Category Archives: Papers

New paper/Nouvelle publication

My review of Linnda R. Caporael, James R. Griesemer, and William C. Wimsatt (eds.): Developing scaffolds in evolution, culture, and cognition has been published in  History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences. (pdf)

Mon compte-rendu de Linnda R. Caporael, James R. Griesemer, and William C. Wimsatt (eds.): Developing scaffolds in evolution, culture, and cognition a été publié dans History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences. (pdf)

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New paper/Nouvelle publication

My paper ‘Populations without Reproduction’ has been published in Philosophy of Science. (pdf)

Mon article ‘Populations without Reproduction’ a été publié dans Philosophy of Science. (pdf)

Abstract
For a population to undergo evolution by natural selection, it is assumed that the constituents of the population form parent-offspring lineages, that is, that they must reproduce. I challenge this assumption by dividing the notion of reproduction into two subprocesses, that is, multiplication and inheritance, that produce parent-offspring lineages between the parts of a population, and I show that their population-level roles, generation and memory, respectively, can be effected by processes that do not rely on such locallevel lineages. I further argue that these two population-level processes, not local parent-offspring lineages, are necessary conditions for a population to undergo Darwinian evolution.

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New paper/Nouvelle publication

My paper ‘The cognitive life of mechanical molecular models’ has been published in Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences. (pdf)

Mon article ‘The cognitive life of mechanical molecular models’ a été publié dans Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences. (pdf)

Abstract
The use of physical models of molecular structures as research tools has been central to the development of biochemistry and molecular biology. Intriguingly, it has received little attention from scholars of science. In this paper, I argue that these physical models are not mere three-dimensional representations but that they are in fact very special research tools: they are cognitive augmentations. Despite the fact that they are external props, these models serve as cognitive tools that augment and extend the modeler’s cognitive capacities and performance in molecular modeling tasks. This cognitive enhancement is obtained because of the way the modeler interacts with these models, the models’ materiality contributing to the solving of the molecule’s structure. Furthermore, I argue that these material models and their component parts were designed, built and used specifically to serve as cognitive facilitators and cognitive augmentations.

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