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Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences

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https://read.qxmd.com/read/31003862/treatment-for-whom-towards-a-phenomenological-resolution-of-controversy-within-autism-treatment
#1
Themistoklis Pantazakos
Autism's mainstream, behavioural treatment has recently faced allegations from neurodiversity activists, who claim that behaviourism is methodologically faulted and in serious breach of patient consent and human rights. In the present paper, I delve into this mounting controversy to suggest, contra behaviourism, that people with autism diagnoses do not just display a divergent set of behaviours, but should be seen to operate in 'worlds' different to those in typical neurological conditions. To philosophically accommodate this difference in 'worlds' and to utilise it in thinking about treatment orientation, I use Edmund Husserl's concept of the life-world (lebenswelt)...
April 16, 2019: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30885596/race-and-nutrition-in-the-new-world-colonial-shadows-in-the-age-of-epigenetics
#2
Jan Baedke, Abigail Nieves Delgado
This paper addresses historical dimensions of epigenetic studies on human populations. We show that postgenomic research on health disparities in Latin America reintroduces old colonial views about the relations between race, environment, and social status. This especially refers to the idea - common in colonial humoralism and epigenetics - that different types of bodies are in balance and closely linked with particular local environments and lifestyles. These social differences become embodied as physiological and health differences...
March 15, 2019: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30797669/reforming-uncultivated-minds-the-species-transmutation-debate-and-american-science-of-life-in-the-antebellum-agricultural-press-1820-1859
#3
Anahita Rouyan
The paper traces a debate about species transmutation that unfolded in agricultural periodicals published in the Northeastern United States between 1820 and 1859. The reformers who curated the content of these publications promoted agricultural improvement by disseminating knowledge about relevant science and technology topics. The widespread belief in the transmutation of grains provided them with an opportunity for sharing scientific knowledge about plant heredity and botanical classification systems, encouraging experimentation among audiences prejudiced against "book farming," and recalling the tenets of natural theology which described nature as orderly and predictable...
February 20, 2019: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30782510/synthesis-of-contraries-hughlings-jackson-on-sensory-motor-representation-in-the-brain
#4
M Chirimuuta
This paper examines the concept of representation in the brain which occurs in the writings of the neurologist John Hughlings Jackson (1835-1911). Jackson was immersed in Victorian physiological psychology, a hybrid of British associationism and a reflex theory of the operation of the nervous system. Furthermore, Jackson was deeply influenced by Herbert Spencer, and I argue that Spencer's progressivist evolutionary ideas are in tension with the more mechanistic approach of the reflex theory. I also discuss Jackson's legacy in the 20th century and the longstanding debate about localisation of function in the brain...
February 16, 2019: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://read.qxmd.com/read/29866402/on-the-evidentiary-standards-for-nutrition-advice
#5
Saana Jukola
This paper evaluates the application of evidentiary standards originating from evidence-based medicine in nutrition advice. It shows that it is problematic to criticize nutrition recommendations for not being based on randomized controlled trials. Due to practical, ethical and methodological and reasons, it is difficult to conduct rigorous randomized controlled trials for acquiring evidence that is relevant for achieving the goals of population-level nutrition recommendations. Given the non-epistemic goals of the dietary recommendations, criteria of acceptable evidence should be adapted to the goals of the practice and the practical, ethical, and methodological constraints of the situation...
February 2019: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30709688/between-mice-and-sheep-biotechnology-agricultural-science-and-animal-models-in-late-twentieth-century-edinburgh
#6
Miguel García-Sancho, Dmitriy Myelnikov
In this paper, we investigate the ways in which a group of scientists in Edinburgh worked across mice and sheep during the last quarter of the twentieth century. With this local episode, we show the utility of an interspecies perspective to investigate recent historical transformations in the life sciences. We argue that the emergence of animal biotechnology was the result of interactions between neoliberal policymakers, science administrators, molecular biologists, agricultural breeders, and the laboratory and farm organisms with which they worked...
