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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

Following Form And Function: A Philosophical Archaeology Of Life Science, Stephen Asma Dec 1996

Following Form And Function: A Philosophical Archaeology Of Life Science, Stephen Asma

Stephen T Asma

No abstract provided.


Against Nature: On Robert Wright's The Moral Animal, Amy L. Wax Jan 1996

Against Nature: On Robert Wright's The Moral Animal, Amy L. Wax

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Trees Of History In Systematics And Philology, Robert O’Hara Dec 1995

Trees Of History In Systematics And Philology, Robert O’Hara

Robert J. O’Hara

«The Natural System» is the name given to the underlying arrangement present in the diversity of life. Unlike a classification, which is made up of classes and members, a system or arrangement is an integrated whole made up of connected parts. In the pre-evolutionary period a variety of forms were proposed for the Natural System, including maps, circles, stars, and abstract multidimensional objects. The trees sketched by Darwin in the 1830s should probably be considered the first genuine evolutionary diagrams of the Natural System—the first genuine evolutionary trees. Darwin refined his image of the Natural System in the well-known ...


Natural Selection And Self-Organization: Dynamical Models As Clues To A New Evolutionary Synthesis, Bruce Weber, David Depew Dec 1995

Natural Selection And Self-Organization: Dynamical Models As Clues To A New Evolutionary Synthesis, Bruce Weber, David Depew

David J Depew

The Darwinian concept of natural selection was conceived within a set of Newtonianbackground assumptions about systems dynamics. Mendelian genetics at first did not sit well with the gradualist assumptions of the Darwinian theory. Eventually, however. Mendelism and Darwinism were fused by reformulating natural selection in statistical terms. This reflected a shift to a more probabilistic set of background assumptions based upon Boltzmannian systems dynamics. Recent developments in molecular genetics and paleontology have put pressure on Darwinism once again. Current work on self-organizing systems may provide a stimulus not only for increased problem solving within the Darwinian tradition, especially with respect ...


Mapping The Space Of Time: Temporal Representation In The Historical Sciences, Robert J. O’Hara Dec 1995

Mapping The Space Of Time: Temporal Representation In The Historical Sciences, Robert J. O’Hara

Robert J. O’Hara

William Whewell (1794–1866), polymathic Victorian scientist, philosopher, historian, and educator, was one of the great neologists of the nineteenth century. Although Whewell’s name is little remembered today except by professional historians and philosophers of science, researchers in many scientific fields work each day in a world that Whewell named. “Miocene” and “Pliocene,” “uniformitarian” and “catastrophist,” “anode” and “cathode,” even the word “scientist” itself—all of these were Whewell coinages. Whewell is particularly important to students of the historical sciences for another word he coined, one that was unfortunately not as successful as many of his others because it ...