- History and Philosophy of Biology
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Each provided novel ideas to "Defining Life" while highlighting the extreme difficulty to reach a consensus on this topic. We also thank Alan W. Schwartz for generously offering this space for publishing the Proceedings of the Conference. Philosophy of Biology, Miscellaneous. Evolutionary Biology. The questions a philosopher may raise today about evolution are twofold : on the one hand they may refer to the philosophy of science what kind of a science is it?
On the other hand, they may refer to philosophy as such : in what way does evolution lead one to reexamine a few traditional philosophical question as that of the foundations of epistemology a theory of knowledge and ethics? Philosophy of Biology. Darwin and Darwinism in france after Darwinism History of Biology. Philosophy of Biology: An Historico-critical Characterization. Literally speaking, "Philosophy of biology" is a rather old expression.
William Whewell coined it in , at the very time he introduced the expression "philosophy of science". Whewell was fond of creating neologisms, like Auguste Comte, his French counterpart in the field of the philosophical reflection about science. Historians of science know that a few years earlier, in , Whewell had generated a small scandal when he proposed the word "scientist" as a general term by which "the students… Read more Literally speaking, "Philosophy of biology" is a rather old expression.
Historians of science know that a few years earlier, in , Whewell had generated a small scandal when he proposed the word "scientist" as a general term by which "the students of the knowledge of the material world" could describe themselves, and distinguish themselves from artists. The term "philosopher", Whewell argued, was too wide. A new generic term, more or less equivalent to the French term "savant", was needed in order to prevent the disintegration of science that seemed to flow from its specialization in modern times.
The expression "philosophy of science" itself had two justifications: firstly, this phrase expressed the idea that "science" remained cognitively coherent enough to justify a critical enquiry into its methodological unity and its foundation; secondly, the phrase "philosophy of science" was required in order to distinguish a properly "philosophical" enquiry from a "historical" approach to science.
History and Philosophy of Biology
Although Whewell's Philosophy of the inductive sciences 2 had approximately the same chapter structure as his History of the Inductive Sciences 3 that is, a series of chapters successively devoted to the concept of science in general, and although there was considerable overlap between the contents of the two books, then to particular sciences , its theoretical purpose was different. Clearly, Whewell was not willing to confuse the genres of history and philosophy as Auguste Comte had done in his Cours de philosophie positive. In fact, Whewell's History of the Inductive Sciences does not make use of the word "biology": Whewell successively examines "botany", "zoology", "physiology" and "comparative antomy" as special branches of "analytico-classificatory science", then discusses palaeontology as a special case of the "palaeo-etiological sciences".
Three years later, in his Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences, Whewell does use "biology" as a generic term for all the sciences dealing with life. The various sciences which were separately examined in the previous book are now collectively considered. Furthermore, the main philosophical problem raised by biology is its dual nature: biology is both nomological and a historical science. Modern philosophers of biology are generally unaware of the story of the origins of the expression "philosophy of biology", but Whewell's dual theoretical nature of biology is still a major concern for modern "philosophy of biology".
Philosophy of Biology, General Works. Does oxygen have a function, or where should the regress of functional ascriptions stop in biology? In Philippe Huneman ed. Philosophy of Religion. A non-Darwinian Darwin with Michel Veuille. History of Biology Darwinism. History of Biology Genetics, Misc. Continental Philosophy of Religion. Lysogeny, — with Laurent Loison and Richard M.
This article shows how Lamarckism was essential in the birth of the French school of molecular biology. We argue that the concept of inheritance of acquired characters positively shaped debates surrounding bacteriophagy and lysogeny in the Pasteurian tradition during the interwar period. During this period the typical Lamarckian account of heredity treated it as the continuation of protoplasmic physiology in daughter cells.
We examine how he gradually set aside the Lamarckian background, finally removing inheritance of acquired characters from the resulting account of bacteriophagy and lysogeny. In the conclusion, we emphasize the complex dual role of Lamarckism as it moved from an assumed explanatory framework to a challenge that the nascent molecular biology had to overcome.
At Universidad del Rosario Carlos Alberto Cardona works on the history of philosophy of science, especially the first half of the 20 th century see, e. In neighboring Ecuador, visits by the Spanish philosopher Juan D. He also headed institutes for philosophical research, first at Universidad de Lima , and subsequently at Universidad Ricardo Palma.
In the earlys, young faculty trained in Europe and the United States expanded and updated the philosophical study of science in the country, particularly at UNMSM. Timely contributions were made, especially by Luis Piscoya philosophy of psychology and general philosophy of science , Juan Abugattas philosophy of science , Julio-Cesar Sanz-Elguera philosophy of science , and David Sobrevilla philosophy of the social sciences.
In the late s, an innovative program in philosophy opened at UPCH, one of the leading research universities in the sub-continent. As the century came to a close, philosophy of science regained strength at UNMSM, where a post-graduate program in the discipline opened in the early s under Julio Sanz. Chief among these is Pablo Quintanilla, who has a Ph. He heads Mente y Lenguage , a unit for the naturalistic study of mind and language that hosts regular meetings and short international courses.
