The second part of this book scrutinizes Darwinism in the philosophy of science and its usefulness in understanding ecosystems, whilst the third section deals with its application in disciplines beyond the biological sciences, including evolutionary psychology and evolutionary economics, Darwinian morality and phylolinguistics. The final section addresses anti-Darwinism, the creationist view and issues around teaching evolution in secondary schools.
The reader learns how current experimental biology is opening important perspectives on the sources of variation, and thus of the very power of natural selection. This work examines numerous examples of the extension of the principle of natural selection and provides the opportunity to critically reflect on a rich theory, on the methodological rigour that presides in its extensions and exportations, and on the necessity to measure its advantages and also its limits.
Scholars interested in modern Darwinism and scientific research, its concepts, research programs and controversies will find this book an excellent read, and those considering how Darwinism might evolve, how it can apply to the human sciences and other disciplines beyond its origins will find it particularly valuable.
Originally produced in French (Les Mondes Darwiniens), the scope and usefulness of the book have led to the production of this English text, to reach a wider audience.
This book is a milestone in the impressive penetration by Francophone scholars into the world of Darwinian science, its historiography and philosophy over the last two decades.
Alex Rosenberg, R. Taylor Cole Professor of Philosophy, Duke University
Until now this useful and comprehensive handbook has only been available to francophones. Thanks to this invaluable new translation, this collection of insightful and original essays can reach the global audience it deserves.
Tim Lewens, University of Cambridge
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About the Author
Philippe Huneman, PhD, is Research Director at the Institut d’Histoire et de Philosophie des Sciences et des Techniques (CNRS / Université Paris I Sorbonne). He is a philosopher of biology, working mainly on issues about evolutionary biology. His main published papers are about: the variety of evolutionary explanations, causation and explanation in biology, the issue of individuality in biology and ecology, and the formal definitions of emergence, as well as the concept of organism and its role in current biology. This last topic relates to former work he has been extensively doing about Kantian views of biology with regard to prebiological conceptions of organisms. (Métaphysique et biologie. Kant et la constitution du concept d'organisme, Paris: Kimé, 2008). He also edited Functions: selection and mechanisms (Synthese Library, Dordrecht: Springer. 2012), with Frédéric Bouchard, From Groups to Individuals. (Cambridge : MIT Press, 2013) and with Denis Walsh, Challenges in Evolutionary Biology, to come out at Oxford University Press in 2014.
Guillaume Lecointre, PhD, is a research scientist, systematist, professor at Paris Museum (Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle) where he leads the research department of Systematics and Evolution. He's also involved in the improvement of the training of french teachers in systematics and evolutionary sciences. He published more than one hundred peer-reviewed papers and ten books (among them "The tree of life", with Hervé Le Guyader, Harvard Univ. Press).
With a background in biology (ethology), Marc Silberstein is a scientific publisher. Founder of Editions Matériologiques (Paris) in 2010. Editor with Jean-Jacques Kupiec et al., Le Hasard au cœur de la cellule (EM, 2011) ; avec Thomas Heams, Philippe Huneman, Guillaume Lecointre, Les Mondes darwiniens. L’évolution de l’évolution (first ed. : 2009, new ed. : 2011 ) ; with Gérard Lambert & Philippe Huneman, Disease, Classification and Evidence : New essays in the philosophy of medicine (Springer, 2014) ; Marc Silberstein (ed.), Matériaux philosophiques et scientifiques pour un matérialisme contemporain (2013).