Philosophy of Biology : A Contemporary Introduction book cover
1st Edition

Philosophy of Biology
A Contemporary Introduction

ISBN 9780415315937
Published December 22, 2007 by Routledge
256 Pages

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Book Description

Is life a purely physical process? What is human nature? Which of our traits is essential to us? In this volume, Daniel McShea and Alex Rosenberg – a biologist and a philosopher, respectively – join forces to create a new gateway to the philosophy of biology; making the major issues accessible and relevant to biologists and philosophers alike.

Exploring concepts such as supervenience; the controversies about genocentrism and genetic determinism; and the debate about major transitions central to contemporary thinking about macroevolution; the authors lay out the broad terms in which we should assess the impact of biology on human capacities, social institutions and ethical values.

Table of Contents

Introduction  1. Darwin Makes a Science  2. Biological Laws and Theories  3. Further Problems of Darwinism: Adaptation, Drift, Function  4. Reductionism About Biology  5. Complexity, Directionality, and Progress in Evolution  6. Genes, Groups, and Major Transitions  7. Biology, Human Behaviour, Social Science and Moral Philosophy

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Alex Rosenberg is R. Taylor Cole Professor of Philosophy at Duke University.  He is the author of Philosophy of Science: a Contemporary Introduction (2nd edition, 2005) and co-editor with Yuri Balashov of Philosophy of Science: Contemporary Readings (2002).

Daniel W. McShea is Associate Professor of Biology at Duke University. 


'A very impressive book. Coverage is complete without being overly encyclopedic and diffuse, and competing arguments are given fair and even-handed treatment.' - Gregory Frost-Arnold, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, USA