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How Biology Shapes Philosophy: New Foundations for Naturalism

By: David Livingstone Smith(Editor)

364 pages, 3 b/w illustrations

Cambridge University Press

Hardback | Dec 2016 | #238366 | ISBN-13: 9781107055834
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £78.99 $102 / €91 approx

About this book

How Biology Shapes Philosophy is a seminal contribution to the emerging field of biophilosophy. It brings together work by philosophers who draw on biology to address traditional and not so traditional philosophical questions and concerns. Thirteen essays by leading figures in the field explore the biological dimensions of ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, gender, semantics, rationality, representation, and consciousness, as well as the misappropriation of biology by philosophers, allowing the reader to critically interrogate the relevance of biology for philosophy.

Both rigorous and accessible, the essays illuminate philosophy and help us to acquire a deeper understanding of the human condition. How Biology Shapes Philosophy will be of interest to philosophers, biologists, social scientists, and other readers with an interest in bringing science and the humanities together.

"The essays cover a wide and felicitous range of topics [...] The contributors are a virtual Who's Who of contemporary philosophers working in the field: Daniel Dennett, Philip Kitcher, Patricia Churchland, Samir Okasha, Peter Godfrey-Smith, Karen Neander, and others [...] Highly recommended."


1. Biophilosophy / David Livingstone Smith
2. Darwin and the overdue demise of essentialism / Daniel C. Dennett
3. Darwinism as philosophy: can the universal acid be contained? / Alexander Rosenberg
4. Animal evolution and the origins of experience / Peter Godfrey-Smith
5. Neurophilosophy / Patricia Churchland
6. Teleosemantics / David Papineau
7. The methodological argument for informational teleosemantics / Karen Neander
8. Nature's purposes and mine / Ronald De Sousa
9. Biology and the theory of rationality / Samir Okasha
10. Evolution and ethical life / Philip Kitcher
11. Human nature / Edouard Machery
12. A postgenomic perspective on sex and gender / John Dupré
13. Biophilosophy of race / Luc Faucher
14. How philosophers 'learn' from biology: reductionist and anti-reductionist 'lessons' / Richard N. Boyd

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David Livingstone Smith is Professor of Philosophy at the University of New England. His most recent book is Less Than Human: Why We Demean, Enslave and Exterminate Others (2011).

- David Livingstone Smith
- Daniel C. Dennett
- Alexander Rosenberg
- Peter Godfrey-Smith
- Patricia Churchland
- David Papineau
- Karen Neander
- Ronald De Sousa
- Samir Okasha
- Philip Kitcher
- Edouard Machery
- John Dupré
- Luc Faucher
- Richard N. Boyd

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