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Realism / Anti-realism / InstrumentalismPoster

Cancer biology features ascriptions of normal function to cancer. Normal functions are activities that parts of systems, in some minimal sense, should perform. Cancer biologists’ ascriptions pose difficulties for two main approaches to normal function, leaving a gap in the literature. One approach claims that normal functions are activities that ...

Philosophy of Biology - general / otherContributed Papers

Philosophy of Biology - general / otherPoster

Elselijn Kingma (2018, 2019) argues that the popular view that the foetus is merely contained by the mother is inconsistent with the biology of pregnancy. Instead, she argues that the foetus is a part of the mother based on various physiological criteria. I argue that immune tolerance, a criterion of parthood for Kingma, cannot be a criterion for s...

Philosophy of Biology - general / otherContributed Papers

Philosophy of Biology - general / otherPoster

The central aim of the nutrition sciences is to understand how nutrition impacts health. One problem supposedly plaguing this endeavor is nutritionism—a ‘reductive’ focus on the role of nutrient composition or isolated nutrients (e.g., macronutrients or vitamins) for explaining a food’s effects on health (Scrinis 2008; 2013). Methodological...

Philosophy of Biology - general / otherSymposium

Morgan’s original canon (1894) was intended as a prophylactic against an anthropomorphic bias that he thought stemmed from the double inductive method, which explains seemingly identical behavior in animals and humans in terms of the same underlying causes. However, his defense of the method of variation, which introduces a bias of its own toward...

Philosophy of Biology - general / otherSymposium

While philosophers have raised many interesting questions concerning the ethics, aesthetics, and politics of food, philosophy of science has paid little attention to the nutrition sciences. In this symposium we bring together philosophers and a scientist to explore conceptual and empirical challenges facing this largely unexplored domain. Our contr...

Philosophy of Biology - general / otherSymposium

Nutrition science has traditionally relied on population-level evidence, especially evidence from observational studies. However, it is facing what could be called a ‘credibility crisis’ (Penders et al. 2017; Jukola 2021). Critics have questioned the reliability of the evidence originating from observational studies and demanded randomized cont...

Philosophy of Biology - general / otherSymposium

Immunology is a notoriously complex field with a distinct vocabulary and concepts. Yet immunologists regularly and effectively collaborate with other researchers, notably clinicians and experts in population health. How does this work? This paper proposes a multifaceted answer. Immunology exhibits three features that support collaborative research ...

Philosophy of Biology - general / otherContributed Papers

Minimal Agencies

PSA2022582

Philosophy of Biology - general / otherPoster

Morgan’s canon is one of the most influential methodological principles in comparative psychology. It states that one should always abstain from explaining animal behavior with reference to any “higher” psychological faculties than absolutely necessary. In the contemporary literature, this principle is interpreted in terms of simplicity or pa...

Philosophy of Biology - general / otherSymposium

The scientific status of folk psychology (FP) is a topic of ongoing debate (Hochstein 2017). One common criticism of the use of FP in the sciences is that FP accounts produce feelings of understanding when in fact they are poor guides to truth. For example, in the context of comparative psychology, Papineau and Heyes (2006) observe that it is “ea...

Philosophy of Biology - general / otherSymposium

In From Signal to Symbol (2021, p. x) Ron Planer and Kim Sterelny argue that any “adequate” theory of language evolution “must identify a plausible trajectory from great-apelike communicative abilities to those of modern humans where each step along the way is small, cumulative and adaptive (or at least not maladaptive: there might be some ro...

Philosophy of Biology - general / otherSymposium

The mental continuity thesis is an assumption shared by many philosophers and scientists who study mind in nature. It states that the difference in mind between different creatures is one of degree not kind. It is an attractive thesis, as it can serve as a basis for the application of evolutionary reasoning in studying other minds. The mental conti...

Philosophy of Biology - general / otherSymposium

Natural Kinds / ClassificationPoster

Sex Eliminativism

PSA2022588

Philosophy of Biology - general / otherPoster

Philosophers have the impression that evolutionary medicine is plagued by naive adaptationism (e.g., Murphy 2005, Valles 2011, Méthot 2012), leading to poor science through the proliferation of untestable ‘just-so stories’ and to poor medicine through not considering alternative explanations with different medical implications. It is therefore...

Philosophy of Biology - general / otherSymposium