Search Results 1 - 25 of 39. Results contain 222 matches


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Overview

Biology, philosophy of

Biologists sometimes look perplexed when they are told of the existence of a subject called ‘The Philosophy of Biology’. What, they ask, is there to philosophise about in ...

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Thematic

Biological function

Biologists ascribe functions to biological traits. For example, they tell us that it is the function of the heart to pump blood and that it is a function ...

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Thematic

Functional explanation

Explanations appealing to the functions of items are common in everyday discourse and in science: we say that the heart pumps blood because that is its function, and ...

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Thematic

Evolutionary developmental biology

Evolutionary developmental biology is the study of evolutionary change (called phylogeny) as it is revealed through the embryological development of individual organisms (called ontogeny). On this approach, the ...

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Thematic

Natural kinds in biology

Species are seen as paradigmatic natural kinds in biology. However, that assumption poses a potential problem for the traditional account of natural kinds. Many biologists and philosophers argue ...

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Thematic

Evolution and religion

Ever since the seventeenth century, there has been debate about the compatibility of scientific findings and religious doctrines. During this period, many devout people have held that science ...

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Thematic

Natural selection and adaptation

Students of the natural world have long remarked on the fact that animals and plants are well suited to the demands of their environments. ‘Adaptation’, as it is ...

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Thematic

Innateness

The notion of innateness plays a significant role in various important debates in philosophy, psychology, cognitive science, neuroscience, linguistics, ethology, and biology. These debates are about whether some ...

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Thematic

Cultural evolution

Cultural traits are those phenotypic traits whose development depends on social learning. These include practices, skills, beliefs, desires, values, and artefacts. The distribution of cultural traits in the ...

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Thematic

Causation and laws in biology

Physicalism appears to undermine the autonomy of ‘special sciences’ such as biology, and to leave little room for proprietary biological laws or causation. Mendel’s ‘Laws’ are so-called because ...

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Thematic

Models in biology

In recent years, much attention has been given by philosophers to the ubiquitous role of models and modelling in the biological sciences. Philosophical debate has focused on several ...

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Thematic

Units and levels of selection

In a standard Darwinian explanation, natural selection takes place at the level of the individual organism, i.e. some organisms enjoy a survival or reproduction advantage over others, which ...

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Thematic

Modern synthesis, the

Huxley coined the phrase, the ‘modern synthesis’ to refer to the acceptance by a vast majority of biologists in the mid-twentieth century of a ‘synthetic’ view of evolution. ...

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Thematic

Evolutionary psychology

Evolutionary psychology is a recent approach to understanding human psychology that takes as its starting point the fact that minds, just like hearts, kidneys, eyes, and thumbs, are ...

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Sociobiology

Following Darwin, biologists and social scientists have periodically been drawn to the theory of natural selection as the source of explanatory insights about human behaviour and social institutions. ...

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Thematic

Species

The diversity of life is not seamless but comes in relatively discrete packages, species. Is that packaging real, or an artefact of our limited temporal perspective on the ...

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Thematic

Taxonomy

The fundamental elements of any classification are its theoretical commitments, basic units and the criteria for ordering these basic units into a classification. Two fundamentally different sorts of ...

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Thematic

Vitalism

Vitalists hold that living organisms are fundamentally different from non-living entities because they contain some non-physical element or are governed by different principles than are inanimate things. In ...

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Biographical

Wallace, Alfred Russel (1823–1913)

Co-discoverer with Charles Darwin of the theory of natural selection, Wallace travelled to the Amazon in 1848. Four years of collecting specimens there for sale in Europe revealed ...

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Thematic

Evolution and ethics

The fact that human beings are a product of biological evolution has been thought to impinge on the study of ethics in two quite different ways. First, evolutionary ...

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Thematic

Evolutionary theory and social science

Ideas from evolutionary theory impinge on the social sciences in two ways. First, there is the research programme of sociobiology, which attempts to demonstrate the impact of biological ...

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Biographical

Linnaeus, Carl von (1707–78)

Linnaeus was educated in Sweden, and became a doctor of medicine in Harderwijk, Holland, in 1735. He visited other European countries then, but he never left Sweden after ...

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Thematic

Molecular biology

Molecular biology is the study of the structure, function and kinetics of biologically important molecules. Historically, molecular biology has often been identified with molecular genetics. Similarly, the chief ...

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Biographical

Darwin, Charles Robert (1809–82)

Darwin’s On the Origin of Species (1859) popularized the theory that all living things have evolved by natural processes from pre-existing forms. This displaced the traditional belief that ...

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Biographical

Darwin, Charles Robert (1809–82)

REVISED

Darwin’s On the Origin of Species (1859) popularized the theory that all living things have evolved by natural processes from preexisting forms. This displaced the traditional belief ...

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3 further relevant matches
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