The Philosophy of Biology: An Episodic History

The Philosophy of Biology: An Episodic History

by Marjorie Grene
     
 

ISBN-10: 0521643716

ISBN-13: 9780521643719

Pub. Date: 08/28/2004

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Is life different from the non-living? If so, how? And how, in that case, does biology, as the study of living things, differ from other sciences? These questions lie at the heart of The Philosophy of Biology, and are traced through an exploration of episodes in the history of biology and philosophy. The book begins with Aristotle, then moves on to Descartes,…  See more details below

Overview

Is life different from the non-living? If so, how? And how, in that case, does biology, as the study of living things, differ from other sciences? These questions lie at the heart of The Philosophy of Biology, and are traced through an exploration of episodes in the history of biology and philosophy. The book begins with Aristotle, then moves on to Descartes, comparing his position with that of Harvey. From the eighteenth century, the authors consider Buffon and Kant. From the nineteenth century, the authors examine the Cuvier-Geoffroy debate, pre-Darwinian geology and natural theology, Darwin, and the transition from Darwin to the revival of Mendelism. Two chapters on the twentieth century deal with the Modern Evolutionary Synthesis and such questions as the species problem, the reducibility or otherwise of biology to physics and chemistry, and the problem of biological explanation in terms of function and teleology. The final chapters reflect on the question of human nature and the implications of the philosophy of biology for the philosophy of science in general.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521643719
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
08/28/2004
Series:
Evolution of Modern Philosophy Series
Pages:
440
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.40(d)

Table of Contents

1Aristotle and after1
2Descartes, Harvey, and the emergence of modern mechanism35
3The eighteenth century I : Buffon64
4The eighteenth century II : Kant and the development of German biology92
5Before Darwin I : a continental controversy128
6Before Darwin II : British controversies about geology and natural theology154
7Darwin192
8Evolution and heredity from Darwin to the rise of genetics221
9The modern evolutionary synthesis and its discontents247
10Some themes in recent philosophy of biology : the species problem, reducibility, function, and teleology290
11Biology and human nature322
12The philosophy of biology and the philosophy of science348

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