Sex and Death: An Introduction to Philosophy of Biology

Sex and Death An Introduction to Philosophy of Biology 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 spec

  • Title: Sex and Death: An Introduction to Philosophy of Biology
  • Author: Kim Sterelny Paul E. Griffiths
  • ISBN: 9780226773049
  • Page: 232
  • Format: Paperback
  • 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 oIs 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.

    One thought on “Sex and Death: An Introduction to Philosophy of Biology”

    1. With the exception of the sixth chapter titled "Mendel and Molecules," this book is a pretty accessible introduction to the philosophy of evolutionary biology. I do think that it should have been noted in the title that this book was focused squarely on evolutionary issues as opposed to other issues in philosophy of biology. These issues are important but they do not speak to other issues in the philosophy of biology as a whole that are also worth exploring. The book is one that I would recommen [...]

    2. This work touches on just about all the major issues in the philosophy of biology. I found it to be the perfect blend of readability and deep, philosophical probing. Since it is a survey of many complex and difficult issues, a certain amount of brevity is to be expected from each chapter, but the two authors still do a fine job at exposing the heart of the disagreements in all the issues. And each section provides suggestions for further reading at the end of each chapter, highlighting some of t [...]

    3. I read in a "Philosophy of Biology" course in undergrad, this was an instrumental text, providing me with heaps of new conceptual machinery with which to think about Biology, Genetics, "Optimization" and Causation. In particular, i enjoyed the idea of the Fitness Landscape (enpedia/wiki/Fitness_). If that seems like your bag, and you like the probabilistic element of genetics, this book is going to rock for you.

    4. If you're into the accessibility of a Stephen Jay Gould or Richard Dawkins, this book will be a challenge to read. In fact, it reminds me much more of Elliot Sober, one of the more famous Philosophers of Biology cited in this book. As 'an Introduction to Philosophy of Biology', 'Sex and Death' is more accessible than the work of Sober, and it is a well-organized and presented survey of the philosophy of biology, assuming that the reader has already had a fairly ample exposure to the subject.

    5. The authors make no secret of their own favored perspectives, but they are also remarkably fair to views they do not hold. Considering the scientific politics involved, that says a lot for their integrity.

    6. Very clear, well-rounded, and excellent explanation of the various concepts and problems in phil of bio. It manages to go really in depth with many things, yet remains rather accessible to laypeople

    7. An excellent primer to current debates in philosophy of biology. Where this classic text starts to show its age the newer Introduction by Peter Godfrey-Smith will do as a useful companion text.

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