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Taxa and homologues can in our view be construed both as kinds and as individuals. However, the conceptualization of taxa as natural kinds in the sense of homeostatic property cluster kinds has been criticized by some systematists, as it seems that even such kinds cannot evolve due to their being...
Multilevel research strategies characterize contemporary molecular inquiry into biological systems. We outline conceptual, methodological, and explanatory dimensions of these multilevel strategies in microbial ecology, systems biology, protein research, and developmental biology. This review of...
[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...
Introduction: Philosophical questions about biology have been addressed by philosophers and scientists for centuries. Yet as a genuine discipline within philosophy, philosophy of biology started to emerge in the 1970s (Byron, 2007). One motivation for this was the fact that much of traditional...
The homeopathy of kin selection: An evaluation of van den Berghe’s sociobiological approach to ethnicityDownload
The present discussion of sociobiological approaches to ethnic nepotism takes van den Berghe’s theory as a starting point. Two points, which have not been addressed in former analyses, are considered to be of particular importance. It is argued that the behavioral mechanism of ethnic nepotism—as...
[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: As Elliott Sober acknowledges in the preface, the title of his latest book Evidence and Evolution is potentially confusing. For his discussion does not present various known empirical facts that support the theory of common ancestry, such as fossil data and genetic and anatomical...
The paper works towards an account of explanatory integration in biology, using as a case study explanations of the evolutionary origin of novelties—a problem requiring the integration of several biological fields and approaches. In contrast to the idea that fields studying lower level phenomena...
The paper discusses how systems biology is working toward complex accounts that integrate explanation in terms of mechanisms and explanation by mathematical models—which some philosophers have viewed as rival models of explanation. Systems biology is an integrative approach, and it strongly...
Despite the traditional focus on metaphysical issues in discussions of natural kinds in biology, epistemological considerations are at least as important. By revisiting the debate as to whether taxa are kinds or individuals, I argue that both accounts are metaphysically compatible, but that one...