Translate

Πέμπτη, 22 Αυγούστου 2019

Are emotional states based in the brain? A critique of affective brainocentrism from a physiological perspective

Abstract

We call affective brainocentrism the tendency to privilege the brain over other parts of the organism when defining or explaining emotions. We distinguish two versions of this tendency. According to brain-sufficient, emotional states are entirely realized by brain processes. According to brain-master, emotional states are realized by both brain and bodily processes, but the latter are entirely driven by the brain: the brain is the master regulator of bodily processes. We argue that both these claims are problematic, and we draw on physiological accounts of stress to make our main case. These accounts illustrate the existence of complex interactions between the brain and endocrine systems, the immune system, the enteric nervous system, and even gut microbiota. We argue that, because of these complex brain–body interactions, the brain cannot be isolated and identified as the basis of stress. We also mention recent evidence suggesting that complex brain–body interactions characterize the physiology of depression and anxiety. Finally, we call for an alternative dynamical, systemic, and embodied approach to the study of the physiology of emotions that does not privilege the brain, but rather aims at understanding how mutually regulating brain and bodily processes jointly realize a variety of emotional states.

Psychoneural reduction: a perspective from neural circuits

Abstract

Psychoneural reduction has been debated extensively in the philosophy of neuroscience. In this article I will evaluate metascientific approaches that claim direct molecular and cellular explanations of cognitive functions. I will initially consider the issues involved in linking cellular properties to behaviour from the general perspective of neural circuits. These circuits that integrate the molecular and cellular components underlying cognition and behaviour, making consideration of circuit properties relevant to reductionist debates. I will then apply this general perspective to specific systems where psychoneural reduction has been claimed, namely hippocampal long-term potentiation and the Aplysia gill-withdrawal reflex.

The evolution of cooperation in finite populations with synergistic payoffs

Abstract

In a series of papers, Forber and Smead (J Philos 111(3):151–166, 2014, Biol Philos 30(3):405–421, 2015) and Smead and Forber (Evolution 67(3):698–707, 2013) make a valuable contribution to the study of cooperation in finite populations by analyzing an understudied model: the prisoner’s delight. It always pays to cooperate in the one-shot prisoner’s delight, so this model presents a best-case scenario for the evolution of cooperation. Yet, what Forber and Smead find is highly counterintuitive. In finite populations playing the prisoner’s delight, increasing the benefit of cooperation causes selection to favor defection. Here, I extend their model by considering the effects of non-linear payoffs. In particular, I show that interesting subtleties arise when payoffs are synergistic. Indeed, analysis reveals that increasing the benefit of cooperation does not always favor the spread of defection if payoffs are synergistic. I conclude by drawing some general considerations about robustness analysis in evolutionary models.

Are homologies really natural kinds?

Abstract

The metaphysical nature of homologies has been variously characterized as natural kind, individualist, and pluralist-pragmatic. In this essay, I aim to build on the work of proponents of a natural kinds ontology for homologies using Richard Boyd’s influential HPC account of natural kinds. I aim to advance this position by showing the unique fit of extending the HPC account to homologies, deflecting individualist critiques, as well as the pluralist-pragmatic alternative, showing that homologies have a determinate metaphysical character as kinds. As an important extension of this position, I attempt to explain away how the mistaken metaphysics of the individualist, and derivatively the pluralist-pragmatic approach that contextually embraces it, can facilitate certain elements of biological practice.

