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Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences

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https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/30396827/-relaxed-natural-kinds-and-psychiatric-classification
#1
Somogy Varga
This paper starts out highlighting a particular criticism that psychiatry faces and continues by investigating approaches to classification in psychiatry that operate with a "relaxed" (non-essentialist) notion of natural kind. Two accounts are examined, one by Rachel Cooper (2005; 2013) and one based on the work of Richard Boyd (1991; 1999; 2003; 2010). While these accounts do not directly pursue such a goal, the main aim is to probe whether deploying a "relaxed" notion of natural kind would be able to neutralize the criticism...
November 2, 2018: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/30391127/from-seconds-to-eons-time-scales-hierarchies-and-processes-in-evo-devo
#2
Jan Baedke, Siobhan F Mc Manus
This paper addresses the role of time scales in conceptualizing biological hierarchies. So far, the concept of hierarchies in philosophy of science has been dominated by the idea of composition and parthood, respectively. However, this view does not exhaust the diversity of hierarchical descriptions in the biosciences. Therefore, we highlight a type of hierarchy usually overlooked by philosophers of science. It distinguishes processes based on the different time scales (i.e. rates, frequencies, and rhythms) on which they occur...
October 31, 2018: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/30385203/encode-and-the-parts-of-the-human-genome
#3
Marie I Kaiser
This paper examines a specific kind of part-whole relations that exist in the molecular genetic domain. The central question is under which conditions a particular molecule, such as a DNA sequence, is a biological part of the human genome. I address this question by analyzing how biologists in fact partition the human genome into parts. This paper thus presents a case study in the metaphysics of biological practice. I develop a metaphysical account of genomic parthood by analyzing the investigative and reasoning practices in the ENCODE (ENCyclopedia Of DNA Elements) project...
October 29, 2018: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/30337139/sequencing-through-thick-and-thin-historiographical-and-philosophical-implications
#4
James W E Lowe
DNA sequencing has been characterised by scholars and life scientists as an example of 'big', 'fast' and 'automated' science in biology. This paper argues, however, that these characterisations are a product of a particular interpretation of what sequencing is, what I call 'thin sequencing'. The 'thin sequencing' perspective focuses on the determination of the order of bases in a particular stretch of DNA. Based upon my research on the pig genome mapping and sequencing projects, I provide an alternative 'thick sequencing' perspective, which also includes a number of practices that enable the sequence to travel across and be used in wider communities...
October 15, 2018: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/30318277/mechanism-diagrams-and-abstraction-by-aggregation
#5
Sim-Hui Tee
Mechanism diagrams exhibit visually the organized parts and operations of a biological mechanism. A mechanism diagram can facilitate mechanistic research by providing a mechanistic explanation of the phenomenon of interest. Much research has been focusing on the mechanistic explanation and the explanatory mechanistic models. As a specific type of scientific diagram, a simple mechanism diagram can be explanatory by drawing on the rich explanatory resources of non-depicted background knowledge. The relationship between the visually depicted and the background knowledge is underexplored...
October 11, 2018: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/30314682/the-sick-dancers-the-construction-of-medical-knowledge-about-the-epidemic-of-dance-in-itapagipe-salvador-bahia-1882-1901
#6
Filipe Pinto Monteiro
The goal of this paper is to analyze a little-known set of documents referring to a "Dancing Epidemic" that took place in Itapagipe, a suburb of Salvador, capital of the province of Bahia, Brazil, in 1882. Through the studies of a group of physicians, especially Raimundo Nina Rodrigues (1862-1906), a psychiatrist and anthropologist from the Bahia School of Medicine, the medical knowledge built on this unique phenomenon in Brazilian history is examined. The case in particular involved a crowd that spread through the streets of Itapagipe, attracting the interest of the medical classes, who were intrigued by the symptoms of motor incoordination the patients manifested...
October 9, 2018: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/30297157/a-blooming-and-buzzing-confusion-buffon-reimarus-and-kant-on-animal-cognition
#7
Hein van den Berg
Kant's views on animals have received much attention in recent years. According to some, Kant attributed the capacity for objective perceptual awareness to non-human animals, even though he denied that they have concepts. This position is difficult to square with a conceptualist reading of Kant, according to which objective perceptual awareness requires concepts. Others take Kant's views on animals to imply that the mental life of animals is a blooming, buzzing confusion. In this article I provide a historical reconstruction of Kant's views on animals, relating them to eighteenth-century debates on animal cognition...
October 5, 2018: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/30293695/searle-on-the-biology-of-seeing
#8
Pierre Le Morvan
Searle offers an account of seeing as a conscious state not constituted by the object(s) seen. I focus in this article on his biological case for this thesis, and argue that the biological considerations he adduces neither establish his own position nor defeat a rival object-inclusive view. I show (among other things) that taking seeing to be a biological state is compatible with its being (partially) constituted by the object(s) seen.
October 4, 2018: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/30224294/synthesis-convergence-and-differences-in-the-entangled-histories-of-cytogenetics-in-medicine-a-comparative-study-of-canada-and-mexico
#9
William Leeming, Ana Barahona
Most historians of science and medicine agree that medical interest in genetics intensified after 1930, and interest in the relationship of radiation damage and genetics continued and expanded after World War II. Moreover, they maintain that the synthesis and convergence of human genetics and cytological techniques in European centers resulted in their dissemination to centers in the United States, resulting in a new field of expertise focused on medicine and clinical research, known as cytogenetics. In this article, we broaden the scope of the inquiry by showing how the early histories of cytogenetics in Canada and Mexico unfolded against strikingly different backgrounds in clinical research and the delivery of health care...
