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Michael R. He has degrees from the University of Sydney in science, philosophy, psychology, history and philosophy of science, and education. He has published in philosophy of education, history and philosophy of science, and science education.


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Matthews is quite welcome in the domain of science education SE. JavaScript is currently disabled, this site works much better if you enable JavaScript in your browser. Free Preview. Buy eBook.

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An eBook version of this title already exists in your shopping cart. If you would like to replace it with a different purchasing option please remove the current eBook option from your cart. Paperback : Researchers without biological training shouldn't be scared of reading articles in biology journals. Many debates take place across disciplines these days, and you will miss out if you only read philosophy journals. It and many other useful biology journals are held in the Central Science Library, only a stone's throw from the Whipple.

The Whipple is also near to the Zoology Library, another useful research resource. Gould and Lewontin is probably the best place to start. The debate can get confusing and frustrating, as squabbling about whether adaptationism is right or wrong often kicks off before the multiple meanings of 'adaptationism' have been clarified. Sober's article is an exception, and provides a useful landmark in the post- Spandrels debate. Ron Amundson's contribution to the collection edited by Rose and Lauder is also extremely helpful. Many of the items in the following section on developmental biology also contain challenges to adaptationism.

Developmental biology is a topic attracting more and more interest from philosophers who are bored with thinking about species and the units of selection. Many of these items overlap with the related topics of innateness and the question of whether there is any sense in which genes can be said to carry information. A difficult topic with a huge literature. The questions raised under the units of selection debate are confusing because even the seasoned combatants often cannot decide what the debate is about.

John Maynard Smith thinks that Elliott Sober doesn't understand what the units of selection problem is.


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If Sober doesn't understand it, then there is little hope for the rest of us but it still makes an exciting topic for research. Items in the section on developmental biology are relevant here, too; developmental systems theorists believe they have powerful resources to undermine genic selectionism.

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The first two collections contain many seminal papers in the field. Another topic with an intimidating literature. Readers could then move on to Ereschefsky's collection, which contains many of the most important pieces. Wilson's recent collection contains some important newer contributions. The idea that evolution makes progress has tended to get more attention from historians than philosophers; however, the following are more philosophically oriented.

This said, the fight in print between Dawkins and Gould is of more interest as an entertaining spectacle than as an illuminating discussion. Sterelny offers some useful criticism. Nitecki's collection is probably the best place to start. Here follows a mish-mash of different evolutionary approaches to conceptual change, technology change, cultural change and more. Amundson's paper does a good job of distinguishing the question of whether selection processes are somehow involved in creating a set of phenomena, from what the explanatory import of the selection process may be.

Dawkins presents a first outline of what is now know as memetics, and his views are defended and extended by Dennett towards the end of his book. Hull offers a useful examination of the idea that cultural evolution is Lamarckian. Some of the most serious and fecund work in this area has been done by Boyd and Richerson, and their book is an excellent place to start.

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My own SEP article attempts an overview. The items listed below link evolutionary studies to ethics in a variety of ways. Joyce's recent book is a stimulating read, and may be a good place to start. Sober and Wilson's book is fast becoming a modern classic. Search site.

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International students Continuing education Executive and professional education Courses in education. Research at Cambridge. Philosophy of biology. Tim Lewens The literature on the philosophy of biology is enormous; what follows only scratches the surface. General Online resources The two leading online encyclopaedias of philosophy have good resources for philosophy of biology, and both are expanding the range of material they have available.

The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Information: 1st Edition (Hardback) - Routledge

Second Edition. Boulder: Westview. Sterelny, K. Griffiths Sex and Death. Chicago: Chicago University Press. An invigorating and comprehensive introduction. It also includes a helpful glossary of technical terms from biology. Lewens, T. London: Routledge. Ridley, M. Cambridge MA: Blackwell Scientific. Futuyma, D. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates.

Collections Sober, E. Sober, E. The three editions all contain slightly different material, and all are useful. Fox-Keller, E. Lloyd eds Keywords in Evolutionary Biology. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press. Hodge, J. Radick eds. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.