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Philosophy of Biology: A Very Short Introduction

Samir Okasha

November 2019

ISBN: 9780198806998

152 pages
Paperback
174x111mm

In Stock

Very Short Introductions

Price: £8.99

Covering some of science's most divisive topics, such as philosophical issues in genetics and evolution, the philosophy of biology also encompasses more traditional philosophical questions, such as free will, essentialism, and nature vs nurture. Here, Samir Okasha outlines the core issues with which contemporary philosophy of biology is engaged.

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Description

Covering some of science's most divisive topics, such as philosophical issues in genetics and evolution, the philosophy of biology also encompasses more traditional philosophical questions, such as free will, essentialism, and nature vs nurture. Here, Samir Okasha outlines the core issues with which contemporary philosophy of biology is engaged.

  • Offers an accessible introduction to the core issues in the expanding field of philosophy of biology, such as the theory of evolution by natural selection; the concepts of function and design; biological individuality; and the debate over adaptationism
  • Uses concrete biological examples to illustrate philosophical ideas
  • Concludes with important reflections on the relevance of biology for understanding human beings, human society, and our place in the natural world
  • Ideal for biology students interested in the philosophical foundations of their field
  • Part of the Very Short Introduction series - over nine million copies sold worldwide

About the Author(s)

Samir Okasha, Professor of Philosophy of Science, University of Bristol

Samir Okasha is Professor of Philosophy of Science at the University of Bristol, where he has taught since 2003. He was awarded a European Research Council Advanced Investigator Award in 2012 for a research project entitled 'Darwinism and the Theory of Rational Choice', and he has written over 100 articles in leading journals on diverse topics across philosophy of science and evolutionary biology. He is also the author of several books, including Philosophy of Science: A Very Short Introduction (OUP, 2002), and Evolution and the Levels of Selection (OUP, 2006), for which he received the Lakatos Award.

Table of Contents

    1:Why philosophy of biology?
    2:Evolution and natural selection
    3:Teleology, function, and purpose
    4:Species and classification
    5:Biological individuality
    6:Genes
    7:Biology, culture, and society
    Further reading
    Index

Reviews

"Okasha's book will prove to be a very useful resource for introducing undergraduate students to the elements of philosophy of biology." - Joeri Witteveen and Sara Green, Metascience

"In this accessible, beautifully and clearly written book, Samir Okasha presents some of the major topics in the Philosophy of Biology. The book illuminates the intimate relations between the science and the philosophy of biology, and is an excellent and solid basis for exploring the new theoretical frameworks and controversies that are emerging in this vibrant field." - Professor Eva Jablonka, Tel Aviv University

"In this excellent addition to the Very Short Introduction series, Samir Okasha offers a lucid and concise account of one of the most vital fields in contemporary philosophy. This will be the best starting point for anyone interested in exploring philosophical reflection on the biological sciences." - Philip Kitcher, Columbia University

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