January 29, 2019: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30704834/propositional-content-in-signals
#7
Brian Skyrms, Jeffrey A Barrett
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
January 28, 2019: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30679066/macroevolution-evolving-punctuated-equilibria-and-the-roots-of-stephen-jay-gould-s-second-macroevolutionary-synthesis
#8
Max Dresow
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
January 21, 2019: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30679065/seeing-nature-as-a-universal-store-of-genes-how-biological-diversity-became-genetic-resources-1890-1940
#9
Christophe Bonneuil
Till late in the 20th century, biological diversity has been understood and addressed in terms of "genetic resources". This paper proposes a history of this "genetic resources" concept and the biopolitical practices it was related to. A semantic history of the 'resource' idiom first sheds light on how, in the age of empires and fossil industrialism, the Earth came to be considered as a stock of static mineral and living reserves. Then we follow how the gene became the unit of this "resourcist" view of biological diversity as static stocks of entities open to prospection, harnessing and "conservation"...
January 21, 2019: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30665753/altruistic-deception
#10
Jonathan Birch
Altruistic deception (or the telling of "white lies") is common in humans. Does it also exist in non-human animals? On some definitions of deception, altruistic deception is impossible by definition, whereas others make it too easy by counting useful-but-ambiguous information as deceptive. I argue for a definition that makes altruistic deception possible in principle without trivializing it. On my proposal, deception requires the strategic exploitation of a receiver by a sender, where "exploitation" implies that the sender elicits a behaviour in the receiver that is beneficial in a different type of situation and is expressed only because the signal raises the probability, from the receiver's standpoint, of that type of situation...
January 18, 2019: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30639143/paolo-boccone-and-the-visual-communication-of-pre-linnean-botany-a-comparison-between-his-leiden-herbarium-paris-autoprint-and-published-icones-1674
#11
F Giallombardo, T R van Andel
This article addresses the development of visual practices in early modern Botany by focusing on the diverse strategies of graphic representation of plant species. Naturalis Biodiversity Center holds a historic herbarium of 169 sheets with specimens of Mediterranean plants collected by the Sicilian Botanist Paolo Boccone (1633-1704). Part of Boccone's dried specimens served as model for the etchings published in his Icones et descriptiones rariorum plantarum (1674) and part of them were used as matrix for at least one album of botanical autoprints kept in Paris...
January 10, 2019: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30616989/vaccine-development-as-a-doable-problem-the-case-of-the-meningococcal-a-vaccines-1962-1969
#12
Baptiste Baylac-Paouly
During the period from 1962 to 1967, the development of a meningococcal A vaccine could be considered as feasible despite all the drawbacks of working with cerebrospinal meningitis A. In this paper, I analyse why and how this programme for vaccine development was put into place, and in particular how the problem was perceived as feasible. Deploying the concept of Doable Problems developed by Joan Fujimura, I examine the complex range of factors that led to the outcome of the trial in Yako in 1967. Thus I show how the different protagonists were mobilized and their work organized at different levels in order to produce and test a vaccine...
January 4, 2019: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30594412/fictional-experimental-modeling-in-biology-in-vivo-representation
#13
Sim-Hui Tee
It is commonly held that in vivo biological experimental models are concrete and non-fictional. This belief is primarily supported by the fact that in vivo studies involve biological models which are alive, and what is alive cannot be fictional. However, I argue that this is not always the case. The design of an experimental model could still render an in vivo model fictional because fictional elements and processes can be built into these in vivo experimental models. These fictional elements are essential parts of a credentialed fiction because the designs of in vivo experimental models are constrained by imaginability, conceivability, and credit-worthiness...
December 26, 2018: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30573371/disentangling-organic-and-technological-progress-an-epistemological-clarification-introducing-a-key-distinction-between-two-levels-of-axiology
#14
Silvia De Cesare
The notion of "progress" can be defined as a directional change towards the better, implying both a descriptive and an axiological element. "Organic progress" refers to this notion applied to the history of life, whereas "technological progress" refers to this notion applied to the history of technological artifacts. This paper aims to disentangle conceptual questions about the notion of organic progress with respect to evolutionary theory, by proposing an epistemological perspective that also accounts for technological progress...
