Questions related to Philosophy Of Biology
Most biologists and philosophers understand vitalism as the doctrine of the entelechy, originally proposed by the German biologist Hans Driesch in the early twentieth century. According to Driesch, entelechies were nonmaterial, bio-specific agents responsible for governing a few peculiar biological phenomena. Current attitudes towards vitalism and the doctrine of the entelechy are almost universally negative. Numerous biologists and philosophers today endorse this metaphysical refutation of vitalism. For them, since all events and processes in the world, from the metaphysical point of view, must be identical or reducible to some material (or physical) events and processes, there is no room for nonmaterial agents such as entelechies. The addition of the information instead of the concept of entelechy will change the perspective on vitalism.,
From antiquity, one of the first fundamental areas of the development of thoughts and considerations being precursory trends for the subsequent development of specific fields of science was logic and philosophy. Analysis of the development of various directions, theories, concepts, trends, and philosophical schools in the context of the history of philosophical thought can also provide inspiration for contemporary considerations over specific guesses, the search for solutions to complex problems, and the planning of complex research processes.
Many philosophical concepts and trends from the past, formulated in other epochs, are in principle still valid despite the technical, technological and civilization progress made. I believe that many philosophical concepts and trends from the past concerning the role of man in the surrounding world, in relations with the environment, including the social and natural environment, man as part of nature in a sustainable ecosystem, etc. is still valid. Human life has changed due to technological and civilization progress. The current technological revolution, known as Industry 4.0, could, however, change human life in highly developed countries so far that these may be already noticeable in contemporary trends and philosophical concepts concerning antrolope, social issues, etc.
On the other hand, modern philosophical concepts can also describe the role of science in the 21st century in the context of successively growing global social, climate and natural and economic problems.
In view of the above, the current question is: Do you know any theories or directions of philosophical thought that inspire you to carry out scientific research?
Please, answer, comments. I invite you to the discussion.
Who gives the last word about the evolutionary process, genetics or ecology?
In other words, are ecological interactions driven by any genetic phenomenon? Or is it genetics that has been molded by ecology?
[I’m a Brazilian biologist and writer. I write about science – I have just released a new book, O que é darwinismo (What is Darwinism, in Portuguese) – and would like to know the opinion of colleagues from other countries (from any field of scientific knowledge).]
See also What do you think about fitness, adaptation and natural selection? (https://www.researchgate.net/post/What_do_you_think_about_fitness_adaptation_and_natural_selection)
In Argentina, biology teachers usually playfully say to their students "do not ask 'what for', ask 'why'!" ("no preguntes para qué, pregunta por qué"). This expression represents a rejection, in the letter but not necessarily in the spirit, of teleology: final causes and functional language. Do English-speaking Professors of biology, use a similar expression?
Recently molecular biologists have recognized the importance of DNA methylation in epigenetic processes, conferring a degree of flexibility to all cellular functions. This mechanism operates in all living cells, tissues and systems.
In the brain, one of the most powerful mechanisms of plasticity is long-term potentiation (LTP), which is induced by calcium ion entry through a membrane channel that contains the same kind of molecule.
Is there an evolutionary development that begins with flexibility of single cells and develops to brain tissue plasticity, allowing register, storage and cognitive operation with more complex information patterns?
Steven Pinker recently wrote an op-ed arguing bioethicists should 'get out of the way' of biomedical progress. (https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2015/07/31/the-moral-imperative-for-bioethics/JmEkoyzlTAu9oQV76JrK9N/story.html) He seems to be worried that the research ethics pendulum has swung too far in the 'protectionism' direction, delaying the development of numerous life-saving and life-improving interventions. But is he right? Pinker is light on the details, but are there topics or subfields where his criticisms are particularly apt?
Seeking the basic cognitive and intelligent properties of humans.
Of course the first question would be how many conceptual/empirical problems, of philosophy's interest the biology has? How many of those problems has been solved?
Just in case of any extremist response, what would you say to a biology scientists who thinks that the philosophy cannot solve anything?
As a theoretical game or in order to anticipate an evolutionary biology revolution and of course without any intention of get back to non scientific debates like the ID. What kind of empirical evidence or conceptual issues can change the main paradigm of the evolutionary biology?
In struggling to clarify a nagging dissatisfaction with Robert Rosen's well developed arguments regarding the limitations of formal models, the question of this discussion came to mind, that Rosen lays out just as well an argument for the non-mathematisability of physical reality. For those better acquainted with Rosen's argument (i.e. spent decades ruminating, as opposed to a few years), I'd like to glean your take. Can you give good argument against the premise of the question?
What about genetic parasites or multicellular parasites as cancer? They can evolve, so are they species? Without getting into the species problem, what exactly is the ontological product of evolution? The organism´s properties? The entities?
Mark Perlman writes: "Teleology has certainly made a comeback in philosophical circles in the last thirty years. It went from a suspect or disreputable notion, ready for elimination, to the hottest topic in philosophy of biology, psychology and mind."
Perlman, M. 2004, “The modern philosophical resurrection of teleology”, The Monist, vol. 87, no. 1, pp. 3-51.
Why was the notion of teleology abandoned and why has it been revived?