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Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences

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https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29655519/much-ado-about-mice-standard-setting-in-model-organism-research
#1
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 11, 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
#2
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 10, 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
#3
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 9, 2018: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29526494/ancient-dna-a-history-of-the-science-before-jurassic-park
#4
Elizabeth D Jones
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
March 9, 2018: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29295774/a-brain-worth-keeping-waste-value-and-time-in-contemporary-brain-banking
#5
Thomas Erslev
If a temporal rather than spatial concept of waste is adopted, novel categories emerge which are useful for identifying and understanding logics of temporality at play in determining what is kept in contemporary brain banks, and reveal that brain banks are constituted by more than stored materials. First, I apply the categories analytically on a recent UK brain banking discussion among professionals. This analysis highlights the importance of data in brain banks, as well as the centrality of ideas about pasts and futures in the discussions...
December 30, 2017: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29217262/universal-etiology-multifactorial-diseases-and-the-constitutive-model-of-disease-classification
#6
Jonathan Fuller
Infectious diseases are often said to have a universal etiology, while chronic and noncommunicable diseases are said to be multifactorial in their etiology. It has been argued that the universal etiology of an infectious disease results from its classification using a monocausal disease model. In this article, I will reconstruct the monocausal model and argue that modern 'multifactorial diseases' are not monocausal by definition. 'Multifactorial diseases' are instead defined according to a constitutive disease model...
December 4, 2017: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29191718/-how-nationality-influences-opinion-darwinism-and-palaeontology-in-france-1859-1914
#7
Claudine Cohen
This paper discusses the "non-reception" of Darwin's works and concepts in French palaeontology and palaeoanthropology between 1859 and 1914. Indeed, this integration was difficult, biased and belated, for ideological, intellectual and epistemological reasons: Clémence Royer's biased 1862 translation of Darwin's Origin of Species pulled its ideas toward "social darwinism", making them less attractive to the natural sciences. - French nationalism and the authority of religion, which imposed Cuvier's thinking until late into the century - the dominance of Lamarckian and neo-Lamarckian transformism in France, both in biology and in paleontology, which proposed the notion of orthogenetic laws and environmental determinations, and refused darwinian evolutionary mechanisms - obstacles inherent to the application of Darwin's concepts to palaeontology, namely the impossibility to identify evolutionary mechanisms through the fossil record, which was stressed by Darwin himself and underlined in turn by 19th century French palaeontologists...
December 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
#8
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...
December 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
#9
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...
December 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
#10
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...
December 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
#11
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...
December 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
#12
David Sepkoski, Marco Tamborini
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
December 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
#13
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...
December 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
#14
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...
December 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
#15
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...
December 2017: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28622938/american-palaeontology-and-the-reception-of-darwinism
#16
Peter J Bowler
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
December 2017: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29137849/genera-evolution-and-botanists-in-1940-edgar-anderson-s-survey-of-modern-opinion
#17
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/28779641/beating-the-turkish-hollow-in-the-struggle-for-existence-darwin-social-darwinism-and-the-turks
#18
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
#19
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
#20
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
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