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From a Biological Point of View

From a Biological Point of View
Essays in Evolutionary Philosophy

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Part of Cambridge Studies in Philosophy and Biology

  • Date Published: September 1994
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521477536

$ 63.00 (P)

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About the Authors
  • This new collection of essays will appeal to a readership that extends well beyond the frontiers of the philosophy of science. Sober shows how ideas in evolutionary biology bear in significant ways on traditional problems in philosophy of mind and language, epistemology, and metaphysics. Among the topics addressed are psychological egoism, solipsism, and the interpretation of belief and utterance, empiricism, Ockham's razor, causality, essentialism, and scientific laws.

    • Not just a book for philosophers of science - the book looks at issues in biology to address broader questions in epistemology, philosophy of mind, and metaphysics
    • Sober is considered by many the top philosopher of biology in the United States. He is the former winner of the prestigious Lakatos Prize
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    • Winner of the Lakatos Prize

    Reviews & endorsements

    "The arguments in each essay are cogent and presented in a clear style....For those biologists interested in these basic issues (and that should be most of us!) and with an adequate background this book offers rich material." Patrick W. Colgan, The Canadian Field-Naturalist

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 1994
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521477536
    • length: 268 pages
    • dimensions: 239 x 160 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.56kg
    • contains: 11 b/w illus. 1 table
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Did evolution make us psychological egoists?
    2. Why not solipsism?
    3. The adaptive advantage of learning and a priori prejudice
    4. The primacy of truth-telling and the evolution of lying
    5. Prospects for an evolutionary ethics
    6. Contrastive empiricism
    7. Let's razor Ockham's razor
    8. The principle of the common cause
    9. Explanatory presupposition
    10. Apportioning casual responsibility
    11. Evolution, population thinking, and essentialism
    12. Temporally oriented laws

  • Author

    Elliott Sober, University of Wisconsin, Madison
    Elliott Sober is Hans Reichenbach Professor of Philosophy and William F. Vilas Research Professor at University of Wisconsin-Madison where he has taught since 1974. His research is in philosophy of science, especially in the philosophy of evolutionary biology. Sober's books include The Nature of Selection - Evolutionary Theory in Philosophical Focus (1984), Reconstructing the Past - Parsimony, Evolution, and Inference (1988), Philosophy of Biology (1993), From a Biological Point of View - Essays in Evolutionary Philosophy (1994), and Unto Others - The Evolution and Psychology of Unselfish Behavior (1998), coauthored with David Sloan Wilson.


    • Winner of the Lakatos Prize

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