Science, Politics, and Evolution / Edition 1

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This book brings together important essays by the one of the leading philosophers of science at work today. Elisabeth A. Lloyd examines several of the central topics in philosophy of biology, including the structure of evolutionary theory, units of selection, and evolutionary psychology, as well as the Science Wars, feminism and science, and sexuality and objectivity. Lloyd challenges the current evolutionary accounts of the female orgasm and analyzes them for bias. She also offers an innovative analysis of the concept of objectivity. Lloyd analyzes the structure of evolutionary theory and unlocks the puzzle of the units of selection debates into four distinct aspects, illuminating several mysteries in the biology literature. Central to all essays in this book is the author’s abiding concern for evidence and empirical data.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Although I do not agree with some of the conclusions the author draws, she certainly provides and interesting perspective and illustrates the importance of being very clear about the nature of the debate and our assumptions when comparing theory and data."
Suzanne H. Alonzo, The Quarterly Review of Biology
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Elisabeth A. Lloyd is Arnold and Maxine Tanis Chair of History and Philosophy of Science and Professor of Biology at Indiana University and an Affiliated Faculty Scholar at the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction. She is the author of The Structure and Confirmation of Evolutionary Theory, Keywords in Evolutionary Biology, and most recently, The Case of the Female Orgasm: Bias in the Science of Evolution.

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Table of Contents

1. The nature of Darwin's support for the theory of natural selection; 2. A semantic approach to the structure of population genetics; 3. Confirmation of evolutionary and ecological models; 4. Species selections on variability; 5. An open letter to Elliott Sober and David Sloan Wilson, regarding their book, Unto Others: The Evolution and Psychology of Unselfish Behavior; 6. Problems with pluralism; 7. Normality and variation: the human genome project and the ideal human type; 8. Evolutionary psychology: the burdens of proof; 9. Objectivity and the double standard for feminist epistemologies; 10. Science and anti-science: objectivity and its real enemies; 11. Pre-theoretical assumptions in evolutionary explanations of female sexuality.

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