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Introduction: Do we really need another discussion of reduction in biology? After all, arguments for reductionism and for anti-reductionism have led to a stalemate, and philosophical investigations have come to focus on the topic of epistemic integration. Fortunately, Marie I. Kaiser takes a step...
[Review of the book In Search of Mechanisms: Discoveries across the Life Sciences, by C.Fraver, & Larden]Download
Introduction: A characteristic feature of contemporary practice in the life sciences is the study of mechanisms; consequently, mechanisms have become one of the major issues currently discussed by philosophers of biology. Lindley Darden and Carl Craver have been at the forefront of creating this...
Roger Saylor and Michel Ferrari (eds): Epistemology and Science Education: Understanding the Evolution vsntelligent Design ControversyDownload
Introduction: For decades the creationist movement has threatened the teaching of evolution in the United States, even in public schools. Similar worrisome trends have started in other Western countries. Beyond the major importance of reacting to attempts to undermine the proper teaching of...
Introduction: The core notion of Godfrey Smith’s account is that of a ‘Darwinian population’, which is “a population—a collection of particular things—that has the capacity to undergo evolution by natural selection” (page 6). A ‘Darwinian individual’ is a member of such an evolving population....
Being Reduced: New Essays on Reduction, Explanation, and Causation – Jakob Hohwy and Jesper Kallestrup (edsTDownload
Introduction: Reduction remains a live philosophical topic, encompassing metaphysical issues about the natural world, as well as epistemological and methodological questions about science. Germane to various philosophical notions, such as ontological determination, causation, explanation,...
Accounting for vertebrate limbs: from Owen’s homology to novelty in evo-devo [Review of the book Richard Owen’s On the Nature of Limbs: A Discourse, by ed. R. Amundson]Download
Introduction: This article reviews the recent reissuing of Richard Owen’s On the Nature of Limbs and its three novel, introductory essays. These essays make Owen’s 1849 text very accessible by discussing the historical context of his work and explaining how Owen’s ideas relate to his larger...
[Review of the book The Architecture of the Mind: Massive Modularity and the Flexibility of Thought, by Parruthers]Download
Introduction: Recent cognitive developmental psychology lend support to the idea that the mind consists of distinct domain-specific modules (e.g., a folk physics, a folk biology, and a folk psychological mind-reading module), rather than a single all-purpose reasoning system. In evolutionary...
[Review of the book Exceeding Our Grasp: Science, History, and the Problem of Unconceived Alternatives, by P.K. Stanford]Download
Introduction: What makes Kyle Stanford’s book on scientific realism so valuable to philosophers of science is that it both presents new philosophical ideas and bases its argument on a detailed study of the history of science. While scientific realism—the idea that our most well‐confirmed theories...
Introduction: Reductionism in the Philosophy of Science develops a novel account of reduction in science and applies it to the relationship between classical and molecular genetics. However, rather than addressing the epistemological issues that have been essential to the reductionism debate in...
Review: From Embryology to Evo-Devo: A History of Developmental Evolution by Manfred Daubichler; Jane MaienscheinDownload
Introduction: The biological process of development has always served as a focal point for empirical research and conceptual reflection on organisms and life in general. Many have drawn connections between development (ontogeny) and the history of life (phylogeny). The most recent manifestation...