• One equation to rule them all: a philosophical analysis of the Price equation
    Victor Luque
    Biology and Philosophy 32 (1): 97-125. 2017.
    This paper provides a philosophical analysis of the Price equation and its role in evolutionary theory. Traditional models in population genetics postulate simplifying assumptions in order to make the models mathematically tractable. On the contrary, the Price equation implies a very specific way of theorizing, starting with assumptions that we think are true and then deriving from them the mathematical rules of the system. I argue that the Price equation is a generalization-sketch, whose main p…Read more
  • The book presents a new way of understanding Darwinism and evolution by natural selection, combining work in biology, philosophy, and other fields.
  • The purpose of this paper is to defend, contra Fodor and Piattelli-Palmarini (F&PP), that the theory of natural selection (NS) is a perfectly bona fide empirical unified explanatory theory. F&PP claim there is nothing non-truistic, counterfactual-supporting, of an “adaptive” character and common to different explanations of trait evolution. In his debate with Fodor, and in other works, Sober defends NS but claims that, compared with classical mechanics (CM) and other standard theories, NS is pec…Read more
  • Models, theory structure and mechanisms in biochemistry: The case of allosterism
    Karina Alleva, José Antonio Díez Calzada, and Lucia Federico
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 63 1-14. 2017.
  • What would have happened if Darwin had known Mendel (or Mendel's work)?
    History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 33 (1): 3-48. 2011.
    The question posed by the title is usually answered by saying that the “synthesis” between the theory of evolution by natural selection and classical genetics, which took place in 1930s-40s, would have taken place much earlier if Darwin had been aware of Mendel and his work. What is more, it nearly happened: it would have been enough if Darwin had cut the pages of the offprint of Mendel’s work that was in his library and read them! Or, if Mendel had come across Darwin in London or paid him a vis…Read more
  • The epistemic status of Natural Selection has seemed intriguing to biologists and philosophers since the very beginning of the theory to our present times. One prominent contemporary example is Elliott Sober, who claims that NS, and some other theories in biology, and maybe in economics, are peculiar in including explanatory models/conditionals that are a priori in a sense in which explanatory models/conditionals in Classical Mechanics and most other standard theories are not. Sober’s argument f…Read more
  • Biological Organization and Cross-Generation Functions
    C. Saborido, M. Mossio, and Alexis Moreno
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (3): 583-606. 2011.
    The organizational account of biological functions interprets functions as contributions of a trait to the maintenance of the organization that, in turn, maintains the trait. As has been recently argued, however, the account seems unable to provide a unified grounding for both intra- and cross-generation functions, since the latter do not contribute to the maintenance of the same organization which produces them. To face this ‘ontological problem’, a splitting account has been proposed, accordin…Read more
  • An organizational account of biological functions
    Matteo Mossio, Cristian Saborido, and Alvaro Moreno
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (4): 813-841. 2009.
    In this paper, we develop an organizational account that defines biological functions as causal relations subject to closure in living systems, interpreted as the most typical example of organizationally closed and differentiated self-maintaining systems. We argue that this account adequately grounds the teleological and normative dimensions of functions in the current organization of a system, insofar as it provides an explanation for the existence of the function bearer and, at the same time, …Read more
  • The function debate in philosophy
    Acta Biotheoretica 53 (2): 123-151. 2005.
    This paper reviews the debate on the notion of biological function and on functional explanation as this takes place in philosophy. It describes the different perspectives, issues, intuitions, theories and arguments that have emerged. The author shows that the debate has been too heavily influenced by the concerns of a naturalistic philosophy of mind and argues that in order to improve our understanding of biology the attention should be shifted from the study of intuitions to the study of the a…Read more
  • Santiago Ramón y Cajal, the primary architect of the neuron doctrine and the law of dynamic polarization, is considered to be the founder of modern neuroscience. At the same time, many philosophers, historians, and neuroscientists agree that modern neuroscience embodies a mechanistic perspective on the explanation of the nervous system. In this paper, I review the extant mechanistic interpretation of Cajal’s contribution to modern neuroscience. Then, I argue that the extant mechanistic interpret…Read more
  • La Segunda Agenda Darwiniana: Contribución Preliminar a la Historia Del Programa Adaptacionista
    Centro de Estudios Filosóficos, Políticos y Sociales Vicente Lombardo Toledano. 2011.