Philosophy of Biology

A Contemporary Introduction

By Alex Rosenberg, Daniel W. McShea

© 2008 – Routledge

244 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415315937
pub: 2007-12-21
US Dollars$41.95
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Hardback: 9780415315920
pub: 2007-12-20
US Dollars$140.00
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e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

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.

Reviews

'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

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

About the Authors

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.

About the Series

Routledge Contemporary Introductions to Philosophy

An innovative, well structured series, the Routledge Contemporary Introductions to Philosophy are designed for students who already have completed an introductory-level course in philosophy.  Each book introduces a core general subject in contemporary philosophy and offers students an accessible but substantial transition from introductory to higher-level college work in that subject.  The series is accessible to non-specialists and each book clearly motivates and expounds the problems and positions introduced.  An orientating chapter briefly introduces its topic and reminds readers of any crucial material they need to have retained from a typical introductory course.  Considerable attention is given to explaining central philosophical problems of a subject and the main competing solutions and arguments for those solutions.  The primary aim is to educate students in the main problems, positions and arguments of contemporary philosophy rather than to convince students of a single position.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PHI000000
PHILOSOPHY / General
PHI026000
PHILOSOPHY / Criticism