Trees of Life: Essays in Philosophy of Biology / Edition 1

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This volume contains papers presented by New Zealand and American philosophers of biology during a recent visit to New Zealand by Elliott Sober. Some of the papers reveal a unique local perspective on current debates. Robin Craw's highly original contribution to the 'evolutionary' philosophy of science initiated by David Hull, applies to intellectual evolution the strongly biogeographic approach to the evolution of life that is a recognised New Zealand speciality. Other papers reflect past intellectual exchange between the two countries. Susan Oyama and Russell Gray's papers on the 'developmental systems' approach to evolution, for example, are the outcome of several years of fruitful exchange. The remaining papers in the volume cover a wide range of topics. In addition to Sober's own discussion of post-sociobiological treatments of cultural evolution the volume includes Kim Sterelny's evaluation of 'macroevolution', Paul Griffiths' analysis of adaptation and vestigiality, John Morss on the notion of ontogeny and Timothy Shanahan on the concept of drift.

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Table of Contents

Preface. Introduction; P. Griffiths. Section One: Beyond Natural Selection. Models of Cultural Evolution; E. Sober. Punctuated Equilibrium and Macroevolution; K. Sterelny. Margins of Cladistics: Identity, Difference and Place in the Emergence of Phylogenetic Systematics 1864-1975; R. Craw. Section Two: Central Concepts of Evolutionary Theory. Adaptive Explanation and the Concept of a Vestige; P. Griffiths. Selection, Drift and the Aims of Evolutionary Theory; T. Shanahan. Section Three: The Developmental Systems Approach. Death of the Gene: Developmental Systems Strike Back; R. Gray. Ontogeny and Phylogeny: A Case of Metarecapitulation? S. Oyama. Against Ontogeny; J.R. Morss. Index.

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