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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 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 ...