Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Biology / Edition 1

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Overview

This collection of specially commissioned essays puts top scholars head to head to debate the central issues in the lively and fast growing field of philosophy of biology
• Brings together original essays on ten of the most hotly debated questions in philosophy of biology
• Lively head-to-head debate format sharply defines the issues and paves the way for further discussion
• Includes coverage of the new and vital area of evolutionary developmental biology, as well as the concept of a unified species, the role of genes in selection, the differences between micro- and macro-evolution, and much more
• Each section features an introduction to the topic as well as suggestions for further reading
• Offers an accessible overview of this fast-growing and dynamic field, whilst also capturing the imagination of professional philosophers and biologists

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
 

“All chapters (including the very interestingcontributions on the species problem by Claridge and Mishler, aswell as the stimulating papers on evolutionary ethics by Ruse andAyala) serve as an excellent introduction to the most hotly debatedtopics in the philosophy of biology today.” (Metascience, 2011)

 "A brief review like this can scarcely do justice to the richnessof the ideas discussed in this text or the considerable care thatwent into its organization. This is, in short, a very finecontribution to the pedagogical literature on philosophy ofbiology. The editors are to be congratulated for the thoughtfulnessthat went into producing this text. May it gain the wide acceptanceit deserves." (Science & Education, 2010)

"Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates and above".(Choice, 1 November 2010)

“Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Biology isan engaging anthology with many interesting contributions. Thestrength of the book is the format: two eminent representatives ofthe biophilosophical community have their say on a pivotalbiophilosophical issue.” (

Metapsychology, May2010)

"A very fine contribution to the pedagogical literature onphilosophy of biology. The editors are to be congratulated for thethoughtfulness that went into producing this text. May it gain thewide acceptance it deserves." (Science & Education, March2010)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405159999
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 12/14/2009
  • Series: Contemporary Debates in Philosophy Series , #18
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 440
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Francisco J. Ayala is Donald Bren Professor ofBiological Sciences at the University of California, Irvine, USA.He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, theAmerican Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the AmericanPhilosophical Society. In 2001, he received the National Medal ofScience. Ayala has published more than 950 articles and is theauthor or editor of 31 books. He has been named the Renaissance Manof Evolutionary Biology by The New York Times.

Robert Arp is an analyst at The Analysis Group, LLCwho has interests in philosophy of biology and ontology in theinformatics sense. He is the author of ScenarioVisualization: An Evolutionary Account of Creative ProblemSolving (2008), and co-editor of Philosophy of Biology: AnAnthology (Blackwell, 2009).

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Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors

General Introduction

References and Further Reading

Part I: Is It Possible to Reduce Biological Explanations toExplanations in Chemistry and/or Physics?

Introduction

References and Further Reading

1. It Is Possible to Reduce Biological Explanations toExplanations in Chemistry and/or Physics: Evelyn Fox Keller(MIT)

2. It Is Not Possible to Reduce Biological Explanations toExplanations in Chemistry and/or Physics: John Dupré(University of Exeter)

Part II: Have Traits Evolved to Function the Way They DoBecause of a Past Advantage?

Introduction

References and Further Reading

3. Traits Have Evolved to Function the Way They Do Because of aPast Advantage: Mark Perlman (Western Oregon University)

4. Traits Have Not Evolved to Function the Way They Do Becauseof a Past Advantage: Robert Cummins (University ofIllinois-Urbana-Champagin) and Martin Roth (Drake University)

Part III: Are Species Real?

Introduction

References and Further Reading

5. Species Are Real Biological Entities: Michael F. Claridge(Cardiff University)

6. Species Are Not Uniquely Real Biological Entities: Brent D.Mishler (University of California-Berkeley)

Part IV: Does Selection Operate Primarily on Genes?

Introduction

References and Further Reading

7. Selection Does Operate Primarily on Genes: In Defense of theGene as the Unit of Selection: Carmen Sapienza (TempleUniversity)

8. Selection Does Not Operate Primarily on Genes: Richard M.Burian (University of Pittsburgh)

Part V: Are Microevolution and Macroevolution Governed by theSame Processes?

Introduction

References and Further Reading

9. Microevolution and Macroevolution Are Governed by the SameProcesses: Michael R. Dietrich (Dartmouth College)

10. Microevolution and Macroevolution Are Not Governed by theSame Processes: Douglas H. Erwin (Smithsonian Institution and SantaFé Institute)

Part VI: Does Evolutionary Developmental Biology Offer aSignificant Challenge to the Neo-Darwinian Paradigm?

Introduction

References and Further Reading

11. Evolutionary Developmental Biology Does Offer a SignificantChallenge to the Neo-Darwinian Paradigm: Manfred D. Laubichler(Arizona State University)

12. Evolutionary Developmental Biology Does Not Offer aSignificant Challenge to the Neo-Darwinian Paradigm: AlessandroMinelli (University of Padova)

Part VII: Were the Basic Components of the Human MindSolidified During the Pleistocene Epoch?

Introduction

References and Further Reading

13. The Basic Components of the Human Mind Were SolidifiedDuring the Pleistocene Epoch: Valerie G. Starratt (NovaSoutheastern University) and Todd K. Shackelford (Florida AtlanticUniversity)

14. The Basic Components of the Human Mind Were Not SolidifiedDuring the Pleistocene Epoch: Stephen M. Downes (University ofUtah)

Part VIII: Does Memetics Provide a Useful Way ofUnderstanding Cultural Evolution?

Introduction

References and Further Reading

15. Memetics Does Provide a Useful Way of Understanding CulturalEvolution: Susan Blackmore (University of the West of England)

16. Memetics Does Not Provide a Useful Way of UnderstandingCultural Evolution: A Developmental Perspective: William C. Wimsatt(University of Chicago)

Part IX: Can the Biological Sciences Act as a Ground forEthics?

Introduction

References and Further Reading

17. The Biological Sciences Can Act as a Ground for Ethics:Michael Ruse (Florida State University)

18. What the Biological Sciences Can and Cannot Contribute toEthics: Francisco J. Ayala (University of California-Irvine)

Part X: Is There a Place for Intelligent Design in thePhilosophy of Biology?

Introduction

References and Further Reading

19. There Is a Place for Intelligent Design in the Philosophy ofBiology: Intelligent Design in (Philosophy of) Biology: SomeLegitimate Roles: Del Ratzsch (University ofMassachusetts-Amherst)

20. There Is No Place for Intelligent Design in the Philosophyof Biology: Intelligent Design Is Not Science: Francisco J. Ayala(University of California-Irvine)

Index

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