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Toward a New Philosophy of Biology

By: Ernst Mayr

640 pages, 3 line drawings, 3 tabs

Harvard University Press

Paperback | Jul 1989 | #5629 | ISBN: 0674896661
Temporarily out of stock: order now to get this when available Details
NHBS Price: £24.95 $31/€28 approx
Hardback | Dec 1988 | #3447 | ISBN: 0674896653
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About this book

A collection of this influential evolutionist's essays, in which he strives to arrive at a common language that will bridge the gap between biologists and scholars from other disciplines.

It is a pleasure to be in the company of a mind so vibrant and still exploring the boundary between the circle of what is known and the vast expanse of what isn't. -- Lee Dembart Los Angeles Times Mayr's power to discern biological connections and also to identify the telling example should excite unqualified admiration...Toward a New Philosophy of Biology is a book to be developed, to be argued with, a book whose margins should be filled with exciting scribblings. -- Philip Kitcher Nature Mayr is the greatest living commentator on biology; and if biology is what you do, as a researcher, teacher, writer, or as amateur, then this is a book you should own. -- Colin Tudge New Scientist Ernst Mayr is one of a handful of the greatest scientific minds humankind has yet produced...This beautifully presented collection of twenty-eight articles and essays, elegantly introduced and filled with important neologisms all contributing to clarity, is so close to competing with Darwin's Origin of Species that I would not be surprised if history were to judge that Evolutionism in our century also has a Prophet...In short, this is one great classic. -- Dick Duman Bloomsbury Review Never too far below the surface of Mayr the philosopher or historian lies Mayr the combative scientific streetfighter. It is in this capacity that he has been most creative, informative, and downright entertaining throughout his career; and this book is no exception...If you are at all interested in evolution--as a historian, a philosopher, or, above all, as a practicing biologist--you really should read this book. -- Niles Eldredge BioScience


I. Philosophy Introduction 1. Is Biology an Autonomous Science? 2. Cause and Effect in Biology 3. The Multiple Meanings of Teleological 4. The Probability of Extraterrestrial Intelligent Life 5. The Origins of Human Ethics II. Natural Selection Introduction 6. An Analysis of the Concept of Natural Selection 7. Philosophical Aspects of Natural Selection III. Adaptation Introduction 8. Adaptation and Selection 9. How To Carry Out the Adaptationist Program? IV. Darwin Introduction 10. Darwin, Intellectual Revolutionary 11. The Challenge of Darwinism 12. What Is Darwinism 13. Darwin and Natural Selection 14. The Concept of Finality in Darwin and alter Darwin 15. The Death of Darwin V. Diversity Introduction 16. Toward a Synthesis in Biological Classification 17. Museums and Biological Laboratories 18. Problems in the Classification of Birds VI. Species Introduction 19. The Species Category 20. The Ontology of the Species Taxon VII. Speciation Introduction 21. Processes of Speciation in Animals 22. Evolution of Fish Species Flocks VIII. Macro Evolution Introduction 23. Does Microevolution Explain Macroevolution? 24. The Unity of the Genotype 25. Speciation and Macroevolution 26. Speciational Evolution through Punctuated Equilibria IX. Historical Perspective Introduction 27. On Weismann's Growth as an Evolutionist 28. On the Evolutionary Synthesis and After Index

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Ernst Mayr is Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology, Emeritus, at Harvard University. He is also the recipient of numerous honorary degrees and awards, including the Crafoord Prize for Biology, the National Medal of Science, the Balzan Prize, and the Japan Prize.

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