240 pages, 5 illus
Investigates the analogical use of the language of design in evolutionary biology. Lewens discusses issues of interest to philosophers of biology, biologists, philosophers of mind, and students of technology. These issues include the pitfalls of the design-based thinking of adaptationism, the possible conflict between selection explanations and developmental explanations, a proposed explanation of biological function, and prospects for an informative evolutionary model of technological change.
I find the work extremely original and philosophically quite sound. Lewens's work successfully removes a lot of the irrelevant issues that contrast material theories of evolution by natural selection with notions of human design. --Richard Lewontin, Alexander Agassiz Research Professor, Harvard University "I had long thought that the topic of function in biology was exhausted. Organisms and Artifacts, Tim Lewens's splendid new book, shows that I was quite wrong. Lewens unites a deep understanding of biology with a keen nose for a philosophical problem, and he has produced a work that is insightful and (just as important) highly interesting. This book will give an old problem really new life, and must be the starting point for all future discussion." --Michael Ruse, Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor of Philosophy, Florida State University
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Tim Lewens is University Lecturer in History and Philosophy of Science at Cambridge University.