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The Philosophy of Biology (Oxford Readings in Philosophy)


The Philosophy of Biology (Oxford Readings in Philosophy) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The aim of this series is to bring together important recent writings in major areas of philosophical inquiry, selected from a variety of sources, mostly periodicals, which may not be conveniently available to the university student or the general reader. The editors of each volume contribute an introductory essay on the items chosen and on the questions with which they deal. A selective bibliography is appended as a guide to further reading.

The philosophy of biology today is one of the most exciting areas in philosophical inquiry. Drawing on work of the past decade, this volume brings together articles from the philosophy, history, and sociology of science, as well as many branches of the biological sciences, to consider issues including the nature of evolutionary theory, biology and ethics, the challenge from religion, and the social implications of biology today (in particular the Human Genome Project).

The 36 articles in this collection are divided into 10 parts, each with an introduction by the editors. Spanning issues from epistemology across to ethics, the volume delves into the latest theoretical controversies as well as burning questions of contemporary social importance. Throughout the volume an attempt is made to offer positions from different perspectives, so that the reader will be challenged as well as informed.

The Philosophy of Biology will be essential and fascinating reading for students of philosophy and biology as well as the general reader with an interest in the natural sciences and evolution.

About the Author

David L. Hull is Professor of Philosophy at Northwestern University. His publications include Darwin and His Critics (1983), The Metaphysics of Evolution (1989), and Science as a Process: An Evolutionary Account of the Social and Conceptual Development of Science (1991).

Michael Ruse is Professor of Philosophy and Zoology at the University of Guelph. He is founder and editor of the journal Biology and Philosophy and on the editorial board of a number of scientific journals. His publications include The Philosophy of Biology (1989), The Darwinian Paradigm (1989), Evolution Naturalism (1994), and Monad to Man: The Concept of Progress in Evolutionary Biology (1996).

Table of Contents

Introduction, David L. Hull and Michael Ruse

Part I: Adaptation

Introduction to Part I

1. Adaptation: Current Usages, Mary Jane West-Eberhard

2. Universal Darwinism, Richard Dawkins

3. The Leibnizian Paradigm, D. C. Dennett

4. . Exaptation - A Missing Term in the Science of Form, Stephen Jay Gould and Elisabeth S. Vrba

5. Six Sayings About Adaptationism, Elliott Sober

Part II: Development

Introduction to Part II

6. Two Concepts of Constraint: Adaptationism and the Challenge from Developmental Biology, Ron Amundson

7. Developmental Systems and Evolutionary Explanation, P. E. Griffiths and R. D. Gray

Part III: Units of Selection

8. The Return of the Gene, Kim Sterelny and Philip Kitcher

9. The Levels of Selection: A Hierarchy of Interactors, Robert N. Brandon

10. A Critical Review of Philosophical Work on the Units of Selection Problem, Elliott Sober and David Sloan Wilson

Part IV: Function

Introduction to Part IV

11. Function Without Purpose: The Uses of Causal Role Function in Evolutionary Biology, Ron Amundson

12. Function and Design, Philip Kitcher

13. Functions: Consensus Without Unity, Peter Godfrey-Smith

Part V: Species

Introduction to Part V

14. Individuality, Pluralism, and the Phylogenetic Species Concept, Brent D. Mishler and Robert N. Brandon

15. Phylogenetic Systematics and the Species Problem, Kevin de Queiroz and Michael J. Donoghue

16. Eliminative Pluralism, Marc Ereshefsky

Part VI: Human Nature

Introduction to Part VI

17. Science and Myth, John Maynard Smith

18. On Human Nature, David L. Hull

19. Gender and Science: Origin, History, and Politics, Evelyn Fox Keller

20. Essentialism, Women, and War: Protesting Too Much, Protesting Too Little, Susan Oyama

21. Essentialism and Constructionism about Sexual Orientation, Edward Stein

Part VII: Altruism

Introduction to Part VII

22. Altruism: Theoretical Contexts, Alexander Rosenberg

23. What Is Evolutionary Altruism?, Elliott Sober

24. On the Relationship Between Evolutionary and Psychological Definitions of Altruism and Selfishness, David Sloan Wilson

Part VIII: Human Genome Project

Introduction to Part VIII

25. The Human Genome Project: Towards an Analysis of the Empirical, Ethical, and Conceptual Issues Involved, Marga Vicedo

26. Who's Afraid of the Human Genome Project?, Philip Kitcher

27. Is Human Genetics Disguised Eugenics?, Diane B. Paul

28. Normality and Variation: The Human Genome Project and the Ideal Human Type, Elisabeth A. Lloyd

29. The Human Genome Project: Research Tactics and Economic Strategies, Alexander Rosenberg

Part IX: Progress

Introduction to Part IX

30. The Moral Foundations of the Idea of Evolutionary Progress: Darwin, Spencer, and the Neo-Darwinians, Robert J. Richards

31. Evolution and Progress, Michael Ruse

32. Complexity and Evolution: What Everybody Knows, Daniel W. McShea

33. On Replacing the Idea of Progress with an Operational Notion of Directionality, Stephen Jay Gould

Part X: Creationism

Introduction to Part X

34. When Faith and Reason Clash: Evolution and the Bible, Alvin Plantinga

35. Evolution and Special Creation, Ernan McMullin

36. Reply to McMullin, Alvin Plantinga

Notes on the Contributors

Further Reading


Product Details

Hull, David L.
Ruse, Michael
Ruse, Michael
Hull, David L.
null, David L.
null, Michael
Hull, David L.
Ruse, Michael
Oxford University Press
Oxford ;
Ethics & Moral Philosophy
Philosophy & Social Aspects
Life Sciences - Biology - General
Philosophy & Aspects
Philosophy | Science
Biology -- Philosophy.
Science Reference-Philosophy of Science
Edition Description:
Oxford Readings in Philosophy (Paperback)
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
39 halftones and line illus.
5.4 x 8.4 x 1.5 in 2.119 lb

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Sociology » General
History and Social Science » World History » General
Humanities » Philosophy » General
Science and Mathematics » Biology » General
Science and Mathematics » Chemistry » Inorganic

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