Keywords In Evolutionary Biology / Edition 1

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Overview

In science, more than elsewhere, a word is expected to mean what it says, nothing more, nothing less. But scientific discourse is neither different nor separable from ordinary language--meanings are multiple, ambiguities ubiquitous. Keywords in Evolutionary Biology grapples with this problem in a field especially prone to the confusion engendered by semantic imprecision.

Written by historians, philosophers, and biologists--including, among others, Stephen Jay Gould, Diane Paul, John Beatty, Robert Richards, Richard Lewontin, David Sloan Wilson, Peter Bowler, and Richard Dawkins--these essays identify and explicate those terms in evolutionary biology which, though commonly used, are plagues by multiple concurrent and historically varying meanings. By clarifying these terms in their many guises, the editors Evelyn Fox Keller and Elisabeth Lloyd hope to focus attention on major scholarly problems in the field--problems sometimes obscured, sometimes reveals, and sometimes even created by the use of such equivocal words. "Competition," "adaptation," and "fitness," for instance, are among the terms whose multiple meaning have led to more than merely semantic debates in evolutionary biology.

Exploring the complexity of keywords and clarifying their role in prominent issues in the field, this book will prove invaluable to scientists and philosophers trying to come to terms with evolutionary theory; it will also serve as a useful guide to future research into the way in which scientific language works.

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Editorial Reviews

Ernst Mayr
What a splendid idea to have a critical dictionary by established experts of the key words used in recent controversies in evolutionary biology. This helps the understanding of these controversies enormously.
Booknews
Essays by notable historians, philosophers, and biologists identify and explicate those terms in evolutionary biology which, though commonly used, are plagued by multiple concurrent and historically varying meanings. These explorations focus attention on major scholarly problems in the field--sometimes obscured and sometimes created by the use of such equivocal words as competition, adaptation, fitness, altruism, character, and natural selection, for example. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674503137
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 8/19/1998
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 0.88 (w) x 6.14 (h) x 9.21 (d)

Meet the Author

Evelyn Fox Keller is Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at MIT. She is the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship and numerous honorary degrees.

Elisabeth A. Lloyd is Arnold and Maxine Tanis Chair of History and Philosophy of Science and Professor of Biology, Indiana University.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Contributors

Introduction

Evelyn Fox Keller and Elisabeth A. Lloyd

ADAPTATION: Historical Perspectives

Richard M. Burian

ADAPTATION: Current Usages

Mary Jane West-Eberhard

ALTRUISM: Theoretical Contexts

Alexander Rosenberg

ALTRUISM: Contemporary Debates

David Sloan Wilson and Lee A. Dugatkin

ALTRUISM: Some Theoretical Ambiguities

Marcy K. Uyenoyama and Marcus W. Feldman

CHARACTER: Historical Perspectives

Lindley Darden

CHARACTER: Current Usages

Kurt Fristrup

COMMUNITY

Peter Taylor

COMPETITION: Historical Perspectives

Robert McIntosh

COMPETITION: Current Usages

Evelyn Fox Keller

DARWINISM

Michael Ruse

ENVIRONMENT

Robert N. Brandon

EPISTASIS

Michael J. Wade

EUGENICS

Daniel J. Kevles

EVOLUTION

Robert J. Richards

EXTINCTION

John Damuth

FITNESS: Historical Perspectives

Diane Paul

FITNESS: Theoretical Contexts

John Beatty

FITNESS: Reproductive Ambiguities

Evelyn Fox Keller

GENE: Historical Perspectives

Jane Maienschein

GENE: Current Usages

Philip Kitcher

GENETIC LOAD

James F. Crow

GENOTYPE AND PHENOTYPE

Richard C. Lewontin

GROUP SELECTION

David Sloan Wilson

HERITABILITY: Historical Perspectives

Michael J. Wade

HERITABILITY: Some Theoretical Ambiguities

Marcus W. Feldman

HETEROCHRONY

Stephen Jay Gould

HETEROSIS

Diane Paul

HOMOLOGY

Michael J. Donoghue

INDIVIDUAL

David L. Hull

LAMARCKISM

Peter J. Bowler

MACROMUTATION

Michael R. Dietrich

MONOPHYLY

Elliott Sober

MUTUALISM AND COOPERATION

Douglas H. Boucher

NATURAL SELECTION: Historical Perspectives

M. J. S. Hodge

NATURAL SELECTION: Current Usages

John A. Endler

NEUTRALISM

Motoo Kimura

NICHE: Historical Perspectives

James R. Griesemer

NICHE: A Bifurcation in the Conceptual Lineage of the Term

Robert K. Colwell

PARSIMONY

Elliott Sober

PHENOTYPIC PLASTICITY

Deborah M. Gordon

PROGRESS

Richard Dawkins

RANDOM DRIFT

John Beatty

RESOURCE

Peter Abrams

SEXUAL SELECTION: Historical Perspectives

Helena Cronin

SEXUAL SELECTION: Contemporary Debates

Hamish G. Spencer and Judith C. Masters

SPECIES: Historical Perspectives

Peter F. Stevens

SPECIES: Theoretical Contexts

John Dupré

SPECIES: Current Usages

Mary B. Williams

TELEOLOGY

James G. Lennox

UNIT OF SELECTION

Elisabeth A. Lloyd

References

Index

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