Sex and Death

Author: Kim Sterelny
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022617865X
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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.

Genetics and Philosophy

Author: Paul Griffiths
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1107354765
Format: PDF, Kindle
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In the past century, nearly all of the biological sciences have been directly affected by discoveries and developments in genetics, a fast-evolving subject with important theoretical dimensions. In this rich and accessible book, Paul Griffiths and Karola Stotz show how the concept of the gene has evolved and diversified across the many fields that make up modern biology. By examining the molecular biology of the 'environment', they situate genetics in the developmental biology of whole organisms, and reveal how the molecular biosciences have undermined the nature/nurture distinction. Their discussion gives full weight to the revolutionary impacts of molecular biology, while rejecting 'genocentrism' and 'reductionism', and brings the topic right up to date with the philosophical implications of the most recent developments in genetics. Their book will be invaluable for those studying the philosophy of biology, genetics and other life sciences.

The Philosophy of Biology

Author: David L. Hull
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN:
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The aim of this series is to bring together important recent writings in major areas of philosophical inquiry, selected from a variety of sources, mostly periodicals, which may not be conveniently available to the university student or the general reader. The editors of each volume contribute an introductory essay on the items chosen and on the questions with which they deal. A selective bibliography is appended as a guide to further reading. The philosophy of biology today is one of the most exciting areas in philosophical inquiry. Drawing on work of the past decade, this volume brings together articles from the philosophy, history, and sociology of science, as well as many branches of the biological sciences, to consider issues including the nature of evolutionary theory, biology and ethics, the challenge from religion, and the social implications of biology today (in particular the Human Genome Project). The 36 articles in this collection are divided into 10 parts, each with an introduction by the editors. Spanning issues from epistemology across to ethics, the volume delves into the latest theoretical controversies as well as burning questions of contemporary social importance. Throughout the volume an attempt is made to offer positions from different perspectives, so that the reader will be challenged as well as informed. The Philosophy of Biology will be essential and fascinating reading for students of philosophy and biology as well as the general reader with an interest in the natural sciences and evolution.

Evolution and the Big Questions

Author: David N. Stamos
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1444359002
Format: PDF
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This provocative text considers whether evolutionary explanations can be used to clarify some of life’s biggest questions. Examines topics of race, sex, gender, the nature of language, religion, ethics, knowledge, consciousness and ultimately, the meaning of life Each chapter presents a main topic, together with discussion of related ideas and arguments from various perspectives Addresses questions such as: Did evolution make men and women fundamentally different? Is the concept of race merely a social construction? Is morality, including universal human rights, a mass delusion? Can religion and evolution really be harmonized? Does evolution render life meaningless? Written in a clear and informative style, with helpful references for further reading and research

The Ethics of Inheritable Genetic Modification

Author: John Rasko
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521529730
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Is inheritable genetic modification the new dividing line in gene therapy? The editors of this searching investigation, representing clinical medicine, public health and biomedical ethics, have established a distinguished team of scientists and scholars to address the issues from the perspectives of biological and social science, law and ethics, including an intriguing Foreword from Peter Singer. Their purpose is to consider how society might deal with the ethical concerns raised by inheritable genetic modification, and to re-examine prevailing views about whether these procedures will ever be ethically and socially justifiable. The book also provides background to define the field, and discusses the biological and technological potential for inheritable genetic modification, its limitations, and its connection with gene therapy, cloning, and other reproductive interventions. For scientists, bioethicists, clinicians, counsellors and public commentators, this is an essential contribution to one of the critical debates in current genetics.

The Ethics of Genetic Engineering

Author: Roberta M. Berry
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135195846
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Human genetic engineering may soon be possible. The gathering debate about this prospect already threatens to become mired in irresolvable disagreement. After surveying the scientific and technological developments that have brought us to this pass, The Ethics of Genetic Engineering focuses on the ethical and policy debate, noting the deep divide that separates proponents and opponents. The book locates the source of this divide in differing framing assumptions: reductionist pluralist on one side, holist communitarian on the other. The book argues that we must bridge this divide, drawing on the resources from both encampments, if we are to understand and cope with the distinctive problems posed by genetic engineering. These problems, termed "fractious problems," are novel, complex, ethically fraught, unavoidably of public concern, and unavoidably divisive. Berry examines three prominent ethical and political theories – utilitarianism, Kantianism, and virtue ethics – to consider their competency in bridging the divide and addressing these fractious problems. The book concludes that virtue ethics can best guide parental decision making and that a new policymaking approach sketched here, a "navigational approach," can best guide policymaking. These approaches enable us to gain a rich understanding of the problems posed and to craft resolutions adequate to their challenges.

Conceptual Issues in Evolutionary Biology

Author: Elliott Sober
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262691628
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There has been considerable and lively debate in philosophy of biology over the decade since the first edition of this anthology appeared. Changes and additions in the new edition reflect the ways in which the subject has broadened and deepened on several fronts; more than half of the-chapters are new. In all, twenty-three selections take up fitness, function and teleology, adaptationism, units of selection, essentialism and population thinking, species, systematic philosophies, phylogenetic inference, reduction of Mendelian genetics to molecular biology, ethics and sociobiology, and cultural evolution and evolutionary epistemology. Elliott Sober is Hans Reichenbach Professor of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

The Cambridge Companion to the Philosophy of Biology

Author: David L. Hull
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781139827621
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The philosophy of biology is one of the most exciting new areas in the field of philosophy and one that is attracting much attention from working scientists. This Companion, edited by two of the founders of the field, includes newly commissioned essays by senior scholars and up-and-coming younger scholars who collectively examine the main areas of the subject - the nature of evolutionary theory, classification, teleology and function, ecology, and the problematic relationship between biology and religion, among other topics. Up-to-date and comprehensive in its coverage, this unique volume will be of interest not only to professional philosophers but also to students in the humanities and researchers in the life sciences and related areas of inquiry.

The Selfish Gene

Author: Richard Dawkins
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 9780192860927
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An ethologist shows man to be a gene machine whose world is one of savage competition and deceit

What Emotions Really Are

Author: Paul E. Griffiths
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226308760
Format: PDF, Docs
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In this provocative contribution to the philosophy of science and mind, Paul E. Griffiths criticizes contemporary philosophy and psychology of emotion for failing to take in an evolutionary perspective and address current work in neurobiology and cognitive science. Reviewing the three current models of emotion, Griffiths points out their deficiencies and constructs a basis for future models that pay equal attention to biological fact and conceptual rigor. "Griffiths has written a work of depth and clarity in an area of murky ambiguity, producing a much-needed standard at the border of science, philosophy, and psychology. . . . As he presents his case, offering a forthright critique of past and present theories, Griffiths touches on such issues as evolution, social construction, natural kinds (categories corresponding with real distinctions in nature), cognition, and moods. While addressing specialists, the book will reward general readers who apply themselves to its remarkably accessible style."—Library Journal "What Emotions Really Are makes a strong claim to be one of the best books to have emerged on the subject of human emotion."—Ray Dolan, Nature