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The Philosophy of Human Evolution

$29.99 (G)

Part of Cambridge Introductions to Philosophy and Biology

  • Date Published: February 2012
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521133722

$ 29.99 (G)

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About the Authors
  • This book provides a unique discussion of human evolution from a philosophical viewpoint, looking at the facts and interpretations since Charles Darwin's The Descent of Man. Michael Ruse explores such topics as the nature of scientific theories, the relationships between culture and biology, the problem of progress and the extent to which evolutionary issues pose problems for religious beliefs. He identifies these issues, highlighting the problems for morality in a world governed by natural selection. By taking a philosophical viewpoint, the full ethical and moral dimensions of human evolution are examined. This book engages the reader in a thorough discussion of the issues, appealing to students in philosophy, biology and anthropology.

    • Unique coverage of human evolution from a philosophical perspective
    • Covers a vast range of topics, including race and gender, and the controversy surrounding some of the discussions in these areas
    • Excellent introductory text for students, for use in the classroom, as well as for the general reader
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "… well-written … The book is also a clear demonstration that the field of philosophy itself has undergone evolutionary changes … The Philosophy of Human Evolution explores a range of topics that help to illuminate how we might integrate advances in evolutionary biology into our view of the world …"
    Christopher J. Wills, BioScience

    "This book should be a good read for those who are acquainted with the scientific issues and can muse over some of the sections … Recommended."
    F.S. Szalay, Choice

    "As one of the most prolific authors in the history and philosophy of evolutionary theory, Michael Ruse has undertaken to explore issues of human evolution from pre-Darwin days through Darwin’s own musings on the subject to contemporary examples such as the nature of race, sociobiology, and evolutionary psychology … this will make a very useful classroom textbook introducing students to a wide variety of issues surrounding human evolution that can be supplemented by additional readings on specific topics of interest."
    Garland E. Allen, The Quarterly Review of Biology

    "Michael Ruse's new book The Philosophy of Human Evolution is a historical and critical survey of the ways in which Darwinian thinking has clashed and interacted with the concerns of philosophers. Intended for a general audience, the book showcases Ruse's manifold skills as a writer. His prose is lucid, straightforward, and colloquial. Each paragraph leads into the next with elegant coherence and no complicated impediments to the smooth flow of ideas."
    Matt Cartmill, Reports of the National Center for Science Education

    "Ruse brings to the fore a diversity of important questions regarding human evolution … written in a direct, effective style, with a promising chapter architecture … a welcome supplement to recent books on human evolution."
    Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther, Evolution

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2012
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521133722
    • length: 282 pages
    • dimensions: 244 x 173 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.57kg
    • contains: 20 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Evolutionary biology
    2. Human evolution
    3. Real science, good science?
    4. Progress
    5. Knowledge
    6. Morality
    7. Sex, orientation, and race
    8. From eugenics to medicine

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Philosophy of Biology
    • Philosophy of Human Person ll
    • Philosophy of the Biological Body
  • Author

    Michael Ruse, Florida State University
    Michael Ruse is the Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor of Philosophy and the Director of the Program in the History and Philosophy of Science at Florida State University. His previous publications include Can a Darwinian be a Christian?: The Relationship between Science and Religion (Cambridge University Press, 2004), Darwinism and its Discontents (Cambridge University Press, 2008) and Science and Spirituality: Making Room for Faith in an Age of Science (Cambridge University Press, 2010).

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