The Philosophy of Biology

The Philosophy of Biology

by Michael Ruse
     
 

Biologists study life in its various physical forms, while philosophy of biology seeks answers to questions about the nature, purpose, and impact of this research. What permits us to distinguish between living and nonliving things even though both are made of the same minerals? Is the complex structure of organisms proof that a creative force is working its will in… See more details below

Overview

Biologists study life in its various physical forms, while philosophy of biology seeks answers to questions about the nature, purpose, and impact of this research. What permits us to distinguish between living and nonliving things even though both are made of the same minerals? Is the complex structure of organisms proof that a creative force is working its will in the physical universe, or are existing life forms the random result of an evolutionary process working itself out over eons of time? What moral questions arise regarding genetic engineering or cloning? What is more relevant to human nature: genetics or sociocultural influences? Are we unique in the universe or might other forms of life exist out there somewhere? Is Darwinism the death-knell of God?

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195182057
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
07/14/2008
Series:
Oxford Handbooks Series
Pages:
656
Product dimensions:
6.80(w) x 9.80(h) x 2.20(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction1
1The Generation of Animals28
2What Is Life?32
3Natural Theology36
4Origin of Species41
5Beyond the Reach of Chance47
6Accumulating Small Change62
7The Structure of Darwinism70
8Darwin's Mistake85
9Darwin's Untimely Burial93
10Darwinism and the Expansion of Evolutionary Theory100
11Beyond Darwinism? The Challenge of Macroevolution to the Synthetic Theory of Evolution118
12Species Concepts and Their Application136
13The Ontological Status of Species as Evolutionary Units146
14Have Species Become Declasse?156
15Principles of Classification167
16Adaptation and Natural Selection182
17Misuse of the Term Strategy185
18Teleological Explanations187
19Chemical Systems and Chemical Evolution: The Philosophy of Molecular Biology198
20The Insights and Oversights of Molecular Genetics: The Place of the Evolutionary Perspective209
21Creating the Efficient Gene222
22The Recombinant DNA Debate229
23Heredity246
24Sociobiology and the Theory of Natural Selection253
25Say It Just Ain't So: Adaptational Stories and Sociobiological Explanations of Social Behavior264
26Huminoids on Other Planets272
27The Probability of Extraterrestrial Intelligent Life279
28The Challenge of Facts288
29Evolution and Ethics297
30The Law of the Jungle: Moral Alternatives and Principles of Evolution303
31The Evolution of Ethics313
32Genesis, Chapters 1 and 2320
33The State of Arkansas, Act 590 of 1981324
34Creation Science: The Ultimate Fraud329
35Welcoming the 'Disguised Friend' - Darwinism and Divinity337
36Cloning as Quintessential Human Act352
37Taboos without a Clue: Sizing Up Religious Objections to Cloning357
Bibliographic Essay363

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