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Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences

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https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29137849/genera-evolution-and-botanists-in-1940-edgar-anderson-s-survey-of-modern-opinion
#1
Kim Kleinman
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
November 11, 2017: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29110973/galton-reversion-and-the-quincunx-the-rise-of-statistical-explanation
#2
André Ariew, Yasha Rohwer, Collin Rice
Over the last six decades there has been a consistent trend in the philosophy literature to emphasize the role of causes in scientific explanation. The emphasis on causes even pervades discussions of non-causal explanations. For example, the concern of a recent paper by Marc Lange (2013b) is whether purported cases of statistical explanation are "really statistical" or really causal. Likewise, Michael Strevens (2011) argues that the main task of statistical idealizations is to distinguish between the causal factors that make a difference to the phenomenon to be explained and those that do not...
October 27, 2017: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29042093/manifest-ambiguity-intermediate-forms-variation-and-mammal-paleontology-in-argentina-1830-1880
#3
Irina Podgorny
This paper presents the impact of diverse aspects of Darwin's works on the practices of mammal paleontology in different moments of nineteenth-century Argentina. Starting with Darwin through the publications of Florentino Ameghino, it shows the extraordinary complexity of systematic paleontology that characterized the second half of the nineteenth century. Neither "natural selection" nor "struggle for life" seemed to have shaped the practices of vertebrate paleontology in Argentina. Darwin's earlier work as a voyageur and geologist together with later concerns about intermediate forms and variation allow for an assessment of the impact of Darwin's work on the practice of paleontology in Argentina...
October 14, 2017: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29033228/epigenetics-a-way-to-bridge-the-gap-between-biological-fields
#4
Antonine Nicoglou, Francesca Merlin
The concept of epigenetics has evolved since Waddington defined it from the late 1930s as the study of the causal mechanisms at work in development. It has become a multi-faceted notion with different meanings, depending on the disciplinary context it is used. In this article, we first analyse the transformations of the concept of epigenetics, from Waddington to contemporary accounts, in order to identify its different meanings and traditions, and to come up with a typology of epigenetics throughout its history...
October 13, 2017: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29031495/evidence-of-mechanism-in-the-evaluation-of-streptomycin-and-thalidomide
#5
Donald Gillies
This paper considers what evidence is needed to establish the effectiveness and safety of a drug therapy. The claim that A cures D is a particular case of a causal claim in medicine. So the paper begins with a general analysis of the evidence for causal claims in medicine. Such evidence is divided into two types: statistical evidence and evidence of mechanism. These are further divided into observational and interventional, producing a 2x2 classification. It is shown that historically there have different assessments of the importance of these different types of evidence...
October 11, 2017: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28993100/introduction-towards-a-global-history-of-paleontology-the-paleontological-reception-of-darwin-s-thought
#6
David Sepkoski, Marco Tamborini
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
October 6, 2017: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28986163/the-reception-of-darwin-in-late-nineteenth-century-german-paleontology-as-a-case-of-pyrrhic-victory
#7
Marco Tamborini
This paper investigates German-speaking paleontologists' reception of Darwin's thought and the ways in which they negotiated their space of knowledge production accordingly. In German-speaking regions, the majority of paleontologists welcomed Darwin's magnum opus, since it granted paleontology an independent voice within biology, and thus a new institutional setting. However, in the process of negotiating the features of paleontology within the Darwinian framework, German paleontologists constrained their practices too narrowly, for fear of leaving open possible results at odds with the burgeoning Darwinian biological community...
October 3, 2017: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28958481/chinese-paleontology-and-the-reception-of-darwinism-in-early-twentieth-century
#8
Xiaobo Yu
The paper examines the social, cultural and disciplinary factors that influenced the reception and appropriation of Darwinism by China's first generation paleontologists. Darwinism was mixed with Social Darwinism when first introduced to China, and the co-option of Darwinian phrases for nationalistic awakening obscured the scientific essence of Darwin's evolutionary theory. First generation Chinese paleontologists started their training in 1910s-1920s. They quickly asserted their professional identity by successfully focusing on morphology, taxonomy and biostratigraphy...
September 25, 2017: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28779641/beating-the-turkish-hollow-in-the-struggle-for-existence-darwin-social-darwinism-and-the-turks
#9
Alper Bilgili
Despite the vast literature on Darwinism and race, the way in which Darwin's opinions on race were received and used by non-Western circles has been little studied. In the case of the Turks, Darwin's comments have been related to British-Ottoman relations, and Darwin was blamed for stoking anti-Turkish sentiment within Europe. This allegedly resulted in the British occupation of Egypt in the 19th century, the demise of the Ottoman Empire, as well as contemporary Neo-Nazi arson attacks in Germany which targeted Turkish migrants...
October 2017: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28704764/logical-empiricists-on-race
#10
Liam Kofi Bright
The logical empiricists expressed a consistent attitude to racial categorisation in both the ethical and scientific spheres. Their attitude may be captured in the following slogan: human racial taxonomy is an empirically meaningful mode of classifying persons that we should refrain from deploying. I offer an interpretation of their position that would render coherent their remarks on race with positions they adopted on the scientific status of taxonomy in general, together with their potential moral or political motivations for adopting that position...
