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Evolutionary Biology
Conceptual, Ethical, and Religious Issues

CAD$39.95 (C)

Francisco Ayala, Elliott Sober, Philip Kitcher, Marc Ereshefsky, David Castle, R. Paul Thompson, Jean Gayon, Jane Maienschein, Manfred Laubichler, John Beatty, Denis Walsh, Alex Rosenberg
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  • Date Published: March 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316649671

CAD$ 39.95 (C)

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About the Authors
  • Evolution - both the fact that it occurred and the theory describing the mechanisms by which it occurred - is an intrinsic and central component in modern biology. Theodosius Dobzhansky captures this well in the much-quoted title of his 1973 paper 'Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution'. The correctness of this assertion is even more obvious today: philosophers of biology and biologists agree that the fact of evolution is undeniable and that the theory of evolution explains that fact. Such a theory has far-reaching implications. In this volume, eleven distinguished scholars address the conceptual, metaphysical and epistemological richness of the theory and its ethical and religious impact, exploring topics including DNA barcoding, three grand challenges of human evolution, functionalism, historicity, design, evolution and development, and religion and secular humanism. The volume will be of great interest to those studying philosophy of biology and evolutionary biology.

    • Features essays from eleven internationally renowned scholars of evolutionary biology
    • Covers a range of philosophical issues of contemporary importance
    • Includes discussion of the ethical and religious impact of evolutionary biology
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This volume is not just an homage to Ruse, it contains provocative and creative essays by an impressive list of all-stars in the philosophy of biology.' Richard A. Richards, The Quarterly Review of Biology

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2017
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316649671
    • length: 256 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 153 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.38kg
    • contains: 9 b/w illus. 2 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Human evolution: the three grand challenges of human biology Francisco Ayala
    Part I. Evolution and Theology:
    2. Evolutionary theory, causal completeness, and theism - the case of 'guided' mutation Elliott Sober
    3. Religion, truth and progress Philip Kitcher
    Part II. Taxonomy and Systematics:
    4. Consilience, historicity, and the species problem Marc Ereshefsky
    5. DNA barcoding and taxonomic practice David Castle
    Part III. The Structure of Evolutionary Theory:
    6. Darwin's theory and the value of mathematical formalisation R. Paul Thompson
    7. Population genetics, economic theory, and eugenics in R. A. Fisher Jean Gayon
    8. Exploring development and evolution on the tangled bank Jane Maienschein and Manfred Laubichler
    Part IV. Function, Adaptation and Design:
    9. Darwin's cyclopean architect John Beatty
    10. Function and teleology Denis Walsh
    11. How physics fakes design Alex Rosenberg.

  • Editors

    R. Paul Thompson, University of Toronto
    R. Paul Thompson is Professor in the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology and the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Toronto. His most recent books include The Structure of Biological Theories (1989) and Agro-Technology (Cambridge, 2011) and he is editor of Issues in Evolutionary Ethics (1995).

    Denis Walsh, University of Toronto
    Denis Walsh holds the Canada Research Chair in the Philosophy of Biology and is a member of the Department of Philosophy at the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, and the Department for Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Toronto. He is editor of Naturalism, Evolution and Mind (Cambridge, 2001).


    Francisco Ayala, Elliott Sober, Philip Kitcher, Marc Ereshefsky, David Castle, R. Paul Thompson, Jean Gayon, Jane Maienschein, Manfred Laubichler, John Beatty, Denis Walsh, Alex Rosenberg

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