Philosophy 6740
The Philosophy of Biology, 2013
University of Guelph

 
           Syllabus


linquist@uoguelph.ca       
Office:  MACK 358
Hours: Tues. 10am-12, or app.                    

 
rgregory@uoguelph.ca
Office: SCIE 1450
Hours: by app.
 


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readings


Part 1: Introduction to the philosophy of science.

 

Sep. 17   Logical Empiricism to Kuhn


               
Godfrey-Smith (2003),
Theory and Reality- Chapters 1 - 4  (pgs. 1 - 74)


Sep. 24   Paradigms, Naturalism, and explanation


               
Godfrey-Smith (2003),
Theory and Reality Chapters 5 -6; 11& 13.

     (pgs. 75 – 98; 163-172; 190-200)

 

Part 2: Function concepts

               

  Oct. 1     Teleology and the problem of functional explanation

              

     Hempel (1965), “The logic of functional analysis.”

             

     Mayr (1988), “Multiple meanings of ‘teleological.’’

 

Oct. 8    Naturalistic accounts biological function
 

                Kitcher (1993), “Function and design.”

               

      Godfrey-Smith (1994), “A modern history theory of functions.”

 

Oct. 15   Causal role functions
 

                Amundsen & Lauder (1994), “Function without purpose.”           
 

   Cummins (2002), “Neo-teleology.”

 

Part 3: Functional explanation in various biological disciplines

 

Oct. 22  Function, homology, and biological classification


               Griffiths (2006), “Function, homology and character individuation”.

              
               
Neander & Rosenberg (2007) “Are homologies (SE- CR-) function free?

 

Oct. 29   Function in molecular biology (First papers due)


                Doolitte (2013), “Is junk DNA bunk? A critique of ENCODE.”

             
               
Grauer et al. (2013),  
On the immortality of television sets: "function" in



Nov. 5     Identifying selected functions (adaptations)

               


Pigliucci & Kaplan (2000) The fall and rise of Dr. Pangloss.


Nielson (2009) Gould and Lewontin 30 years later.


Lynch (2007)  The fraility of adaptive hypotheses for the origins of complexity 


 

  Nov. 12  Ecological functions
                               


 

Nov. 19  Function in physiology


Yack and Fullard (1993) What is an insect ear?


Nobel (2013) Physiology is rocking the foundations of evolutionary biology.

           
            


Nov 26  Open class


 
assignments


Refelction 1 Empiricism to Kuhn


Refelction 2 Motives & explanation

Refelction 3 Hempel & Mayr

Refelction 4  Kitcher and PGS

Refelction 5  Causal role functions

Refelction 6  Function and homology

Refelction 7  Function in molecular

Refelction 8  Adaptationism

Refelction 9  Ecological functions


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