Toward A New Philosophy Of Biology

Overview

This is a beautifully presented collection of twenty-eight articles and essays, elegantly introduced and filled with important neologisms all contributing to clarity.
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Overview

This is a beautifully presented collection of twenty-eight articles and essays, elegantly introduced and filled with important neologisms all contributing to clarity.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Los Angeles Times

It is a pleasure to be in the company of a mind so vibrant and still exploring the boundary between the circle of what is known and the vast expanse of what isn't.
— Lee Dembart

Nature

Mayr's power to discern biological connections and also to identify the telling example should excite unqualified admiration...Toward a New Philosophy of Biology is a book to be developed, to be argued with, a book whose margins should be filled with exciting scribblings.
— Philip Kitcher

New Scientist

Mayr is the greatest living commentator on biology; and if biology is what you do, as a researcher, teacher, writer, or as amateur, then this is a book you should own.
— Colin Tudge

Bloomsbury Review

Ernst Mayr is one of a handful of the greatest scientific minds humankind has yet produced...This beautifully presented collection of twenty-eight articles and essays, elegantly introduced and filled with important neologisms all contributing to clarity, is so close to competing with Darwin's Origin of Species that I would not be surprised if history were to judge that Evolutionism in our century also has a Prophet...In short, this is one great classic.
— Dick Duman

BioScience

Never too far below the surface of Mayr the philosopher or historian lies Mayr the combative scientific streetfighter. It is in this capacity that he has been most creative, informative, and downright entertaining throughout his career; and this book is no exception...If you are at all interested in evolution—as a historian, a philosopher, or, above all, as a practicing biologist—you really should read this book.
— Niles Eldredge

Los Angeles Times - Lee Dembart
It is a pleasure to be in the company of a mind so vibrant and still exploring the boundary between the circle of what is known and the vast expanse of what isn't.
Nature - Philip Kitcher
Mayr's power to discern biological connections and also to identify the telling example should excite unqualified admiration...Toward a New Philosophy of Biology is a book to be developed, to be argued with, a book whose margins should be filled with exciting scribblings.
New Scientist - Colin Tudge
Mayr is the greatest living commentator on biology; and if biology is what you do, as a researcher, teacher, writer, or as amateur, then this is a book you should own.
Bloomsbury Review - Dick Duman
Ernst Mayr is one of a handful of the greatest scientific minds humankind has yet produced...This beautifully presented collection of twenty-eight articles and essays, elegantly introduced and filled with important neologisms all contributing to clarity, is so close to competing with Darwin's Origin of Species that I would not be surprised if history were to judge that Evolutionism in our century also has a Prophet...In short, this is one great classic.
BioScience - Niles Eldredge
Never too far below the surface of Mayr the philosopher or historian lies Mayr the combative scientific streetfighter. It is in this capacity that he has been most creative, informative, and downright entertaining throughout his career; and this book is no exception...If you are at all interested in evolution--as a historian, a philosopher, or, above all, as a practicing biologist--you really should read this book.
Los Angeles Times
It is a pleasure to be in the company of a mind so vibrant and still exploring the boundary between the circle of what is known and the vast expanse of what isn't.
— Lee Dembart
Bloomsbury Review
Ernst Mayr is one of a handful of the greatest scientific minds humankind has yet produced...This beautifully presented collection of twenty-eight articles and essays, elegantly introduced and filled with important neologisms all contributing to clarity, is so close to competing with Darwin's Origin of Species that I would not be surprised if history were to judge that Evolutionism in our century also has a Prophet...In short, this is one great classic.
— Dick Duman
Nature
Mayr's power to discern biological connections and also to identify the telling example should excite unqualified admiration...Toward a New Philosophy of Biology is a book to be developed, to be argued with, a book whose margins should be filled with exciting scribblings.
— Philip Kitcher
New Scientist
Mayr is the greatest living commentator on biology; and if biology is what you do, as a researcher, teacher, writer, or as amateur, then this is a book you should own.
— Colin Tudge
BioScience
Never too far below the surface of Mayr the philosopher or historian lies Mayr the combative scientific streetfighter. It is in this capacity that he has been most creative, informative, and downright entertaining throughout his career; and this book is no exception...If you are at all interested in evolution--as a historian, a philosopher, or, above all, as a practicing biologist--you really should read this book.
— Niles Eldredge
Library Journal
$35. biology Mayr, one of the principal architects of the modern evolutionary synthesis, has been a protagonist and astute observer in evolutionary discussions for over 50 years. This series of essays is organized topically under such headings as natural selection, adaptation, Darwin and Darwinism, taxonomic diversity, speciation, macroevolution, and philosophy of science as it is affected by evolutionary thought. The book's organization is reminiscent of similar compilations by Stephen Jay Gould (e.g., The Flamingo's Smile , LJ 9/15/86), but most of these essays require more sophistication from the reader. The book is vintage Mayrshowing him, as ever, a cogent, critical, and remarkably well-read biologist, historian, and philosopher. For informed readers and scholars. Margery C. Coombs, Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674896666
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 9/9/1989
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 580
  • Product dimensions: 1.29 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Ernst Mayr was Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology, Emeritus, at Harvard University. He was the recipient of numerous honorary degrees and awards, including the Crafoord Prize for Biology, the National Medal of Science, the Balzan Prize, and the Japan Prize.
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Table of Contents

I. Philosophy

Introduction

1. Is Biology an Autonomous Science?

2. Cause and Effect in Biology

3. The Multiple Meanings of Teleological

4. The Probability of Extraterrestrial Intelligent Life

5. The Origins of Human Ethics

II. Natural Selection

Introduction

6. An Analysis of the Concept of Natural Selection

7. Philosophical Aspects of Natural Selection

III. Adaptation

Introduction

8. Adaptation and Selection

9. How To Carry Out the Adaptationist Program?

IV. Darwin

Introduction

10. Darwin, Intellectual Revolutionary

11. The Challenge of Darwinism

12. What Is Darwinism

13. Darwin and Natural Selection

14. The Concept of Finality in Darwin and alter Darwin

15. The Death of Darwin

V. Diversity

Introduction

16. Toward a Synthesis in Biological Classification

17. Museums and Biological Laboratories

18. Problems in the Classification of Birds

VI. Species

Introduction

19. The Species Category

20. The Ontology of the Species Taxon

VII. Speciation

Introduction

21. Processes of Speciation in Animals

22. Evolution of Fish Species Flocks

VIII. Macro Evolution

Introduction

23. Does Microevolution Explain Macroevolution?

24. The Unity of the Genotype

25. Speciation and Macroevolution

26. Speciational Evolution through Punctuated Equilibria

IX. Historical Perspective

Introduction

27. On Weismann's Growth as an Evolutionist

28. On the Evolutionary Synthesis and After

Index

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