September 14, 2018: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/30100389/historical-biological-essentialism
#10
Michael Devitt
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
August 9, 2018: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/30122161/the-myth-of-hempel-and-the-dsm-iii
#11
Rachel Cooper, Roger Blashfield
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
August 2018: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/30060909/functional-ecology-s-non-selectionist-understanding-of-function
#12
Antoine C Dussault
This paper reinforces the current consensus against the applicability of the selected effect theory of function in ecology. It does so by presenting an argument which, in contrast with the usual argument invoked in support of this consensus, is not based on claims about whether ecosystems are customary units of natural selection. Instead, the argument developed here is based on observations about the use of the function concept in functional ecology, and more specifically, research into the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning...
August 2018: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29887516/the-biopolitics-of-cfs-me
#13
Nikos Karfakis
This paper argues that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) constitutes a biopolitical problem, a scientific object which needs to be studied, classified and regulated. Assemblages of authorities, knowledges and techniques make CFS/ME subjects and shape their everyday conduct in an attempt to increase their supposed autonomy, wellbeing and health. CFS and CFS/ME identities are however made not only through government, scientific, and medical interventions but also by the patients themselves, a biosocial community who collaborates with scientists, educates itself about the intricacies of biomedicine, and contests psychiatric truth claims...
August 2018: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29895411/should-phenomenological-approaches-to-illness-be-wary-of-naturalism
#14
Juliette Ferry-Danini
In some quarters within philosophy of medicine, more particularly in the phenomenological approaches, naturalism is looked upon with suspicion. This paper argues, first, that it is necessary to distinguish between two expressions of this attitude towards naturalism: phenomenological approaches to illness disagree with naturalism regarding various theoretical claims and they disapprove of naturalism on an ethical level. Second, this paper argues that both the disagreement with and the disapproval of naturalism are to a large extent confused...
June 9, 2018: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29866402/on-the-evidentiary-standards-for-nutrition-advice
#15
Saana Jukola
This paper evaluates the application of evidentiary standards originating from evidence-based medicine in nutrition advice. It shows that it is problematic to criticize nutrition recommendations for not being based on randomized controlled trials. Due to practical, ethical and methodological and reasons, it is difficult to conduct rigorous randomized controlled trials for acquiring evidence that is relevant for achieving the goals of population-level nutrition recommendations. Given the non-epistemic goals of the dietary recommendations, criteria of acceptable evidence should be adapted to the goals of the practice and the practical, ethical, and methodological constraints of the situation...
June 1, 2018: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29798816/the-function-of-the-heart-is-not-obvious
#16
Nicholas Binney
It is widely believed that the function of the heart is obviously to pump blood. I argue here that it is not. The definition, presentation, and pathophysiological explanation of heart failure, as well as the measurement of cardiac dysfunction, are not as might be expected if the function of the heart was simply to pump blood. Far from being obvious, many central features of heart failure are still being investigated. This has important implications for philosophical debates about health and disease. According to naturalists like Christopher Boorse, medical practice is founded on a well-established body of physiological knowledge, which provides the one true account of the biological function of organs...
April 2018: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29779797/the-function-of-the-heart-is-historically-contingent
#17
Nicholas Binney
Some philosophers of medicine argue that there are objective facts about the biological function of organs, and that these facts are used to objectively define diseases. The function of the heart is taken to be particularly obvious and well established. Contrary to this, I argue that the function of the heart is not fixed by nature, but rather that it is historically contingent. The disease heart failure results from the dysfunction of the heart. In opposition to the common-sense intuitions of philosophers, medics do not define heart failure simply as a reduced cardiac output, and up to half of patients with heart failure have a normal cardiac output...
April 2018: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29655519/much-ado-about-mice-standard-setting-in-model-organism-research
#18
Rebecca A Hardesty
Recently there has been a practice turn in the philosophy of science that has called for analyses to be grounded in the actual doings of everyday science. This paper is in furtherance of this call and it does so by employing participant-observation ethnographic methods as a tool for discovering epistemological features of scientific practice in a neuroscience lab. The case I present focuses on a group of neurobiologists researching the genetic underpinnings of cognition in Down syndrome (DS) and how they have developed a new mouse model which they argue should be regarded as the "gold standard" for all DS mouse research...
April 2018: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29653763/the-significance-of-levels-of-organization-for-scientific-research-a-heuristic-approach
#19
Daniel S Brooks, Markus I Eronen
The concept of 'levels of organization' has come under fire recently as being useless for scientific and philosophical purposes. In this paper, we show that 'levels' is actually a remarkably resilient and constructive conceptual tool that can be, and in fact is, used for a variety of purposes. To this effect, we articulate an account of the importance of the levels concept seen in light of its status as a major organizing concept of biology. We argue that the usefulness of 'levels' is best seen in the heuristic contributions the concept makes to treating and structuring scientific problems...
April 2018: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29650327/natural-selection-plasticity-and-the-rationale-for-largest-scale-trends
#20
Hugh Desmond
Many have argued that there is no reason why natural selection should cause directional increases in measures such as body size or complexity across evolutionary history as a whole. In this paper I argue that this conclusion does not hold for selection for adaptations to environmental variability, and that, given the inevitability of environmental variability, trends in adaptations to variability are an expected feature of evolution by natural selection. As a concrete instance of this causal structure, I outline how this may be applied to a trend in phenotypic plasticity...
April 2018: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
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