SUNY, Buffalo specializes in medieval philosophy, with a concentration in medieval and early modern science; in addition, he leads an interdisciplinary group focused on applications of philosophy of science to jurisprudence and real-life legal issues. His subsequent work on Kant led him to wider research on the philosophical history of science, a field that had a growing audience, especially in Santiago. However, life in Chile became increasingly challenging as the decade progressed. In Torretti left for Puerto Rico, where—as mentioned in Section 2—his philosophical work continued to develop, especially on 19 th -century geometry and the theory of relativity.
In a ruthless military dictatorship took over the government. Although the institutional environment suffered greatly at most centers, quality research continued in logic, as evidenced by internationally acclaimed contributions during the period by Rolando Chuaqui and others. In Torretti became a professor emeritus at Rio Piedras, returning to Chile where he again became a pivotal figure in the advancement of the discipline, teaching for a few years at Universidad de Chile and at Universidad Diego Portales.
An extended interview with Eduardo Carrasco , published in , brings to memory the joie de vivre that prevailed in some parts of South America until well into the s, a way of life at once charmed and serious—marked by optimism about the possibilities of science, literature, art, philosophy, music, the classics, and the political future of the region. In this piece Torretti reveals himself as a practical philosopher endowed with a refined sense of irony. Torretti went to university in Chile and Germany where he completed a doctorate with Wilhelm Szilasi at the University of Freiburg in After brief periods at the United Nations in New York and elsewhere, Torretti returned to Santiago, where he was a professor of philosophy at Universidad de Chile until his move to Puerto Rico in The teaching of philosophy of science has expanded in Chile in recent years.
He specializes in logic and the philosophy of mathematics; in the latter field his publications include Quezada a,b, among other works. Also at Usach, Davide Vecchi Ph. It is an autonomous center that promotes philosophical research on complex systems, biology and the social sciences, currently led by Pablo Razeto, who works on the philosophy of statistical mechanics, quantum cognition, and modeling in the social sciences; his recent publications include Razeto Concepcion University has a group interested in the interface between philosophy of biology and philosophy of language.
One its most active members is Julio Torres, whose papers include Torres Started by Quezada and Renato Lewin, each year Chile holds a research gathering, Jornadas , in memory of the outstanding Chilean philosopher Rolando Chuaqui — , who began as a medical doctor and then moved to scientific methodology and philosophical logic, especially the latter. The arrival of Hans Lindemann in the s marked a turning point in analytic philosophy in Argentina, where his discussions of the philosophy of Bertrand Russell and the Vienna Circle he had studied under Moritz Schlick and been a member of the Circle encouraged further activity, in particular research seminars and courses by Julio Rey Pastor — , Mario Bunge, and Gregorio Klimovsky — Throughout the s, the Buenos Aires area enjoyed a decade of optimism about the academic and cultural possibilities of philosophy of science and its applications.
Several centers prospered, particularly two that opened in In the mids, their research and courses turned the university into a world-class place in the field. In Causalidad , Bunge focused on the empiricist conception of causality and its shortcomings, blaming the empiricist outlook for having created unnecessary confusion and pessimism in philosophy.
The book came out in , gaining considerable international reception, especially the realist conception it articulates. A citizen of the world, perhaps the most universalist of philosophers in the subcontinent, Bunge is nonetheless very South American it is hard to imagine him growing up anywhere else but in cosmopolitan Argentina. Bunge has always been a socially engaged intellectual, a trend already present in his efforts as founder and secretary general of a college for workers, Universidad Obrera Argentina , from until He has remained a spirited spokesman for the need to maintain in Latin America cultural and educational institutions capable of promoting the practice of philosophy by minds free from ideological pressure, financial oppression, and political or governmental control.
Unfortunately, these accomplishments were not achieved without friction with colleagues and groups sympathetic to alternative ideas Bunge could not respect. Early in the s, internal fractions within the Argentine army began to make civic life increasingly difficult. Bunge left the country in , first to the United States where the Vietnam War and other political developments made him uncomfortable , then moving in to McGill University, Montreal, where he remains to this day.
The historico-philosophical background of the modern evolution-biology - Adolf Meyer - Google книги
Few thinkers associated with analytic philosophy strive to produce a comprehensive philosophical system. Bunge is one of them, a thinker trying to integrate ontology, metaphysics, epistemology, semantics, psychology, and science coherently and fruitfully. His works of greatest impact in mainstream philosophy of science are arguably Causality a , The Myth of Simplicity , and Foundations of Physics Forcefully in his oral presentations and seminars, Bunge gives particular attention to the evaluation of the arguments at hand, championing the use of logic as an expediter of clarity of thought.
