By Daniel W. McShea, Alexander Rosenberg

Is lifestyles a simply actual method? what's human nature? Which of our characteristics is key to us? during this quantity, Daniel McShea and Alex Rosenberg – a biologist and a thinker, respectively – sign up for forces to create a brand new gateway to the philosophy of biology; making the foremost concerns available and proper to biologists and philosophers alike.

Exploring thoughts similar to supervenience; the controversies approximately genocentrism and genetic determinism; and the controversy approximately significant transitions important to modern brooding about macroevolution; the authors lay out the vast phrases within which we must always determine the impression of biology on human capacities, social associations and moral values.

Show description

Read Online or Download Philosophy of Biology: A Contemporary Introduction (Routledge Contemporary Introductions to Philosophy) PDF

Similar philosophy books

Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Plato and the Trial of Socrates

This guidebook introduces and examines Plato's 3 dialogues that care for the demise of Socrates: Euthphryo, Apology and Crito. those dialogues are generally considered as the nearest exposition of Socrates' ideas.

Part of the Routledge Philosophy Guidebooks sequence.

Jean-François Lyotard (Routledge Critical Thinkers)

Jean-François Lyotard is among the so much celebrated proponents of what has develop into often called the 'postmodern'. greater than nearly the other modern theorist, he has explored the family members among wisdom, artwork, politics and background, in ways in which provide radical new chances for considering glossy tradition.

Paul Celan and Martin Heidegger: An Unresolved Conversation, 1951-1970

This paintings explores the bothered dating and unfinished highbrow discussion among Paul Celan, appeared through many because the most crucial ecu poet after 1945, and Martin Heidegger, maybe the main influential determine in twentieth-century philosophy. It facilities at the chronic ambivalence Celan, a Holocaust survivor, felt towards a philosopher who revered him and every now and then promoted his poetry.

Three Critics of the Enlightenment: Vico, Hamann, Herder (2nd Edition)

Isaiah Berlin used to be deeply sought after in the course of his existence, yet his complete contribution used to be possibly underestimated due to his choice for the lengthy essay shape. The efforts of Henry Hardy to edit Berlin's paintings and reintroduce it to a wide, keen readership have long gone a long way to treatment this. Now, Princeton is happy to come back to print, lower than one disguise, Berlin's essays on those celebrated and pleasing highbrow pictures: Vico, Hamann, and Herder.

Additional resources for Philosophy of Biology: A Contemporary Introduction (Routledge Contemporary Introductions to Philosophy)

Sample text

Naturally, this is something no biologist is willing to do. Are there alternatives to natural selection as the cause of adaptation? Two hundred years ago, the French biologist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (1809) offered a theory based on use and disuse, accepted by some before Darwin (and to some extent by Darwin himself). Consider again the neck of the giraffe. Lamarck’s theory was that from an early age, each giraffe was stretching its neck to reach the tasty leaves at the tops of trees, and that a lifetime of stretching not only lengthened the giraffe’s neck but the longer neck was inherited by its offspring.

There are no places or times in which different laws of nature obtain. There could of course be, say, one and only one black hole in the entire universe, but its behavior will be the result of the operation of laws that would affect other black holes, if they existed, anywhere in the universe. So, there are no laws about Napoleon Bonaparte, or laws true only on the moon, or laws that obtain only during the Jurassic period. Of course Napoleon may combine properties, such as ambition, intelligence, and ruthlessness, never before or since brought together in exactly the same proportions, and 38 Philosophy of Biology these may explain his career.

The disadvantages are: there is no evidence in its favor and plenty of evidence against it. Obvious evidence against Lamarck is all around us in human history. For example, in China girls’ feet were bound for millennia, without any effect on their size at birth or their size if left unbound. Equally important, Lamarck’s theory requires that there be a causal chain from the act of neck stretching in some giraffe parent to that parent’s hereditary material (in modern terms, its DNA), so that the parent can produce an offspring with a longer neck.

Download PDF sample

Rated 4.97 of 5 – based on 6 votes