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 far these elements of his systematic metaphysics connect.
In addition to rectifying misinterpretations and analysing the relations between Wiggins’ works, Ferner reveals the importance of the philosophy of biology to Wiggins’ approach. This book elucidates the biological anti-reductionism present in Wiggins’ work and highlights how this stance stands as a productive alternative to emergentism. With an analysis of Wiggins’ construal of substances, specifically organisms, the book goes on to discuss how Wiggins brings together the concept of a person with the concept of a natural substance, or human being.
An extensive introduction to the work of David Wiggins, as well as a contribution to the dialogue between personal identity theorists and philosophers of biology, this book will appeal to students and scholars working in the areas of philosophy, biology and the history of Anglophone metaphysics.
Introduction 1. An Intellectual Microcosm 2. D 3. Natural Substances and Artefacts 4. The Human Being Theory 5. A Genealogy of the Person Concept 6. Biological Models 7. Reduction and Emergence 8. Aristotelian Organisms 9. Brain Transplantation 10. Conclusion 11. Appendix: A History of the Brain Transplantation Story
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.
Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC), and Visiting Scholar of Philosophy at Stanford University (2015-2016). 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, cosmology and particle physics, psychological and cognitive science, and science in general. Recent publications include "The Structure of Scientific Theories," The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy and "Race and Biology," The Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Race. His book with University of Chicago Press, When Maps Become the World, is forthcoming.