He is renowned for his scathing critiques of positions that demean reason, the search for truth, and the universality of science, scientific naturalism, as well as positions that fail to respect human beings as individuals. Bunge enthusiastically endorses the way in which the Enlightenment tried to disseminate conceptual and moral tools to revise and improve human thought and life in general. Bunge's works steadily emphasize the idea that science can lead and has often led to what he regards as the only sensible foundation for social and political action: relevant knowledge of the world.
No Latin American philosopher had achieved anything comparable before in cosmopolitan philosophy. Losing Bunge was a major blow, one of many as the decade unfolded. When the military intervened the universities in , many of the most talented minds in science and the humanities fled the country. Klimovsky remained, however, and his presence helped keep the discipline active during this difficult period, first at UBA and then at Belgrano University from the late s until his death.
Philosophy of science did not stop in Argentina, young talent continuing to arise, notably Alberto Coffa — , at Universidad de la Plata until he too left for the United States. Activity in philosophy of science has grown in the country since then. Significant projects are discernible. With degrees in engineering, physics and philosophy, Lombardi has managed to form a group that has achieved a considerable international presence.
She is the author of numerous publications, including Lombardi , , She is also coauthor of various collaborative interdisciplinary works, e. Carman lead a lively history and philosophy of science program. Pablo Lorenzano, who has a doctorate from the Free University of Berlin, specializes in structuralist metatheory and the history and philosophy of formal Mendelian genetics, as well as general science studies. His book Geschichte und Struktur der klassischen Genetik and an ensuing paper written with Wolfgang Balzer Balzer and Lorenzano have been well received in Latin America, as has also Lorenzano Carman works on scientific realism and ancient astronomy; among his recent publications are Carman and Also in the Buenos Aires area, the late Eduardo H.
Flichman, who had studied under Klimovsky, taught for many years at Universidad Nacional de General Sarmiento also at UBA , working on causation and counterfactuals see, e. At Universidad Nacional de La Plata , a philosophy of science program continues a tradition of activity in the discipline. Further south is Jorge Roetti Universidad Nacional del Sur ; although mostly known for his work in philosophical logic, he also has contributions to the philosophical history of science and the philosophy of the social sciences see, e.
Juan Manuel Torres is a recognized researcher in the philosophy of medicine and the history and philosophy of genetics and biology, the author of numerous papers including Torres , a,b, , The field also shows growth in other regions, judging by the amount of teaching and research projects in place at various centers. On wider sections of society, influence is especially apparent in science education see, e. In neighboring Uruguay, meanwhile, the study of history and philosophy of science has gained strength in recent decades.
A key development was the return of Mario Otero — , who early in his career had taught epistemology and chaired the department of philosophy of science at Uruguay University.
The developments reported in this entry provide only a rough picture of the state of philosophy of science in Latin America. One relevant lesson of the preceding sections is that, despite endemic obstacles to academic careers, contrary to what the circumstances might have led one to expect, a number of thinkers, working from bases in the subcontinent, have managed to produce work of the highest international level in philosophy of science.
No comparable development seems quite like it in other branches of standard philosophy in Latin America, or for that matter the developing world, except perhaps in the field of logic. As explained in the previous sections, the works developed by—to mention some clear cases—Bunge in Argentina, da Costa in Brazil, Torretti in Chile and Puerto Rico, Moulines in Mexico, and most recently Krause in Brazil show that it is possible in practice to fully actualize the dialogical aspirations of philosophy from centers in Latin America.
Explaining this phenomenon is difficult, as numerous factors suggest themselves. One obvious component, already mentioned in the Introduction, is the hope many Latin Americans have about modern science and learning, a trend fortified by the centrality of science to contemporary life. Another factor is the comparative clarity, precision, and translatability, of writing in mainstream philosophy of science. A related aspect has to do with the initial concentration of philosophers of science on highly international themes from physics and mathematics, which facilitated communication and dialogue across linguistic and cultural barriers.
Another factor, also noted in the Introduction, may be that philosophy of science arose in Latin America right at the start of the professional discipline in the late s. Last, but not least, of course, is the considerable talent of many of the individuals involved. The technical quality of the best works produced in the region has steadily improved in recent decades. Studies in the philosophical history of science remain high in some groups while a growing number of history-oriented colleagues are moving closer to the interface with the sociology and political philosophy of science.
At the same time, other projects have been gaining strength, for example research on the antirealist moves started in the s in different but complementary ways by Bas van Fraassen and Larry Laudan presently living in Mexico, as noted.
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On the opposite camp, there is a revival of interest in moderate realist positions—such selectivist approaches as those championed in in recent decades by Mario Bunge, Ronald Giere, Philip Kitcher, Jarrett Leplin, and Stathis Psillos, among others. On the professional side, in many countries of the region philosophers of science now have access to funding for research, workshops and international exchanges, particularly in Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Chile and Argentina.
Another crucial recent improvement throughout Latin America is access to electronic libraries, especially top periodicals. Exchange visits within the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking worlds are increasingly frequent and vibrant.