December 17, 2018: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30396827/-relaxed-natural-kinds-and-psychiatric-classification
#15
Somogy Varga
This paper starts out highlighting a particular criticism that psychiatry faces and continues by investigating approaches to classification in psychiatry that operate with a "relaxed" (non-essentialist) notion of natural kind. Two accounts are examined, one by Rachel Cooper (2005; 2013) and one based on the work of Richard Boyd (1991; 1999; 2003; 2010). While these accounts do not directly pursue such a goal, the main aim is to probe whether deploying a "relaxed" notion of natural kind would be able to neutralize the criticism...
December 2018: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30391127/from-seconds-to-eons-time-scales-hierarchies-and-processes-in-evo-devo
#16
Jan Baedke, Siobhan F Mc Manus
This paper addresses the role of time scales in conceptualizing biological hierarchies. So far, the concept of hierarchies in philosophy of science has been dominated by the idea of composition and parthood, respectively. However, this view does not exhaust the diversity of hierarchical descriptions in the biosciences. Therefore, we highlight a type of hierarchy usually overlooked by philosophers of science. It distinguishes processes based on the different time scales (i.e. rates, frequencies, and rhythms) on which they occur...
December 2018: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30385203/encode-and-the-parts-of-the-human-genome
#17
Marie I Kaiser
This paper examines a specific kind of part-whole relations that exist in the molecular genetic domain. The central question is under which conditions a particular molecule, such as a DNA sequence, is a biological part of the human genome. I address this question by analyzing how biologists in fact partition the human genome into parts. This paper thus presents a case study in the metaphysics of biological practice. I develop a metaphysical account of genomic parthood by analyzing the investigative and reasoning practices in the ENCODE (ENCyclopedia Of DNA Elements) project...
December 2018: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30337139/sequencing-through-thick-and-thin-historiographical-and-philosophical-implications
#18
James W E Lowe
DNA sequencing has been characterised by scholars and life scientists as an example of 'big', 'fast' and 'automated' science in biology. This paper argues, however, that these characterisations are a product of a particular interpretation of what sequencing is, what I call 'thin sequencing'. The 'thin sequencing' perspective focuses on the determination of the order of bases in a particular stretch of DNA. Based upon my research on the pig genome mapping and sequencing projects, I provide an alternative 'thick sequencing' perspective, which also includes a number of practices that enable the sequence to travel across and be used in wider communities...
December 2018: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30459017/past-responsibility-history-and-the-ethics-of-research-on-ethnic-groups
#19
Hallvard J Fossheim
The article argues for the possibility of researchers' historical responsibility vis-à-vis ethnic groups. Such responsibility for a discipline's past transgressions is often attributed to anthropology, human genetics, parts of archaeology, and medicine, but without a clear conception of the nature of a responsibility supposedly going beyond the individual's own actions. Two concretizations are presented in order to show the fruitfulness and challenges of what I shall call a continuity approach: first, the case of the reburial of Sami human remains in Neiden, Norway; second, the use of the race concept in ethical and scientific contexts following the so-called New Synthesis in biology, which according to many marks a break with a racist past...
November 17, 2018: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30429047/radical-pluralism-classificatory-norms-and-the-legitimacy-of-species-classifications
#20
Stijn Conix
Moderate pluralism is a popular position in contemporary philosophy of biology. Despite its popularity, various authors have argued that it tends to slide off into a radical form of pluralism that is both normatively and descriptively unacceptable. This paper looks at the case of biological species classification, and evaluates a popular way of avoiding radical pluralism by relying on the shared aims and norms of a discipline. The main contention is that while these aims and norms may play an important role in the legitimacy of species classifications, they fail to fend off radical pluralism...
November 11, 2018: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
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