Biology raises distinct questions of its own not only for philosophy of science, but for metaphysics, epistemology and ethics. This book provides a presentation of the key philosophical issues. It covers the philosophical challenges posed by evolution and evolutionary biology, beginning with Darwin's central argument in the Origin of the Species.
Individual chapters cover natural selection, the selfish gene, alternative units of selection, developmental systems theory, adaptionism and issues in macroevolution. The second part of the book examines philosophical questions arising in connection with biological traits, function, nature and nurture, and biological kinds. The third part of the book examines metaphysical questions, biology's relation with the traditional concerns of philosophy of science, and how evolution has been introduced into epistemological debates. The final part considers the relevance of biology to questions about ethics, religion and human nature.
An accessibly written introductory textbook that covers considerable ground... views and arguments are explained clearly. Garvey's book illustrates how biology has become relevant for a wide range of disciplines, including epistemology, religion, and ethics. Some of these topics are not always seen as parts of philosophy of biology proper. In taking a broad and inclusive view of philosophy of biology, the book may appeal to a readership with diverse interests and backgrounds. - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science "Brian Garvey's book on the philosophy of biology is an excellent introduction to the topic and deserves to be widely read. Students will come away informed and excited about the subject." - Michael Ruse, Florida State University "An intelligent and engaging book that gives clear and stimulating coverage of a good range of topics in the philosophy of biology." - James Maclaurin, University of Otago
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