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Philosophy - Epistemology & Philosophy of Science | Entangled Life - Organism and Environment in the Biological and Social Sciences

Entangled Life

Organism and Environment in the Biological and Social Sciences

Barker, Gillian, Desjardins, Eric, Pearce, Trevor (Eds.)

2014, VI, 279 p. 15 illus.

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  • Integrates discussions in biology and social sciences about the relation between organism and environment
  • Investigates the historical development of discussions of organism-environment interaction
  • Provides historical and  philosophical analyses of the organism-environment relationship with consequences for scientific research on this topic​

This volume explores the interactions between organisms and their environments and how this “entanglement” is a fundamental aspect of all life. It brings together the work and ideas of historians, philosophers, biologists, and social scientists, uniting a range of new perspectives, methods, and frameworks for examining and understanding the ways that organisms and environments interact.

The volume is organized into three main sections: historical perspectives, contested models, and emerging frameworks. The first section explores the origins of the modern idea of organism-environment interaction in the mid-nineteenth century and its development by later psychologists and anthropologists. In the second section, a variety of controversial models—from mathematical representations of evolution to model organisms in medical research—are discussed and reframed in light of recent questions about the interplay between organisms and environment. The third section investigates several new ideas that have the potential to reshape key aspects of the biological and social sciences.

Populations of organisms evolve in response to changing environments; bodies and minds depend on a wide array of circumstances for their development; cultures create complex relationships with the natural world even as they alter it irrevocably. The chapters in this volume share a commitment to unraveling the mysteries of this entangled life.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » dialectical biology - evolutionary theory - niche contruction - organism and environment - organism-environment interaction - philosophy of biology

Related subjects » Epistemology & Philosophy of Science - Evolutionary & Developmental Biology - History of Science

Table of contents 

Introduction: Perspectives on Entangled Life; Gillian Barker, Eric Desjardins, and Trevor Pearce.-  Part I. Historical Perspectives.- The Origins and Development of the Idea of Organism-Environment Interaction; Trevor Pearce.- James Mark Baldwin, the Baldwin Effect, Organic Selection, and the American “Immigrant Crisis” at the Turn of the Twentieth Century; Christopher D. Green.- The Tension between the Psychological and Ecological Sciences: Making Psychology More Ecological; Harry Heft.- New Perspectives on Organism-Environment Interaction in Anthropology; Emily A. Schultz.- Part II. Contested Models.- Adaptation, Adaptation to, and Interactive Causes; Bruce Glymour.- Environmental Grain, Organism Fitness, and Type Fitness; Marshall Abrams.- Models in Context: Biological and Epistemological Niches; Jessica A. Bolker.- Thinking Outside the Mouse: Organism-Environment Interaction and Human Immunology; Eric Desjardins, Gillian Barker, and Joaquin Madrenas.- Part III. Emerging Frameworks.- Integrating Ecology and Evolution: Niche Construction and Ecological Engineering; Gillian Barker and John Odling-Smee.- The Affordance Landscape: The Spatial Metaphors of Evolution; Denis M. Walsh.- Rethinking Behavioral Evolution; Rachael Brown. Constructing the Cooperative Niche; Kim Sterelny.

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