1st Edition

Philosophy of Biology A Contemporary Introduction

By Alex Rosenberg, Daniel W. McShea Copyright 2008
    254 Pages
    by Routledge

    256 Pages
    by Routledge

    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.


    Chapter 1: Darwin Makes a Science

    Chapter 2: Biological Laws and Theories

    Chapter 3: Further Problems of Darwinism: Adaptation, Drift, Function

    Chapter 4:Reductionism About Biology

    Chapter 5:Complexity, Directionality, and Progress in Evolution

    Chapter 6: Genes, Groups, and Major Transitions

    Chapter 7: Biology, Human Behaviour, Social Science and Moral Philosophy


    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