Philosophy of Biology
ISBN: 0691174679
EAN13: 9780691174679
Language: English
Pages: 200
Dimensions: 1.00" H x 8.00" L x 5.00" W
Weight: 1.00 lbs.
Format: Paperback
Book Overview
An essential introduction to the philosophy of biology This is a concise, comprehensive, and accessible introduction to the philosophy of biology written by a leading authority on the subject. Geared to philosophers, biologists, and students of both, the book provides sophisticated and innovative coverage of the central topics and many of the latest developments in the field. Emphasizing connections between biological theories and other areas of philosophy, and carefully explaining both philosophical and biological terms, Peter Godfrey-Smith discusses the relation between philosophy and science; examines the role of laws, mechanistic explanation, and idealized models in biological theories; describes evolution by natural selection; and assesses attempts to extend Darwin's mechanism to explain changes in ideas, culture, and other phenomena. Further topics include functions and teleology, individuality and organisms, species, the tree of life, and human nature. The book closes with detailed, cutting-edge treatments of the evolution of cooperation, of information in biology, and of the role of communication in living systems at all scales. Authoritative and up-to-date, this is an essential guide for anyone interested in the important philosophical issues raised by the biological sciences.
Editor Reviews
From the Back Cover This accessible book does justice both to the subject and the reader. With admirable clarity, Peter Godfrey-Smith demonstrates why the philosophy of biology is one of the most exciting areas in contemporary philosophy. --Philip Kitcher, Columbia University This is a provocative and exciting look at many of the central issues in the philosophy of biology. Godfrey-Smith's book will shape the philosophical discussion for many years to come. --Michael Weisberg, University of Pennsylvania Clearly written and up to date, this valuable book provides a really useful overview of the philosophy of biology, as well as some distinctive arguments. Perhaps uniquely, the book succeeds in presenting its topics as clearly philosophical while engaging the relevant biology. --John Dupré, University of Exeter