written in mutually incompatible languages. In recent years social, cognitive and cultural evolutionary theories, building on a growing body of archaeological evidence, have made substantial sense of the social and cultural evolution of the genus Homo...
August 14, 2017: History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28808898/wilhelm-his-and-mechanistic-approaches-to-development-at-the-time-of-entwicklungsmechanik
#11
Jean-Claude Dupont
At the end of the nineteenth century, approaches from experimental physiology made inroads into embryological research. A new generation of embryologists felt urged to study the mechanisms of organ formation. This new program, most prominently defended by Wilhelm Roux (1850-1924), was called Entwicklungsmechanik. Named variously as "causal embryology", "physiological embryology" or "developmental mechanics", it catalyzed the movement of embryology from a descriptive science to one exploring causal mechanisms...
August 14, 2017: History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28799070/the-beauty-of-sensory-ecology
#12
Fernando Otálora-Luna, Elis Aldana
Sensory ecology is a discipline that focuses on how living creatures use information to survive, but not to live. By trans-defining the orthodox concept of sensory ecology, a serious heterodox question arises: how do organisms use their senses to live, i.e. to enjoy or suffer life? To respond to such a query the objective (time-independent) and emotional (non-rational) meaning of symbols must be revealed. Our program is distinct from both the neo-Darwinian and the classical ecological perspective because it does not focus on survival values of phenotypes and their functions, but asks for the aesthetic effect of biological structures and their symbolism...
August 10, 2017: History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28795350/-so-far-like-the-present-period-a-reply-to-c-h-waddington-s-differences-with-the-creators-of-the-modern-evolutionary-synthesis-a-tale-of-two-genes
#13
Erik L Peterson
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
August 9, 2017: History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28791592/c-h-waddington-s-differences-with-the-creators-of-the-modern-evolutionary-synthesis-a-tale-of-two-genes
#14
Jonathan B L Bard
In 2011, Peterson suggested that the main reason why C.H. Waddington was essentially ignored by the framers of the modern evolutionary synthesis in the 1950s was because they were Cartesian reductionists and mathematical population geneticists while he was a Whiteheadian organicist and experimental geneticist who worked with Drosophila. This paper suggests a further reason that can only be seen now. The former defined genes and their alleles by their selectable phenotypes, essentially the Mendelian view, while Waddington defined a gene through its functional role as determined by genetic analysis, a view that foresaw the modern view that a gene is a DNA sequence with some function...
August 8, 2017: History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28612293/nowhere-to-run-rabbit-the-cold-war-calculus-of-disease-ecology
#15
Warwick Anderson
During the cold war, Frank Fenner (protégé of Macfarlane Burnet and René Dubos) and Francis Ratcliffe (associate of A. J. Nicholson and student of Charles Elton) studied mathematically the coevolution of host resistance and parasite virulence when myxomatosis was unleashed on Australia's rabbit population. Later, Robert May called Fenner the "real hero" of disease ecology for his mathematical modeling of the epidemic. While Ratcliffe came from a tradition of animal ecology, Fenner developed an ecological orientation in World War II through his work on malaria control (with Ratcliffe and Ian Mackerras, among others)-that is, through studies of tropical medicine...
June 2017: History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28537008/diverging-views-of-epigenesis-the-wolff-blumenbach-debate
#16
Andrea Gambarotto
Johann Friedrich Blumenbach (1752-1840) is widely known as the father of German vitalism and his notion of Bildungstrieb, or nisus formativus, has been recognized as playing a key role in the debates about generation in German-speaking countries around 1800. On the other hand, Caspar Friedrich Wolff (1734-1794) was the first to employ a vitalist notion, namely that of vis essentialis, in the explanatory framework of epigenetic development. Is there a difference between Wolff's vis essentialis and Blumenbach's nisus formativus? How does this difference influence their overall understanding of the epigenetic process? The paper aims to provide an answer to these questions through the analysis of a little-known document, which contributes to shed light on a crucial chapter of the German life sciences in the late eighteenth-century, namely the decisive phase of the process that led to the formalization of biology as a unified field of inquiry at the beginning of the nineteenth century...
June 2017: History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28523637/the-invention-of-artificial-fertilization-in-the-eighteenth-and-nineteenth-century
#17
Barbara Orland
Artificial insemination and other fertilization techniques are today considered central to the history of reproductive medicine. The medical treatment of infertile couples, however, constitutes just a small part of the whole story of artificial fertilization. Lazzaro Spallanzani (1729-1799) in particular, said to have been the inventor of artificial insemination, did not develop this method for medical purposes. He belonged to a generation of naturalists to whom artificial insemination was part of a heterogeneous series of investigations that were undertaken to explore the natural history of animal generation...
June 2017: History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28523636/informing-materials-drugs-as-tools-for-exploring-cancer-mechanisms-and-pathways
#18
Etienne Vignola-Gagné, Peter Keating, Alberto Cambrosio
This paper builds on previous work that investigated anticancer drugs as 'informed materials', i.e., substances that undergo an informational enrichment that situates them in a dense relational web of qualifications and measurements generated by clinical experiments and clinical trials. The paper analyzes the recent transformation of anticancer drugs from 'informed' to 'informing material'. Briefly put: in the post-genomic era, anti-cancer drugs have become instruments for the production of new biological, pathological, and therapeutic insights into the underlying etiology and evolution of cancer...
June 2017: History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28516427/the-organism-strikes-back-chlorella-algae-and-their-impact-on-photosynthesis-research-1920s-1960s
#19
Kärin Nickelsen
Historians and philosophers of twentieth-century life sciences have demonstrated that the choice of experimental organism can profoundly influence research fields, in ways that sometimes undermined the scientists' original intentions. The present paper aims to enrich and broaden the scope of this literature by analysing the career of unicellular green algae of the genus Chlorella. They were introduced for the study of photosynthesis in 1919 by the German cell physiologist Otto H. Warburg, and they became the favourite research objects in this field up to the 1960s...
June 2017: History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28439821/epigenesis-and-the-rationality-of-nature-in-william-harvey-and-margaret-cavendish
#20
Benjamin Goldberg
The generation of animals was a difficult phenomenon to explain in the seventeenth century, having long been a problem in natural philosophy, theology, and medicine. In this paper, I explore how generation, understood as epigenesis, was directly related to an idea of rational nature. I examine epigenesis-the idea that the embryo was constructed part-by-part, over time-in the work of two seemingly dissimilar English philosophers: William Harvey, an eclectic Aristotelian, and Margaret Cavendish, a radical materialist...
June 2017: History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
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