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Look Inside Thinking about Evolution

Thinking about Evolution
Historical, Philosophical, and Political Perspectives

$59.99 (C)

E. Balaban, J. Beatty, J.-P. Berlan, R. Brandon, R. Falk, J. Gayon, P. Godfrey-Smith, S. J. Gould, R. Gray, R. H. Haynes, R. Hubbard, P. Kitcher, C. B. Krimbas, R. C. Lewontin, R. Levins, L. Lloyd, D. Paul, M. Piattelli-Palmarini, R. Proctor, S. Rose, M. Ruvolo, S. Sarkar, J. C. Shank, M. Seielstad, R. S. Singh, E. Sober, H. Spencer, P. J. Taylor, J. Vandermeer, M. Veuille, W. Wimsatt
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  • Date Published: April 2011
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521178310

$ 59.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • This is the second of two volumes published by Cambridge University Press in honor of Richard Lewontin. The first volume, Evolutionary Genetics from Molecules to Morphology, honors Lewontin's more technical contributions to genetics and evolutionary biology. This second volume of essays honors the philosophical, historical, and political dimensions of his work. Given the range of Lewontin's own contributions, it is fitting that the volume covers such a wide range of perspectives on modern biology. He was a very successful practitioner of evolutionary genetics, a rigorous critic of the practices of genetics and evolutionary biology, as well as an articulate analyst of the social, political, and economic contexts and consequences of genetic and evolutionary research. The volume contains an essay by Lewontin on Natural History and Formalism in Evolutionary Genetics, and an extended interview with Lewontin, covering the history of evolutionary genetics as seen from his perspective and exemplified by his career. The remaining chapters, contributed by former students, post-docs, colleagues, and collaborators, cover issues ranging from the history and conceptual foundations of evolutionary biology and genetics, to the implications of human genetic diversity, to the political economy of agriculture and public health.

    • Written in honour of Richard Lewontin, one of the most distinguished population geneticists of our time
    • Covers all aspects of evolution, including social and political issues
    • Contributions from leading evolutionary biologists from all over the world
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "[this] volume is a valuable summary of the 'state of art' in the philosophy of evolutionary biology as well as containing a number of valuable articles critical of behavior genetics, sociobiology, and, by implication, parts of evolutionary psychology." Human Nature Review

    "This volume can be read by those interested in the broader aspects of science, the relationship between science and history, and science and politics. It provides a framework, by the example of one person's life and work, for how to situate science in society." Book Reviews

    "The scope and themes of the essays in this volume are a fitting honor to Richard Lewontin...More than 25 essays address the social science aspects of Lewontin's field(s) of experience" SB&F July/August 2001

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2011
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521178310
    • length: 626 pages
    • dimensions: 234 x 156 x 32 mm
    • weight: 0.87kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Does culture evolve? Richard Lewontin
    Part A. History of and in Evolutionary Biology:
    2. The nature of evolutionary biology: an interchange among Richard Lewontin, Diane Paul, John Beatty and Costas Krimbas
    3. Hannah Arendt and Karl Popper: Darwinism, Fatalism and Totalitarianism John Beatty
    4. The genetics of experimental populations: L'Heritier and Teisser's population cages Jean Gayon and Michel Veuille
    5. Did eugenics rest on an elementary mistake? Diane Paul and Hamish Spencer
    6. Can the norm of reaction save the gene concept? Rafi Falk
    7. The apportionment of human diversity twenty-five years later Maryellen Ruvolo and Mark Seielstad
    8. The Indian caste system: origin, evolution and impact on human diversity Rama Singh
    Part B. Philosophy of Evolutionary Biology:
    9. Selfish genes or developmental systems? Russel Gray
    10. The evolutionary definition of selective agency, the validation of the theory of hierarchical selection, and the fallacy of the selfish gene Stephen J. Gould
    11. Reductionism in genetics and the human genome project Sahotra Sarkar
    12. Organism and environment Peter Godfrey-Smith
    13. Levels and units of selection Lisa Lloyd
    14. In defense of neo-Darwinism: Popper's 'Darwinism as a metaphysical programme' revisited Costas Krimbas
    15. The two faces of fitness Elliot Sober
    16. Evolvability: adaptation and modularity Jeffrey C. Schank and Bill Wimsatt
    17. Organism and environment revisited Robert Brandon
    18. An 'irreducible' component of cognition Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini
    Part C. The Politics of Evolutionary Biology:
    19. What causes cancer? A political history of recent debates Robert Proctor
    20. Battling the undead: how (and how not) to resist genetic determinism Philip Kitcher
    21. The rise of neurogenetic determinism Steven Rose
    22. Behavior genetics: Galen's prophecy or Malpighi's legacy? Evan Balaban
    23. Identity politics and biology Ruth Hubbard
    24. The agroecosystem: the modern vision in crisis, the alternative evolving John Vandermeer
    25. Political economy of agricultural genetics Jean-Pierre Berlan
    26. The butterfly ex machina Richard Levins
    27. Evoking transmutational dread: military and civilian uses of nuclear and genetic alchemies Robert Haynes
    28. From natural selection to natural construction to disciplining unruly complexity: the challenge of integrating ecological dynamics into evolutionary theory Peter Taylor.

  • Editors

    Rama S. Singh, McMaster University, Ontario

    Costas B. Krimbas, Athens State University, Alabama

    Diane B. Paul, University of Massachusetts, Boston

    John Beatty, University of Minnesota


    E. Balaban, J. Beatty, J.-P. Berlan, R. Brandon, R. Falk, J. Gayon, P. Godfrey-Smith, S. J. Gould, R. Gray, R. H. Haynes, R. Hubbard, P. Kitcher, C. B. Krimbas, R. C. Lewontin, R. Levins, L. Lloyd, D. Paul, M. Piattelli-Palmarini, R. Proctor, S. Rose, M. Ruvolo, S. Sarkar, J. C. Shank, M. Seielstad, R. S. Singh, E. Sober, H. Spencer, P. J. Taylor, J. Vandermeer, M. Veuille, W. Wimsatt

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