Faculty Book: Peter Godfrey-Smith
Philosophy of Biology
(Princeton University Press, 2014)
This introduction to the philosophy of biology provides sophisticated and innovative coverage of the central topics and many of the latest developments in the field. Emphasizing connections between biological theories and other areas of philosophy, and carefully explaining both philosophical and biological terms, the author discusses the relation between philosophy and science; examines the role of laws, mechanistic explanation, and idealized models in biological theories; describes evolution by natural selection; and assesses attempts to extend Darwin’s mechanism to explain changes in ideas, culture, and other phenomena. Further topics include functions and teleology, individuality and organisms, species, the tree of life, and human nature. The book closes with detailed treatments of the evolution of cooperation, of information in biology, and of the role of communication in living systems at all scales. Peter Godfrey-Smith is a distinguished professor of philosophy at the Graduate Center.
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Submitted on: JAN 31, 2014