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Philosophy of Microbiology


  • Date Published: August 2014
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107621503

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About the Authors
  • Microbes and microbiology are seldom encountered in philosophical accounts of the life sciences. Although microbiology is a well-established science and microbes the basis of life on this planet, neither the organisms nor the science have been seen as philosophically significant. This book will change that. It fills a major gap in the philosophy of biology by examining central philosophical issues in microbiology. Topics are drawn from evolutionary microbiology, microbial ecology, and microbial classification. These discussions are aimed at philosophers and scientists who wish to gain insight into the basic philosophical issues of microbiology.

    • Fills a major gap in the philosophy of biology, which is currently limited to large-organism biology
    • Demonstrates to philosophers and scientists the philosophical topics inherent in the study of microorganisms
    • Microbiology and microbes have not been seen as philosophically significant – this book will change that
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Many readers will be familiar with the basic concepts behind the topics discussed in this book, but the author's treatment of these topics is guaranteed to make readers think about them more deeply and in new ways … Recommended. Graduate students, researchers/faculty, professionals/practitioners.' R. K. Harris, Choice

    'Philosophy of Microbiology raises new questions relevant to both historical and contemporary topics in the philosophy of science, such as modelling and individuality. I recommend this book to philosophers of science who wish to see old philosophical questions in a new and stimulating context.' Alison K. McConwell, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science

    'Philosophy of Microbiology is a thought-provoking and comprehensive look at the influence of microbiology on how we conceive of and study the living world.' Paul Sniegowski, The Quarterly Review of Biology

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2014
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107621503
    • length: 280 pages
    • dimensions: 226 x 150 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.41kg
    • contains: 26 b/w illus. 1 table
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    An introduction to philosophy of microbiology
    1. Philosophy in microbiology
    microbes in philosophy
    2. Philosophical debates in high-level microbial classification
    3. Philosophical debates in species-level microbial classification
    4. Philosophical issues in microbial evolution
    5. Microbial ecology from a philosophical perspective
    6. Microbes as model biological systems
    Conclusion. Further philosophical questions.

  • Author

    Maureen O'Malley, University of Sydney
    Maureen O'Malley is a Senior Researcher in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Sydney.

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