This book presents a collection of linked essays written by one of the leading philosophers of biology, Kim Sterelny, on the topic of biological evolution. The first half of the book explores most of the main theoretical controversies about evolution and selection, while the second half applies some of these ideas in considering cognitive evolution. These essays, some never before published, form a coherent whole that defends not just an overall conception of evolution, but also a distinctive take on cognitive evolution.
Part I. Overview: 1. Evolution and agency: a user's guide; Part II. Replication and Interaction: 2. Return of The Gene (with Philip Kitcher); 3. The Extended Replicator (with Kelly Smith and Mike Dickison); 4. The return of the group; Part III. Evolution and Macroevolution: 5. Punctuated equilibrium and macroevolution; 6. Explanatory pluralism in evolutionary biology; 7. Darwin's tangled bank; Part IV. The Descent of the Mind: 8. Where does thinking come from? a commentary on Peter Godfrey Smith's Complexity and the Function of Mind in Nature; 9. Basic minds; 10. Intentional agency and the metarepresentation hypothesis; 11. Situated agency and the descent of desire; 12. The evolution of agency.