Scientific papers

Interdisciplinarity: goals and conditions

Pubblicato il

FINALLY PUBLISHED! “Our view of interdisciplinarity takes very seriously the long training any specialist has to undertake in order to acquire the huge knowledge and the tuned epistemological attitudes necessary to master his or her research methods and protocols. Indeed, we think that a successful interdisciplinary project would educate its participants into this respectful view […]

Scientific papers

Lasting Teachings from Gregory Bateson

Pubblicato il

Abstract: Gregory Bateson’s thinking is an enduring source of renovation for our thinking. The deep effects of his writings are here exemplified by four key-words from his philosophical vocabulary: CREATURE, MAP, METAPHOR, and GRACE. The movements correlated with this key-words are explored in the different fields of pedagogy, biographical research, philosophy, natural sciences, psychological care. […]

Scientific papers

Visualizing Macroevolution

Pubblicato il

The adaptive landscape is an important diagrammatic concept that was conceived in population genetics. During the Modern Synthesis, in the first half of the Twentieth Century, the landscape imagery was used to represent evolution on a large scale, aiding in the construction of a common language for a new evolutionary biology. Not only historic adaptive […]

Scientific papers

Cultural Traits and Multidisciplinary Dialogue

Pubblicato il

…We have walked on a fine line: the notion of a cultural trait is interesting because it has something to say to many sciences, but, paradoxically, also because it generates harsh conflicts on top scientific journals more and more frequently. Historical linguistics and cultural evolution are two of many fields where these clashes happen, and […]

Scientific papers

Evolutionary Genetics and Cultural Traits

Pubblicato il

The chapter explains why evolutionary genetics – a mathematical body of theory developed since the 1910s – eventually got to deal with culture: the frequency dynamics of genes like “the lactase gene” in populations cannot be correctly modeled without including social transmission. While the body of theory requires specific justifications, for example meticulous legitimations of […]

Scientific papers

The landscape metaphor in development

Pubblicato il

“It seems that the landscape metaphor will continue to stay with us, at least for a while”. We start defining a landscape as a function of multiple variables and show how this can be interpreted as a dynamical system. From the perspective of dynamical systems modelling, we move to analyze Waddington’s ‘epigenetic landscape’ and landscape […]

Scientific papers

Evolutionary explanation and bucket thinking

Pubblicato il

The hierarchical interplay between ecology and genealogy is a fundamental ingredient for the most compelling current explanations in evolutionary biology. Yet philosophy of biology has hardly welcomed a classic fundamental intuition by palaeontologist Niles Eldredge, i.e. the non-coincidence and interrelation between ecology and genealogy, and their interaction in a Sloshing Bucket fashion. Hierarchy Theory and […]

Scientific papers

The hierarchy theory view of speciation

Pubblicato il

Hierarchy theory (e.g. Salthe 1985, Eldredge 1986) provides a unifying approach for representing the multi-level structure of the organic world and an explanatory framework for the wide range of natural phenomena. Its birthdate can be located in the 1980s, when evolutionary biologists began exploring in detail the nature of hierarchical systems as an approach to […]