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Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Biology

By: Francisco Jose Ayala (Editor), Robert Arp (Editor)

426 pages, no illustrations

John Wiley & Sons

Hardback | Nov 2009 | #187561 | ISBN-13: 9781405159982
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £62.50 $79/€74 approx

About this book

This collection of specially commissioned essays puts top scholars head to head to debate the central issues in this fast growing field. It includes coverage of the new and vital area of evolutionary developmental biology, as well as the concept of a unified species, the role of genes in selection and the differences between micro- and macro-evolution.

Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Biology is an engaging anthology with many interesting contributions. The strength of the book is the format: two eminent representatives of the biophilosophical community have their say on a pivotal biophilosophical issue." (Metapsychology, May 2010) "A very fine contribution to the pedagogical literature on philosophy of biology. The editors are to be congratulated for the thoughtfulness that went into producing this text. May it gain the wide acceptance it deserves." (Science & Education, March 2010)


Contents

Notes on Contributors General Introduction References and Further Reading Part I: Is It Possible to Reduce Biological Explanations to Explanations in Chemistry and/or Physics? Introduction References and Further Reading 1. It Is Possible to Reduce Biological Explanations to Explanations in Chemistry and/or Physics: Evelyn Fox Keller (MIT) 2. It Is Not Possible to Reduce Biological Explanations to Explanations in Chemistry and/or Physics: John Dupre (University of Exeter) Part II: Have Traits Evolved to Function the Way They Do Because of a Past Advantage? Introduction References and Further Reading 3. Traits Have Evolved to Function the Way They Do Because of a Past Advantage: Mark Perlman (Western Oregon University) 4. Traits Have Not Evolved to Function the Way They Do Because of a Past Advantage: Robert Cummins (University of Illinois-Urbana-Champagin) and Martin Roth (Drake University) Part III: Are Species Real? Introduction References and Further Reading 5. Species Are Real Biological Entities: Michael F. Claridge (Cardiff University) 6. Species Are Not Uniquely Real Biological Entities: Brent D. Mishler (University of California-Berkeley) Part IV: Does Selection Operate Primarily on Genes? Introduction References and Further Reading 7. Selection Does Operate Primarily on Genes: In Defense of the Gene as the Unit of Selection: Carmen Sapienza (Temple University) 8. Selection Does Not Operate Primarily on Genes: Richard M. Burian (University of Pittsburgh) Part V: Are Microevolution and Macroevolution Governed by the Same Processes? Introduction References and Further Reading 9. Microevolution and Macroevolution Are Governed by the Same Processes: Michael R. Dietrich (Dartmouth College) 10. Microevolution and Macroevolution Are Not Governed by the Same Processes: Douglas H. Erwin (Smithsonian Institution and Santa Fe Institute) Part VI: Does Evolutionary Developmental Biology Offer a Significant Challenge to the Neo-Darwinian Paradigm? Introduction References and Further Reading 11. Evolutionary Developmental Biology Does Offer a Significant Challenge to the Neo-Darwinian Paradigm: Manfred D. Laubichler (Arizona State University) 12. Evolutionary Developmental Biology Does Not Offer a Significant Challenge to the Neo-Darwinian Paradigm: Alessandro Minelli (University of Padova) Part VII: Were the Basic Components of the Human Mind Solidified During the Pleistocene Epoch? Introduction References and Further Reading 13. The Basic Components of the Human Mind Were Solidified During the Pleistocene Epoch: Valerie G. Starratt (Nova Southeastern University) and Todd K. Shackelford (Florida Atlantic University) 14. The Basic Components of the Human Mind Were Not Solidified During the Pleistocene Epoch: Stephen M. Downes (University of Utah) Part VIII: Does Memetics Provide a Useful Way of Understanding Cultural Evolution? Introduction References and Further Reading 15. Memetics Does Provide a Useful Way of Understanding Cultural Evolution: Susan Blackmore (University of the West of England) 16. Memetics Does Not Provide a Useful Way of Understanding Cultural Evolution: A Developmental Perspective: William C. Wimsatt (University of Chicago) Part IX: Can the Biological Sciences Act as a Ground for Ethics? Introduction References and Further Reading 17. The Biological Sciences Can Act as a Ground for Ethics: Michael Ruse (Florida State University) 18. What the Biological Sciences Can and Cannot Contribute to Ethics: Francisco J. Ayala (University of California-Irvine) Part X: Is There a Place for Intelligent Design in the Philosophy of Biology? Introduction References and Further Reading 19. There Is a Place for Intelligent Design in the Philosophy of Biology: Intelligent Design in (Philosophy of) Biology: Some Legitimate Roles: Del Ratzsch (University of Massachusetts-Amherst) 20. There Is No Place for Intelligent Design in the Philosophy of Biology: Intelligent Design Is Not Science: Francisco J. Ayala (University of California-Irvine) Index


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Biography

Francisco J. Ayala is Donald Bren Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of California, Irvine, USA. Robert Arp is an analyst at The Analysis Group, LLC who has interests in philosophy of biology and ontology in the informatics sense.

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