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Handbook Of Evolutionary Thinking In The Sciences

Author: Thomas Heams
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 9401790140
Size: 26.19 MB
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The Darwinian theory of evolution is itself evolving and this book presents the details of the core of modern Darwinism and its latest developmental directions. The authors present current scientific work addressing theoretical problems and challenges in four sections, beginning with the concepts of evolution theory, its processes of variation, heredity, selection, adaptation and function, and its patterns of character, species, descent and life. The second part of this book scrutinizes Darwinism in the philosophy of science and its usefulness in understanding ecosystems, whilst the third section deals with its application in disciplines beyond the biological sciences, including evolutionary psychology and evolutionary economics, Darwinian morality and phylolinguistics. The final section addresses anti-Darwinism, the creationist view and issues around teaching evolution in secondary schools. The reader learns how current experimental biology is opening important perspectives on the sources of variation, and thus of the very power of natural selection. This work examines numerous examples of the extension of the principle of natural selection and provides the opportunity to critically reflect on a rich theory, on the methodological rigour that presides in its extensions and exportations, and on the necessity to measure its advantages and also its limits. Scholars interested in modern Darwinism and scientific research, its concepts, research programs and controversies will find this book an excellent read, and those considering how Darwinism might evolve, how it can apply to the human sciences and other disciplines beyond its origins will find it particularly valuable. Originally produced in French (Les Mondes Darwiniens), the scope and usefulness of the book have led to the production of this English text, to reach a wider audience. This book is a milestone in the impressive penetration by Francophone scholars into the world of Darwinian science, its historiography and philosophy over the last two decades. Alex Rosenberg, R. Taylor Cole Professor of Philosophy, Duke University Until now this useful and comprehensive handbook has only been available to francophones. Thanks to this invaluable new translation, this collection of insightful and original essays can reach the global audience it deserves. Tim Lewens, University of Cambridge

Die Mathematisierung Des Lebens

Author: Ariane Tanner
Publisher: Mohr Siebeck
ISBN: 9783161544910
Size: 33.73 MB
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English summary: To mathematize the world and thereby explain it: in 1925, the natural scientist and actuary Alfred James Lotka completed his monograph "Elements of Physical Biology", which interpreted all processes on planet earth energetically and formalised them. The result was a mathematically precise and at the same time holistic world view of interacting dynamic systems that humans should influence rationally. Ariane Tanner deciphers "Elements of Physical Biology" as an interdisciplinary synopsis of its time, denoting it as a key work of the 20th century's narrative of energetic holism. At the same time, she tells the story of Lotka as a largely non-academic researcher and scientific 'interventor' who slipped through conventional reception models. German description: Die Welt mathematisieren und dadurch erklaren: Mit der Monographie "Elements of Physical Biology" trat der Naturwissenschaftler und Versicherungsstatistiker Alfred James Lotka 1925 dazu an, samtliche Prozesse auf dem Planeten Erde energetisch zu verstehen und zu formalisieren. Daraus entstand ein mathematisch exaktes, gleichzeitig komplettes Weltbild von dynamischen Systemen, die der Mensch vernunftig beeinflussen sollte. Ariane Tanner entziffert "Elements of Physical Biology" als transdisziplinares Panoptikum seiner Zeit und deutet es als Schlusselwerk fur eine Geschichte der energetischen Holismen im 20. Jahrhundert. Gleichzeitig bietet sie eine Erzahlung uber einen hauptsachlich ausserakademisch Forschenden, der als wissenschaftlicher `Interventor` sowohl disziplinar wie auch innovatorisch zwischen die etablierten Rezeptionsmuster fiel.

Biological Individuality

Author: Scott Lidgard
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022644659X
Size: 48.75 MB
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Individuals are things that everybody knows—or thinks they do. Yet even scholars who practice or analyze the biological sciences often cannot agree on what an individual is and why. One reason for this disagreement is that the many important biological individuality concepts serve very different purposes—defining, classifying, or explaining living structure, function, interaction, persistence, or evolution. Indeed, as the contributors to Biological Individuality reveal, nature is too messy for simple definitions of this concept, organisms too quirky in the diverse ways they reproduce, function, and interact, and human ideas about individuality too fraught with philosophical and historical meaning. Bringing together biologists, historians, and philosophers, this book provides a multifaceted exploration of biological individuality that identifies leading and less familiar perceptions of individuality both past and present, what they are good for, and in what contexts. Biological practice and theory recognize individuals at myriad levels of organization, from genes to organisms to symbiotic systems. We depend on these notions of individuality to address theoretical questions about multilevel natural selection and Darwinian fitness; to illuminate empirical questions about development, function, and ecology; to ground philosophical questions about the nature of organisms and causation; and to probe historical and cultural circumstances that resonate with parallel questions about the nature of society. Charting an interdisciplinary research agenda that broadens the frameworks in which biological individuality is discussed, this book makes clear that in the realm of the individual, there is not and should not be a direct path from biological paradigms based on model organisms through to philosophical generalization and historical reification.

