A Companion to the Philosophy of Biology
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A Companion to the Philosophy of Biology

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Comprised of essays by top scholars in the field, this volume offers detailed overviews of philosophical issues raised by biology. * Brings together a team of eminent scholars to explore the philosophical issues raised by biology * Addresses traditional and emerging topics, spanning molecular biology and genetics, evolution, developmental biology, immunology, ecology, mind and behaviour, neuroscience, and experimentation * Begins with a thorough introduction to the field * Goes beyond previous treatments that focused only on evolution to give equal attention to other areas, such as molecular and developmental biology * Represents both an authoritative guide to philosophy of biology, and an accessible reference work for anyone seeking to learn about this rapidly-changing fieldshow more

Product details

  • Paperback | 616 pages
  • 170.18 x 246.38 x 35.56mm | 997.9g
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
  • Wiley-Blackwell (an imprint of John Wiley & Sons Ltd)
  • Chicester, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1. Auflage
  • 1444337858
  • 9781444337853
  • 1,551,636

Review quote

"This book is a companion to the philosophy of biology, and it not only should be of interest to scholars in philosophy of biology, but it also may be utilized by classroom educators teaching courses in philosophy of biology, theoretical biology, and evolutionary theory." (Science & Education, April 2010) "Many of the discussions here start with a definition of terms and a historical context of the subject before delving into the deeper philosophical issues, making it a useful reference for students of biology as well as philosophy." (Northeastern Naturalist, April 2008) "The topics that are addressed are done so well. This book will appeal to the advanced student and knowledgeable amateur and may prove useful catalyst for discussion among research teams or those engaged in cross-disciplinary studies." (Reference Reviews, February 2009) "Sarkar and Plutynski have compiled a series of essays about the philosophical implications of traditional and emergent biological studies. Among the areas discussed are genetics, immunology and evolutionary psychology." (Columbia College Today Alumni Magazine, February 2009) "A Companion to the Philosophy of Biology will be a very useful guide not only for philosophers but also for historians, sociologists and biologists. Its greatest asset is that it expands beyond the scope of recently published textbooks in philosophy of biology by including a detailed treatment of philosophical aspects of medicine, ecology, mind and behavior and that it places the themes in their historic context. The diversity of areas covered will appeal to students of general interest as well as specialists. Especially helpful is that most chapters end with an extended 'Reference' and often an additional 'Further reading' section that will allow readers to research the individual topics in greater depth." (Metapsychology Reviews Online) "The book is similar to, though different enough to distinguish itself from, its closest kin, The Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Biology, edited by Michael Ruse (2008), and The Cambridge Companion to the Philosophy of Biology, edited by David Hull and Michael Ruse. They do not offer essays on language, biodiversity, or models, which are included in the present volume. Recommended." (Choice, November 2008)show more

About Sahotra Sarkar

Sahotra Sarkar is Professor of Integrative Biology, Geography and the Environment, and Philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of Genetics and Reductionism: A Primer (1998), Biodiversity and Environmental Philosophy (2005), Molecular Models of Life (2005), Doubting Darwin? Creationist Designs on Evolution (2007); co-author of Systematic Conservation Planning (2007); editor of several books, including The Philosophy and History of Molecular Biology (1996), the six-volume Science and the Philosophy in the Twentieth Century: Basic Works of Logical Empiricism (1996), and the two-volume The Philosophy of Science: An Encyclopedia (2006). Anya Plutynski is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Utah. She specializes in the history and philosophy of science.show more

Table of contents

List of Figures viii List of Tables x Notes on Contributors xi Acknowledgments xvii Introduction xviii Sahotra Sarkar and Anya Plutynski Part I Molecular Biology and Genetics 1 1 Gene Concepts 3 Hans-Jorg Rheinberger and Staffan Muller-Wille 2 Biological Information 22 Stefan Artmann 3 Heredity and Heritability 40 Richard C. Lewontin 4 Genomics, Proteomics, and Beyond 58 Sahotra Sarkar Part II Evolution 75 5 Darwinism and Neo-Darwinism 77 James G. Lennox 6 Systematics and Taxonomy 99 Marc Ereshefsky 7 Population Genetics 119 Christopher Stephens 8 The Units and Levels of Selection 138 Samir Okasha 9 Molecular Evolution 157 Michael R. Dietrich 10 Speciation and Macroevolution 169 Anya Plutynski 11 Adaptationism 186 Peter Godfrey-Smith and Jon F. Wilkins Part III Developmental Biology 203 12 Phenotypic Plasticity and Reaction Norms 205 Jonathan M. Kaplan 13 Explaining the Ontogeny of Form: Philosophical Issues 223 Alan C. Love 14 Development and Evolution 248 Ron Amundson Part IV Medicine 269 15 Self and Nonself 271 Moira Howes 16 Health and Disease 287 Dominic Murphy Part V Ecology 299 17 Population Ecology 301 Mark Colyvan 18 Complexity, Diversity, and Stability 321 James Justus 19 Ecosystems 351 Kent A. Peacock 20 Biodiversity: Its Meaning and Value 368 Bryan G. Norton Part VI Mind and Behavior 391 21 Ethology, Sociobiology, and Evolutionary Psychology 393 Paul E. Griffiths 22 Cooperation 415 J. McKenzie Alexander 23 Language and Evolution 431 Derek Bickerton Part VII Experimentation, Theory, and Themes 453 24 What is Life? 455 Mark A. Bedau 25 Experimentation 472 Marcel Weber 26 Laws and Theories 489 Marc Lange 27 Models 506 Jay Odenbaugh 28 Function and Teleology 525 Justin Garson 29 Reductionism in Biology 550 Alexander Rosenberg Index 568show more

Review Text

"This book is a companion to the philosophy of biology, and it not only should be of interest to scholars in philosophy of biology, but it also may be utilized by classroom educators teaching courses in philosophy of biology, theoretical biology, and evolutionary theory." (Science & Education, April 2010) "Many of the discussions here start with a definition of terms and a historical context of the subject before delving into the deeper philosophical issues, making it a useful reference for students of biology as well as philosophy." (Northeastern Naturalist, April 2008) "The topics that are addressed are done so well. This book will appeal to the advanced student and knowledgeable amateur and may prove useful catalyst for discussion among research teams or those engaged in cross-disciplinary studies." (Reference Reviews, February 2009) "Sarkar and Plutynski have compiled a series of essays about the philosophical implications of traditional and emergent biological studies. Among the areas discussed are genetics, immunology and evolutionary psychology." (Columbia College Today Alumni Magazine, February 2009) "A Companion to the Philosophy of Biology will be a very useful guide not only for philosophers but also for historians, sociologists and biologists. Its greatest asset is that it expands beyond the scope of recently published textbooks in philosophy of biology by including a detailed treatment of philosophical aspects of medicine, ecology, mind and behavior and that it places the themes in their historic context. The diversity of areas covered will appeal to students of general interest as well as specialists. Especially helpful is that most chapters end with an extended 'Reference' and often an additional 'Further reading' section that will allow readers to research the individual topics in greater depth." (Metapsychology Reviews Online) "The book is similar to, though different enough to distinguish itself from, its closest kin, The Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Biology, edited by Michael Ruse (2008), and The Cambridge Companion to the Philosophy of Biology, edited by David Hull and Michael Ruse. They do not offer essays on language, biodiversity, or models, which are included in the present volume. Recommended." (Choice, November 2008)show more

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