Books  Evolutionary Biology  Human Evolution & Anthropology 

The Philosophy of Human Evolution: A Philosophical Introduction

  • Unique coverage of human evolution from a philosophical perspective
  • Covers a vast range of topics, including race and gender, and the controversy surrounding some of the discussions in these areas
  • Excellent introductory text for students, for use in the classroom, as well as for the general reader

Series: Cambridge Introductions to Philosophy and Biology

By: Michael Ruse(Author)

282 pages, 20 b/w illustrations

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | Jan 2012 | #228897 | ISBN-13: 9780521133722
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £20.99 $27/€23 approx
Hardback | Jan 2012 | #228898 | ISBN-13: 9780521117937
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £66.99 $86/€74 approx

About this book

The Philosophy of Human Evolution provides a unique discussion of human evolution from a philosophical viewpoint, looking at the facts and interpretations since Charles Darwin's The Descent of Man. Michael Ruse explores such topics as the nature of scientific theories, the relationships between culture and biology, the problem of progress and the extent to which evolutionary issues pose problems for religious beliefs. He identifies these issues, highlighting the problems for morality in a world governed by natural selection. By taking a philosophical viewpoint, the full ethical and moral dimensions of human evolution are examined. The Philosophy of Human Evolution engages the reader in a thorough discussion of the issues, appealing to students in philosophy, biology and anthropology.

"Michael Ruse's new book The Philosophy of Human Evolution is a historical and critical survey of the ways in which Darwinian thinking has clashed and interacted with the concerns of philosophers. Intended for a general audience, the book showcases Ruse's manifold skills as a writer. His prose is lucid, straightforward, and colloquial. Each paragraph leads into the next with elegant coherence and no complicated impediments to the smooth flow of ideas [...] readers will bring away new facts and insights from this thoughtful little page-turner."
– Matt Cartmill, Reports of the National Center for Science Education

"Ruse brings to the fore a diversity of important questions regarding human evolution [...] written in a direct, effective style, with a promising chapter architecture [...] a welcome supplement to recent books on human evolution."
– Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther, Evolution



1. Evolutionary biology
2. Human evolution
3. Real science, good science?
4. Progress
5. Knowledge
6. Morality
7. Sex, orientation, and race
8. From eugenics to medicine


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Michael Ruse is the Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor of Philosophy and the Director of the Program in the History and Philosophy of Science at Florida State University. His previous publications include Can a Darwinian be a Christian?: The Relationship between Science and Religion (2004), Darwinism and its Discontents (2008) and Science and Spirituality: Making Room for Faith in an Age of Science (Cambridge University Press, 2010).

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