October 2017: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28697392/functional-explanation-and-the-problem-of-functional-equivalence
#11
James DiFrisco
The legitimacy of functional explanations in biology is threatened by a problem first identified by Hempel: the problem of functional equivalence. In order for the prevalence of a trait to be explained by its function, the function would have to explain why that very trait is prevalent and not some other functionally equivalent trait. But functions alone cannot meet this explanatory demand. I argue that this is a problem not only for Nagelian deductive-nomological models but also for etiological models of functional explanation...
October 2017: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28780293/progress-in-life-s-history-linking-darwinism-and-palaeontology-in-britain-1860-1914
#12
Chris Manias
This paper examines the tension between Darwinian evolution and palaeontological research in Britain in the 1860-1914 period, looking at how three key promoters of Darwinian thinking - Thomas Henry Huxley, Edwin Ray Lankester and Alfred Russell Wallace - integrated palaeontological ideas and narratives of life's history into their public presentations of evolutionary theory. It shows how engagement with palaeontological science was an important part of the promotion of evolutionary ideas in Britain, which often bolstered notions that evolution depended upon progress and development along a wider plan...
August 2, 2017: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28511068/biotechnology-and-the-transformation-of-vaccine-innovation-the-case-of-the-hepatitis-b-vaccines-1968-2000
#13
Farah Huzair, Steve Sturdy
The approval, from 1986, of a series of recombinant hepatitis B vaccines was a landmark both in the growth of biotechnology and in the development of the vaccine innovation system. In this paper, we show how the early development of the hepatitis B vaccines was shaped by a political and economic context that newly favoured commercialisation of academic research, including the appropriation and management of intellectual property; we elucidate the contingent interests and motivations that led new biotechnology companies and established pharmaceutical businesses to invest in developing recombinant vaccines specifically against hepatitis B; and we show how these and other factors combined to make those vaccines an unexpected commercial success...
August 2017: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28689133/the-european-politics-of-animal-experimentation-from-victorian-britain-to-stop-vivisection
#14
Pierre-Luc Germain, Luca Chiapperino, Giuseppe Testa
This paper identifies a common political struggle behind debates on the validity and permissibility of animal experimentation, through an analysis of two recent European case studies: the Italian implementation of the European Directive 2010/63/EC regulating the use of animals in science, and the recent European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) 'Stop Vivisection'. Drawing from a historical parallel with Victorian antivivisectionism, we highlight important threads in our case studies that mark the often neglected specificities of debates on animal experimentation...
July 6, 2017: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28686980/whewell-on-classification-and-consilience
#15
Aleta Quinn
In this paper I sketch William Whewell's attempts to impose order on classificatory mineralogy, which was in Whewell's day (1794-1866) a confused science of uncertain prospects. Whewell argued that progress was impeded by the crude reductionist assumption that all macroproperties of crystals could be straightforwardly explained by reference to the crystals' chemical constituents. By comparison with biological classification, Whewell proposed methodological reforms that he claimed would lead to a natural classification of minerals, which in turn would support advances in causal understanding of the properties of minerals...
July 4, 2017: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28683340/how-counterfactuals-of-red-queen-theory-shed-light-on-science-and-its-historiography
#16
Joachim L Dagg
A historical episode of evolutionary theory, which has lead to the Red Queen theory of the evolutionary maintenance of sex, includes two striking contingencies. These are used to explore alternative what-if scenarios, in order to test some common opinions about such counterfactuals. This sheds new light on the nature of science and its historiography. One counterfactual leads to an unexpected convergence of its result to that of the actual science but, nevertheless, differs in its causal structure. The other diverges towards an incompatible alternative, but this requires further contingent choices that also diverge from actual science...
July 3, 2017: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28672203/-how-complex-and-even-perverse-the-real-world-can-be-w-d-hamilton-s-early-work-on-social-wasps-1964-1968
#17
Guido Caniglia
William D. Hamilton's name is often connected to important theoretical accomplishments, from the theory of inclusive fitness and kin selection to the so-called Hamilton's rule and the haplodiploidy hypothesis. This article asks: How did Hamilton attempt to test his theory and hypothesis against the complexity of the biological world? The article reconstructs Hamilton's empirical work with social wasps between 1963 and 1968, the years before and after the publication of the groundbreaking "The Genetical Evolution of Social Behavior" in 1964...
June 30, 2017: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28669794/climate-science-truth-and-democracy
#18
Evelyn Fox Keller
This essay was written almost ten years ago when the urgency of America's failure as a nation to respond to the threats of climate change first came to preoccupy me. Although the essay was never published in full, I circulated it informally in an attempt to provoke a more public engagement among my colleagues in the history, philosophy, and sociology of science. In particular, it was written in almost direct response to Philip Kitcher's own book, Science, Truth and Democracy (2001), in an attempt to clarify what was special about Climate Science in its relation to truth and democracy...
June 29, 2017: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28667934/hit-and-brain-reward-function-a-case-of-mistaken-identity-theory
#19
Cory Wright, Matteo Colombo, Alexander Beard
This paper employs a case study from the history of neuroscience-brain reward function-to scrutinize the inductive argument for the so-called 'Heuristic Identity Theory' (HIT). The case fails to support HIT, illustrating why other case studies previously thought to provide empirical support for HIT also fold under scrutiny. After distinguishing two different ways of understanding the types of identity claims presupposed by HIT and considering other conceptual problems, we conclude that HIT is not an alternative to the traditional identity theory so much as a relabeling of previously discussed strategies for mechanistic discovery...
June 28, 2017: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28622938/american-palaeontology-and-the-reception-of-darwinism
#20
Peter J Bowler
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
June 13, 2017: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
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