Philosophy of Biology A Contemporary Introduction

ISBN-10: 041531593X
ISBN-13: 9780415315937
Edition: 2008
List price: $41.95 Buy it from $41.22
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Description: This comprehensive and balanced introduction to the philosophy of biology takes a fresh look at the subject in an accessible way. Alex Rosenberg clarifies the philosophical problems relevant to biologists, discussing how eminent biologists from  More...

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Book details

List price: $41.95
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: Routledge
Publication date: 12/22/2007
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 256
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.682
Language: English

This comprehensive and balanced introduction to the philosophy of biology takes a fresh look at the subject in an accessible way. Alex Rosenberg clarifies the philosophical problems relevant to biologists, discussing how eminent biologists from Darwin to Lewontin have addressed these issues, and showing how philosophy of biology is indispensable for biologists. This user-friendly book will appeal to students of biology and philosophy.

Alex Rosenberg is the R. Taylor Cole Professor of Philosophy, Professor of Biology and Director of the Center for Philosophy of Biology at Duke University. He has published 11 books on the philosophy of science including The Philosophy of Biology: A Contemporary Introduction (2007) with Daniel McShea. In 1993, he won the Lakatos Prize in the Philosophy of Science and in 2007 was the National Phi Beta Kappa Rommell lecturer in philosophy.Robert Arp is Research Associate with the National Center for Biomedical Ontology at the University of Buffalo and works with the Ontology Research Group at the New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics & Life Sciences in Buffalo, New York. A PhD in Philosophy from Saint Louis University, he has published in the areas of philosophy of biology, philosophy of mind, and biomedical ontology.

Acknowledgements
Introduction: what is the philosophy of biology?
Philosophy asks two kinds of questions
Philosophy and language
The agenda of the philosophy of biology
Darwin makes a science
Overview
Teleology and theology
Making teleology safe for science
Misunderstandings about natural selection
Is Darwinism the only game in town?
Philosophical problems of Darwinism
Summary
Suggestions for further reading
Biological laws and theories
Overview
Causation, laws, and biological generalizations
Could there be laws about species?
Models in biology: Mendel's laws, Fisher's sex ratios, the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium
Fitness and the principle of natural selection
Darwinism as a historical research program
Summary
Suggestions for further reading
Further problems of Darwinism: constraint, drift, function
Overview
Adaptationism-for and against
Constraint and adaptation
What is genetic drift?
Central tendencies, subjective probabilities, and theism
Function, homology, and homoplasy
Summary
Suggestions for further reading
Reductionism about biology
Overview
Reduction, eliminativism, and physicalism
Arguments for reductionism
Antireductionist arguments from molecular biology
Reductionist rejoinders
Multiple realizability, supervenience, and antireductionism
Self-organization and reductionism
Natural selection and reduction
Summary
Suggestions for further reading
Complexity, directionality, and progress in evolution
Overview
What is progress, and is it (or could it be) a scientific concept?
What does theory predict?
Some more specific proposals and their problems
Trends versus tendencies
Complexity and intelligent design
Summary
Suggestions for further reading
Genes, groups, teleosemantics, and the major transitions
Overview
Levels and units of selection
Kin selection and selection within and between groups
Macroevolution and the major trends: is group selection rare or frequent?
Genocentrism and genetic information
Teleosemantics: philosophy of biology meets the philosophy of psychology
Summary
Suggestions for further reading
Biology, human behavior, social science, and moral philosophy
Overview
Functionalism in social science
Evolutionary game theory and Darwinian dynamics
Evolutionary psychology and the argument for innateness
What is wrong with genetic determinism?
Darwinism without genes
Darwinism and ethics
Summary
Suggestions for further reading
Bibliography
Index

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