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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

Understanding Innovation And Imitation In Evolution, Karen Kovaka Jan 2017

Understanding Innovation And Imitation In Evolution, Karen Kovaka

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

Biologists have a long history of arguing about the relative importance of organisms and environments in driving evolution. Do organisms passively respond to their environments or actively shape them? Is the environment just a filter that removes the least fit organisms from each generation, or also a source of new traits? The most recent incarnation of these debates focuses on developmental plasticity, a developing organism's sensitivity to environmental inputs. All organisms are plastic to some degree. Many can change their sex, morphology, and behavior in response to their environments. The question for biologists is, does the widespread presence of ...


Experiments, Simulations, And Lessons From Experimental Evolution, Emily Parke Jan 2015

Experiments, Simulations, And Lessons From Experimental Evolution, Emily Parke

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

Philosophers and scientists have sought to draw methodological distinctions among different kinds of experiments, and between experimentation and other scientific methodologies. This dissertation focuses on two such cases: hypothesis-testing versus exploratory experiments, and experiment versus simulation. I draw on examples from experimental evolution--evolving organisms in a controlled laboratory setting to study evolution via natural selection in real time--to challenge the way we think about these distinctions. In the case of hypothesis-testing versus exploratory experiments, philosophers have distinguished these categories in terms of the role of theory in experiment. I discuss examples from experimental evolution which occupy the poorly characterized middle ...


The Social Origins Of Folk Epistemology, Hugo Mercier Dec 2010

The Social Origins Of Folk Epistemology, Hugo Mercier

Goldstone Research Unit

Because reasoning allows us to justify our beliefs and evaluate these justifications it is central to folk epistemology. Following Sperber, and contrary to classical views, it will be argued that reasoning evolved not to complement individual cognition but as an argumentative device. This hypothesis is more consistent with the prevalence of the confirmation and disconfirmation biases. It will be suggested that these biases render the individual use of reasoning hazardous, but that when reasoning is used in its natural, argumentative, context they can represent a smart way to divide labor without loosing epistemic value.


Cybernetics’S Reflexive Turns, Klaus Krippendorff Jan 2008

Cybernetics’S Reflexive Turns, Klaus Krippendorff

Departmental Papers (ASC)

In the history of cybernetics there have been several attempts by cyberneticians to put themselves into the circularities of their theories and designs, invoking a shift from the cybernetics of mechanisms to a cybernetics of cybernetics. The latter is the title of a book chapter by Margaret Mead (1968) and of Heinz von Foerster’s (1974) edited compilation of articles on cybernetics. Foerster introduced the concept of second-order cybernetics which may have overshadowed or sidelined other reflexivities. I am attempting to recover four reflexive turns, describe their origin, implications, and suggest ways in which they continue what Karl Müller (2007 ...


The Philosophy Of The Face And 20th Century Literature And Art, Bernard J. Rhie Jan 2005

The Philosophy Of The Face And 20th Century Literature And Art, Bernard J. Rhie

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

This dissertation explores the importance of the human face in modern literature, philosophy, and art. "Meaning is a physiognomy," wrote Wittgenstein--quite literally, if somewhat cryptically--in the Philosophical Investigations. My project takes this remark seriously and begins, in chapters one and two, by reading Wittgenstein's discussion of aspect-seeing alongside recent work in cognitive science and the philosophy of mind in order to explain how we perceive mentality in the appearance of a human face. I then trace the surprising ways in which our ability to understand facial expressions informs not only the way we understand language, but also other minds ...


Scientific Outsiders And The Human Genome Project. Review Of Timothy F. Murphy And Marc A. Lappé, Justice And The Human Genome Project; Robert F. Weir, Susan S. Lawrence, And Evan Fales, Genes And Human Self-Knowledge: Historical And Philosophical Reflections On Modern Genetics; Tom Wilkie, Perilous Knowledge: The Human Genome Project And Its Implications, Susan M. Lindee Jan 1995

Scientific Outsiders And The Human Genome Project. Review Of Timothy F. Murphy And Marc A. Lappé, Justice And The Human Genome Project; Robert F. Weir, Susan S. Lawrence, And Evan Fales, Genes And Human Self-Knowledge: Historical And Philosophical Reflections On Modern Genetics; Tom Wilkie, Perilous Knowledge: The Human Genome Project And Its Implications, Susan M. Lindee

Departmental Papers (HSS)

The Human Genome Project, the international effort to map and sequence the genetic material of Homo sapiens, has by now generated a mass of information about DNA sequences. It has also generated an independent, but related, mass of texts exploring the philosophical, historical, sociological, and legal implications for medical care, human identity, law, politics, and reproduction that the project raises. Indeed, the Human Genome Project is perhaps most noteworthy for its status as the first and only scientific project to fund independent studies of its own social implications. The genome project budget in the United States, which is divided among ...