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Sex and Death : An Introduction to Philosophy of Biology - Kim Sterelny

Sex and Death

An Introduction to Philosophy of Biology

Paperback

Published: 1st January 1999
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Is the history of life a series of accidents or a drama scripted by selfish genes? Is there an "essential" human nature, determined at birth or in a distant evolutionary past? What should we conserve--species, ecosystems, or something else?
Informed answers to questions like these, critical to our understanding of ourselves and the world around us, require both a knowledge of biology and a philosophical framework within which to make sense of its findings. In this accessible introduction to philosophy of biology, Kim Sterelny and Paul E. Griffiths present both the science and the philosophical context necessary for a critical understanding of the most exciting debates shaping biology today. The authors, both of whom have published extensively in this field, describe the range of competing views--including their own--on these fascinating topics.
With its clear explanations of both biological and philosophical concepts, "Sex and Death" will appeal not only to undergraduates, but also to the many general readers eager to think critically about the science of life.

Preface
Theory Really Matters: Philosophy of Biology and Social Issues
The Science of Life Itself
Is There an Essential Human Nature?
Is Genuine Altruism Possible?
Are Human Beings Programmed by Their Genes?
Biology and the Pre-emption of Social Science
What Should Conservationists Conserve?
The Received View of Evolution
The Diversity of Life
Evolution and Natural Selection
The Received View and Its Challenges
Genes, Molecules, and Organisms
The Gene's Eye View of Evolution
Replicators and Interactors
The Special Status of Replicators
The Bookkeeping Argument
The Extended Phenotype
The Organisim Strikes Back
What Is a Gene?
Genes Are Active Germ Line Replicators
Genes Are Difference Makers
The Developmental Systems Alternative
Gene Selectionism and Development
Epigenetic Inheritance and Beyond
The Interactionist Consensus
Information in Development
Other Grounds for Privileging Genes
Developmental Systems and Extended Replicators
One True Story?
Mendel and Molecules
How Theories Relate: Displacement, Incorporation, and Integration
What Is Mendelian Genetics?
Molecular Genetics: Transcription and Translation
Gene Regulation
Are Genes Protein Makers?
Reduction: For and Against
The Antireductionist Consensus
Reduction by Degrees?
Are Genes DNA Sequences Plus Contexts?
The Reductionist Anticonsensus
Organisms, Groups, and Species
Organisms, Groups, and Superorganisms
Interactors
The Challenge of Altruism
Group Selection: Take 1
Group Selection: Take 2
Population-Structured Evolution
Organisms and Superorganisms
Species
Are Species Real?
The Nature of Species
The One True Tree of Life
Species Selection
Evolutionary Explanations
Adaptation, Perfection, Function
Adaptation
Function
The Attack on Adaptationism
What Is Adaptationism?
Structuralism and theBauplan
Optimality and Falsifiability
Adaptation and the Comparative Method
Adaptation, Ecology, and the Environment
The Received View in Ecology
History and Theory in Ecology
The Balance of Nature
Niches and Organisms
Reconstructing Niches
Unfinished Business
Life on Earth: The Big Picture
The Arrow of Time and the Ladder of Progress
Gould's Challenge
What Is Disparity?
Contingency and Its Consequences
Mass Extinction and the History of Life
Conclusions
Evolution and Human Nature
From Sociobiology to Evolutionary Psychology
1975 and All That
The Wilson Program
From Darwinian Behaviorism to Darwinian Psychology
Evolutionary Psychology and Its Promise
Evolutionary Psychology and Its Problems
Memes and Cultural Evolution
A Case Study: Evolutionary Theories of Emotion
Darwin on the Emotions
Sociobiology and Evolutionary Psychology on the Emotions
The Modular Emotions
Beyond the Modular Emotions
Emotion, Evolution, and Evolved Psychology
Concluding Thoughts
What Is Life?
Defining Life
Universal Biology
Simulation and Emergence Final Thoughts
Glossary
References
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780226773049
ISBN-10: 0226773043
Series: Science & Its Conceptual Foundations (Paperback)
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 456
Published: 1st January 1999
Publisher: UNIV OF CHICAGO PR
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 15.3 x 22.8  x 2.8
Weight (kg): 0.69
Edition Number: 2