Biology and Epistemology

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Overview

This set of original essays by some of the most distinguished names in philosophy of science explores a range of diverse issues at the intersection of biology and epistemology. The studies, taken together, help to develop and deepen our understanding of how biology works and what counts as warranted knowledge and as legitimate approaches to the study of life. The volume will interest professionals and graduate students in biology and the history and philosophy of science.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is an excellent anthology from multiple perspectives. It provides an overview of current research in the field and insight into how a wide variety of epistemological issues are related to one another, making it requireed reading for anyone interested in philosophy of biology and broader issues in philosophy of science." Isis

"Biology and Epistemology instructs us as historians and philosophers of biology to keep in mind the essential relationship between epistemology and biology, and suggests that a complete understanding of controversies in biology often cannot be obtained without an understanding of the underlying disagreements in epistemology. It reminds us of the richness and variety of epistemologies, warning against overly simplistic approaches." Journal of the History of Biology

"Biology and Epistemology instructs us as historians and philosophers of biology to keep in mind the essential relationship between epistemology and biology, and suggests that a complete understanding of controversies in biology often cannot be obtained without an understanding of the underlying disagreements in epistemology. It reminds us of the richness and variety of epistemologies, warning against overly simplistic approaches." Journal of the History of Biology

"...this diverse and challenging book leaves nothing to wish for. Biology and Epistemology is a notable contribution to the philosophy of science which persuasively shows why biology will be 'the next big thing.'" Philosophy in Review

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Product Details

Table of Contents

Introduction Richard Creath and Jane Maienschein; 1. Darwin and the philosophers: epistemological factors in the development and reception of the theory of the Origin of Species Michael Ruse; 2. Knowing about life: Darwin and his theory of natural selection Jon Hodge; 3. Why did Darwin fail? The role of John Stuart Mill David L. Hull; 4. The epistemology of historical interpretation: progressivity and recapitulation in Darwin's Theory Robert J. Richards; 5. Down the Primrose Path: competing epistemologies in early twentieth-century biology David Magnus; 6. Competing epistemologies and developmental biology Jane Maienschein; 7. From imaging to believing: epistemic issues in generating biological data William Bechtel; 8. The logic of discovery: in the experimental life sciences Frederic L. Holmes; 9. What do population geneticists know and how do they know it? R. C. Lewontin; 10. Experimentation, realism, and the historical character of science Marga Vicedo; 11. Making sense of life: explanation in developmental biology Evelyn Fox Keller; 12. Toward an epistemology for biological pluralism Helen E. Longino; 13. Biology and epistemology: emerging themes Kenneth F. Schaffner.
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