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Philosophy Of Biology : Dimensions of Philosophy Series - Elliott Sober

Philosophy Of Biology

Dimensions of Philosophy Series

Paperback

Published: 12th January 2000
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Perhaps because of it implications for our understanding of human nature, recent philosophy of biology has seen what might be the most dramatic work in the philosophies of the ”special” sciences. This drama has centered on evolutionary theory, and in the second edition of this textbook, Elliott Sober introduces the reader to the most important issues of these developments. With a rare combination of technical sophistication and clarity of expression, Sober engages both the higher level of theory and the direct implications for such controversial issues as creationism, teleology, nature versus nurture, and sociobiology. Above all, the reader will gain from this book a firm grasp of the structure of evolutionary theory, the evidence for it, and the scope of its explanatory significance.

List of Boxes and Figuresp. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Introductionp. xv
What Is Evolutionary Theory?p. 1
What Is Evolution?p. 1
The Place of Evolutionary Theory in Biologyp. 5
Pattern and Processp. 7
Historical Particulars and General Lawsp. 14
The Causes of Evolutionp. 18
The Domains of Biology and Physicsp. 22
Biological Explanations and Physical Explanationsp. 25
Suggestions for Further Readingp. 26
Creationismp. 27
The Danger of Anachronismp. 27
Paley's Watch and the Likelihood Principlep. 30
Hume's Critiquep. 33
Why Natural Selection Isn't a Random Processp. 36
Two Kinds of Similarityp. 39
The Problem of Predictive Equivalencep. 42
Is the Design Hypothesis Unscientific?p. 46
The Incompleteness of Sciencep. 55
Suggestions for Further Readingp. 57
Fitnessp. 58
An Idealized Life Cyclep. 58
The Interpretation of Probabilityp. 61
Two Ways to Find Out About Fitnessp. 68
The Tautology Problemp. 70
Superveniencep. 74
Advantageousness and Fitnessp. 78
Teleology Naturalizedp. 83
Suggestions for Further Readingp. 88
The Units of Selection Problemp. 89
Hierarchyp. 89
Adaptation and Fortuitous Benefitp. 96
Decoupling Parts and Wholesp. 100
Red Herringsp. 102
Examplesp. 108
Correlation, Cost, and Benefitp. 111
Suggestions for Further Readingp. 119
Adaptationismp. 121
What Is Adaptationism?p. 121
How Genetics Can Get in the Wayp. 125
Is Adaptationism Untestable?p. 130
The Argument from Complex Traitsp. 132
If Optimality Models Are Too Easy to Produce, Let's Make Them Harderp. 133
Game Theoryp. 138
Suggestions for Further Readingp. 145
Systematicsp. 146
The Death of Essentialismp. 148
Individuality and the Species Problemp. 152
Three Systematic Philosophiesp. 162
Internal Coherencep. 169
Phylogenetic Inference Based on Overall Similarityp. 172
Parsimony and Phylogenetic Inferencep. 176
Suggestions for Further Readingp. 187
Sociobiology and the Extension of Evolutionary Theoryp. 188
Biological Determinismp. 189
Does Sociobiology Have an Ideological Function?p. 198
Anthropomorphism Versus Linguistic Puritanismp. 201
Ethicsp. 206
Models of Cultural Evolutionp. 213
Suggestions for Further Readingp. 220
Referencesp. 221
Indexp. 231
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780813391267
ISBN-10: 0813391261
Series: Dimensions of Philosophy Series
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 255
Published: 12th January 2000
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.9  x 1.7
Weight (kg): 0.39
Edition Number: 2
Edition Type: New edition