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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]

21 Series Titles

Per Page

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 ...

Organisms and Personal Identity Individuation and the Work of David Wiggins

Organisms and Personal Identity: Individuation and the Work of David Wiggins

1st Edition

By A.M. Ferner
June 10, 2019

Over his philosophical career, David Wiggins has produced a body of work that, though varied and wide-ranging, stands as a coherent and carefully integrated whole. In this book Ferner examines Wiggins’ conceptualist-realism, his sortal theory ‘D’ and his human being theory in order to assess how ...

Philosophy of Population Health Philosophy for a New Public Health Era

Philosophy of Population Health: Philosophy for a New Public Health Era

1st Edition

By Sean Valles
June 06, 2019

Population health has recently grown from a series of loosely connected critiques of twentieth-century public health and medicine into a theoretical framework with a corresponding field of research—population health science. Its approach is to promote the public’s health through improving everyday ...

Philosophy of Biology Before Biology

Philosophy of Biology Before Biology

1st Edition

Edited By Cécilia Bognon-Küss, Charles T. Wolfe
February 12, 2019

The use of the term "biology" to refer to a unified science of life emerged around 1800 (most prominently by scientists such as Lamarck and Treviranus, although scholarship has indicated its usage at least 30-40 years earlier). The interplay between philosophy and natural science has also ...

Natural Kinds and Classification in Scientific Practice

Natural Kinds and Classification in Scientific Practice

1st Edition

Edited By Catherine Kendig
July 30, 2018

This edited volume of 13 new essays aims to turn past discussions of natural kinds on their head. Instead of presenting a metaphysical view of kinds based largely on an unempirical vantage point, it pursues questions of kindedness which take the use of kinds and activities of kinding in practice as...

Romantic Biology, 1890–1945

Romantic Biology, 1890–1945

1st Edition

By Maurizio Esposito
January 20, 2016

In this book, Esposito presents a historiography of organicist and holistic thought through an examination of the work of leading biologists from Britain and America. He shows how this work relates to earlier Romantic tradition and sets it within the wider context of the history and philosophy of ...

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