Evolutionary rates and adaptive radiations

Abstract

The term adaptive radiation has been recurrently used to describe evolutionary patterns of several lineages, and has been proposed as the main driver of biological diversification. Different definitions and criteria have been proposed to distinguish an adaptive radiation, and the current literature shows disagreements as to how radiating lineages should be circumscribed. Inconsistencies increase when authors try to differentiate a clade under adaptive radiation from clades evolving under ‘regular’ speciation with adaptation, a pattern anticipated and predicted by the evolutionary theory in any lineage. The most important disagreement is as to which evolutionary rate (phenotypical or taxonomical) authors analyze to characterize a radiation; a discussion embedded in a prevailing inability to provide mechanistic explanations of the relationship among evolutionary rates. The union of pattern and process in the same term, the inadequacy of reported null hypotheses, and the frequent use of ad hoc comparisons between lineages have also contributed to the lack of consensus. A rigorous use of available terms and the articulation of solid criteria with objective methodologies in distinguishing evolutionary patterns are imperative. Given the difficulties in detecting adaptation, the use of the ‘adaptive’ term to qualify a radiation should be avoided unless methodologically tested. As an unambiguous method to distinguish radiating lineages, the statistical detection of significant increases in taxonomic diversification rates on monophyletic lineages can be considered a distinctive signature of a radiation. After recognizing this pattern, causal hypotheses explaining them can be stated, as well as correlates with other rates of evolution.

Does suffering dominate enjoyment in the animal kingdom? An update to welfare biology

Abstract

Ng (Biol Philos 10(3):255–285, 1995https://doi.org/10.1007/bf00852469) models the evolutionary dynamics underlying the existence of suffering and enjoyment and concludes that there is likely to be more suffering than enjoyment in nature. In this paper, we find an error in Ng’s model that, when fixed, negates the original conclusion. Instead, the model offers only ambiguity as to whether suffering or enjoyment predominates in nature. We illustrate the dynamics around suffering and enjoyment with the most plausible parameters. In our illustration, we find surprising results: the rate of failure to reproduce can improve or worsen average welfare depending on other characteristics of a species. Our illustration suggests that for organisms with more intense conscious experiences, the balance of enjoyment and suffering may lean more toward suffering. We offer some suggestions for empirical study of wild animal welfare. We conclude by noting that recent writings on wild animal welfare should be revised based on this correction to have a somewhat less pessimistic view of nature.

Two of a kind: Are norms of honor a species of morality?

Abstract

Should the norms of honor cultures be classified as a variety of morality? In this paper, we address this question by considering various empirical bases on which norms can be taxonomically organised. This question is of interest both as an exercise in philosophy of social science, and for its potential implications in meta-ethical debates. Using recent data from anthropology and evolutionary game theory, we argue that the most productive classification emphasizes the strategic role that moral norms play in generating assurance and stabilizing cooperation. Because honor norms have a similar functional role, this account entails honor norms are indeed a variety of moral norm. We also propose an explanation of why honor norms occur in a relatively unified, phenotypically distinctive cluster, thereby explaining why it is tempting to regard them as taxonomically distinct.

Review of Efficient cognition: the evolution of representational decision making , (Armin W. Schulz, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 2018)

Abstract

Why do some organisms rely on mental representations for making decisions? Why don’t we rely merely on direct mappings from perception to behavior? Armin W. Schulz’ book, Efficient Cognition: The Evolution of Representational Decision Making, offers a novel and empirically-informed perspective on a problem that has not received the amount of philosophical attention it deserves. In his view, representational decision making evolved because creatures that use it have enhanced cognitive and neurological efficiency. Here I provide an overview of the book’s contents and a critical assessment of his proposal.

Review of Anya Plutynski’s Explaining cancer: finding order in disorder (Oxford, 2018)

Abstract

Anya Plutynski’s Explaining Cancer extends the insights of contemporary philosophy of biology to research on cancer and cancer treatment. Cancer is conceptualized as a complex process for which a pluralist theoretical approach is the most appropriate. This review essay explores implications for philosophy of science and cancer research.

Measurement in biology is methodized by theory

Abstract

We characterize access to empirical objects in biology from a theoretical perspective. Unlike objects in current physical theories, biological objects are the result of a history and their variations continue to generate a history. This property is the starting point of our concept of measurement. We argue that biological measurement is relative to a natural history which is shared by the different objects subjected to the measurement and is more or less constrained by biologists. We call symmetrization the theoretical and often concrete operation which leads to considering biological objects as equivalent in a measurement. Last, we use our notion of measurement to analyze research strategies. Some strategies aim to bring biology closer to the epistemology of physical theories, by studying objects as similar as possible, while others build on biological diversity.

Δεν υπάρχουν σχόλια:

Δημοσίευση σχολίου

Αρχειοθήκη ιστολογίου

Translate