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History and Philosophy of Biology

About the Series

This series explores significant developments in the life sciences from historical and philosophical perspectives. Historical episodes include Aristotelian biology, Greek and Islamic biology and medicine, Renaissance biology, natural history, Darwinian evolution, Nineteenth-century physiology and cell theory, Twentieth-century genetics, ecology, and systematics, and the biological theories and practices of non-Western perspectives. Philosophical topics include individuality, reductionism and holism, fitness, levels of selection, mechanism and teleology, and the nature-nurture debates, as well as explanation, confirmation, inference, experiment, scientific practice, and models and theories vis-à-vis the biological sciences.

Authors are also invited to inquire into the "and" of this series. How has, does, and will the history of biology impact philosophical understandings of life? How can philosophy help us analyze the historical contingency of, and structural constraints on, scientific knowledge about biological processes and systems? In probing the interweaving of history and philosophy of biology, scholarly investigation could usefully turn to values, power, and potential future uses and abuses of biological knowledge.

The scientific scope of the series includes evolutionary theory, environmental sciences, genomics, molecular biology, systems biology, biotechnology, biomedicine, race and ethnicity, and sex and gender. These areas of the biological sciences are not silos, and tracking their impact on other sciences such as psychology, economics, and sociology, and the behavioral and human sciences more generally, is also within the purview of this series.


Series Editor:

Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther is Professor of Humanities at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He works in the philosophy of science and philosophy of biology and has strong interests in metaphysics, epistemology, and political philosophy, in addition to cartography and GIS, genetics and evolutionary theory, cosmology and particle physics, psychological and cognitive science, and science in general. Recent publications include "A Beginner's Guide to the New Population Genomics of Homo sapiens: Origins, Race, and Medicine" in The Harvard Review of Philosophy, and "Mapping the Deep Blue Oceans" in The Philosophy of GIS (Springer). His second book is When Maps Become the World (University of Chicago Press).

[email protected]

17 Series Titles

Per Page

Remapping Race in a Global Context

Remapping Race in a Global Context

1st Edition


Edited By Ludovica Lorusso, Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther
May 31, 2023

Investigating the reality and significance of racial categories, Remapping Race in a Global Context examines the role of race in human genomics, biomedicine, and struggles for social justice around the world.  In this book, biologists, anthropologists, historians, and philosophers inspect critical ...

Global Epistemologies and Philosophies of Science

Global Epistemologies and Philosophies of Science

1st Edition

Edited By David Ludwig, Inkeri Koskinen, Zinhle Mncube, Luana Poliseli, Luis Reyes-Galindo
January 09, 2023

In bringing together a global community of philosophers, Global Epistemologies and Philosophies of Science develops novel perspectives on epistemology and philosophy of science by demonstrating how frameworks from academic philosophy (e.g. standpoint theory, social epistemology, feminist philosophy...

Biological Identity Perspectives from Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Biology

Biological Identity: Perspectives from Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Biology

1st Edition

Edited By Anne Sophie Meincke, John Dupré
April 29, 2022

Analytic metaphysics has recently discovered biology as a means of grounding metaphysical theories. This has resulted in long-standing metaphysical puzzles, such as the problems of personal identity and material constitution, being increasingly addressed by appeal to a biological understanding of ...

Philosophical Perspectives on the Engineering Approach in Biology Living Machines?

Philosophical Perspectives on the Engineering Approach in Biology: Living Machines?

1st Edition

Edited By Sune Holm, Maria Serban
February 01, 2022

Philosophical Perspectives on the Engineering Approach in Biology provides a philosophical examination of what has been called the most powerful metaphor in biology: The machine metaphor. The chapters collected in this volume discuss the idea that living systems can be understood through the lens ...

The Biological Foundations of Action

The Biological Foundations of Action

1st Edition

By Derek M Jones
January 14, 2020

Philosophers have traditionally assumed that the difference between active and passive movement could be explained by the presence or absence of an intention in the mind of the agent. This assumption has led to the neglect of many interesting active behaviors that do not depend on intentions, ...

Jakob von Uexküll and Philosophy Life, Environments, Anthropology

Jakob von Uexküll and Philosophy: Life, Environments, Anthropology

1st Edition

Edited By Francesca Michelini, Kristian Köchy
December 11, 2019

Dismissed by some as the last of the anti-Darwinians, his fame as a rigorous biologist even tainted by an alleged link to National Socialist ideology, it is undeniable that Jakob von Uexküll (1864-1944) was eagerly read by many philosophers across the spectrum of philosophical schools, from Scheler...

Evolutionary Moral Realism

Evolutionary Moral Realism

1st Edition

By Michael Stingl, John Collier
November 28, 2019

Against standard approaches to evolution and ethics, this book develops the idea that moral values may find their origin in regularly recurring features in the cooperative environments of species of organisms that are social and intelligent. Across a wide range of species that are social and ...

Modelling Evolution A New Dynamic Account

Modelling Evolution: A New Dynamic Account

1st Edition

By Eugene Earnshaw-Whyte
September 05, 2019

Evolution by natural selection explains the tree of life and the complex adaptations found throughout nature. The power and versatility of evolutionary explanations have proved tempting to scientists outside of biology, but adapting evolutionary concepts to new domains has been challenging. Even ...

Revisiting the Origin of Species The Other Darwins

Revisiting the Origin of Species: The Other Darwins

1st Edition

By Thierry Hoquet
September 05, 2019

Contemporary interest in Darwin rises from a general ideal of what Darwin’s books ought to contain: a theory of transformation of species by natural selection. However, a reader opening Darwin’s masterpiece, On the Origin of Species, today may be struck by the fact that this "selectionist" view ...

Ecological Investigations A Phenomenology of Habitats

Ecological Investigations: A Phenomenology of Habitats

1st Edition

By Adam Konopka
August 27, 2019

These investigations identify and clarify some basic assumptions and methodological principles involved in ecological explanations of plant associations. How are plants geographically distributed into characteristic groups? What are the basic conditions that organize groups of interspecific plant ...

Darwinism, Democracy, and Race American Anthropology and Evolutionary Biology in the Twentieth Century

Darwinism, Democracy, and Race: American Anthropology and Evolutionary Biology in the Twentieth Century

1st Edition

By John Jackson, David Depew
June 17, 2019

Darwinism, Democracy, and Race examines the development and defence of an argument that arose at the boundary between anthropology and evolutionary biology in twentieth-century America. In its fully articulated form, this argument simultaneously discredited scientific racism and defended free human...

Darwinism and Pragmatism William James on Evolution and Self-Transformation

Darwinism and Pragmatism: William James on Evolution and Self-Transformation

1st Edition

By Lucas McGranahan
June 10, 2019

Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection challenges our very sense of belonging in the world. Unlike prior evolutionary theories, Darwinism construes species as mutable historical products of a blind process that serves no inherent purpose. It also represents a distinctly modern kind of ...

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