Functions Selection And Mechanisms

Author: Philippe Huneman
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9400753047
Size: 43.61 MB
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This volume handles in various perspectives the concept of function and the nature of functional explanations, topics much discussed since two major and conflicting accounts have been raised by Larry Wright and Robert Cummins’ papers in the 1970s. Here, both Wright’s ‘etiological theory of functions’ and Cummins’ ‘systemic’ conception of functions are refined and elaborated in the light of current scientific practice, with papers showing how the ‘etiological’ theory faces several objections and may in reply be revisited, while its counterpart became ever more sophisticated, as researchers discovered fresh applications for it. Relying on a firm knowledge of the original positions and debates, this volume presents cutting-edge research evincing the complexities that today pertain in function theory in various sciences. Alongside original papers from authors central to the controversy, work by emerging researchers taking novel perspectives will add to the potential avenues to be followed in the future. Not only does the book adopt no a priori assumptions about the scope of functional explanations, it also incorporates material from several very different scientific domains, e.g. neurosciences, ecology, or technology. In general, functions are implemented in mechanisms; and functional explanations in biology have often an essential relation with natural selection. These two basic claims set the stage for this book’s coverage of investigations concerning both ‘functional’ explanations, and the ‘metaphysics’ of functions. It casts new light on these claims, by testing them through their confrontation with scientific developments in biology, psychology, and recent developments concerning the metaphysics of realization. Rather than debating a single theory of functions, this book presents the richness of philosophical issues raised by functional discourse throughout the various sciences.​

Adaptationism And Optimality

Author: Steven Hecht Orzack
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521598361
Size: 66.55 MB
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These essays are intended to provide useful advice to "biologists in the trenches" but also to assess the larger theoretical and conceptual issues that form the basis of the current controversy." "This volume will serve to substantially advance the debate over adaptationism. It will be of interest to biologists, philosophers and historians of biology, anthropologists, psychologists, and cognitive scientists."--BOOK JACKET.

Towards A Theory Of Development

Author: Alessandro Minelli
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191651184
Size: 76.71 MB
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Is it possible to explain and predict the development of living things? What is development? Articulate answers to these seemingly innocuous questions are far from straightforward. To date, no systematic, targeted effort has been made to construct a unifying theory of development. This novel work offers a unique exploration of the foundations of ontogeny by asking how the development of living things should be understood. It explores the key concepts of developmental biology, asks whether general principles of development can be discovered, and examines the role of models and theories. The two editors (one a biologist with long interest in the theoretical aspects of his discipline, the other a philosopher of science who has mainly worked on biological systems) have assembled a team of leading contributors who are representative of the scientific and philosophical community within which a diversity of thoughts are growing, and out of which a theory of development may eventually emerge. They analyse a wealth of approaches to concepts, models and theories of development, such as gene regulatory networks, accounts based on systems biology and on physics of soft matter, the different articulations of evolution and development, symbiont-induced development, as well as the widely discussed concepts of positional information and morphogenetic field, the idea of a 'programme' of development and its critiques, and the long-standing opposition between preformationist and epigenetic conceptions of development. Towards a Theory of Development is primarily aimed at students and researchers in the fields of 'evo-devo', developmental biology, theoretical biology, systems biology, biophysics, and the philosophy of science.

Biology In The Nineteenth Century

Author: William Coleman
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521292931
Size: 72.70 MB
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Essential themes in the development of the life sciences during the nineteenth century.

La Raz N De Ser Meditaciones Darwinianas

Publisher: Editorial UNED
ISBN: 8436266447
Size: 19.91 MB
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En este ensayo póstumo, Carlos Castrodeza (1945-2012), uno de los mejores filósofos de la biología iberoamericanos, analiza la gestación de la obra de Darwin, mostrando cómo en ella confluyen distintas visiones metafísicas y teológicas sobre la Naturaleza. Castrodeza nos explica cómo Darwin fue articulando gradualmente su concepto de evolución, así como la desigual recepción de sus ideas en Inglaterra, Alemania y Francia. Las dificultades con las que se topó Darwin para aplicar a nuestra especie una visión plenamente naturalista del mundo le sirven a Castrodeza como motivo para reflexionar sobre el legado nihilista del evolucionismo. Pensando, dice, nos distraemos de nuestra muerte. Pero cuando la técnica puede hoy resolver tantas de nuestras preocupaciones para sobrevivir, ¿qué nos queda? Es como si nuestra especie hubiera "salido del mar del instinto a la tierra del pensar. Dadas las circunstancias tecnocientíficas, todo parece como si nuestra vuelta al mar fuera imparable".