Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Genetics and Philosophy
An Introduction


Part of Cambridge Introductions to Philosophy and Biology

  • Date Published: April 2013
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521173902

£ 21.99

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available on inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • 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.

    • Presents the most recent developments in genetics and discusses the latest philosophical scholarship in the field
    • Situates genetics in the context of the developmental biology of whole organisms, rather than isolating it at the 'molecular level'
    • Discusses developments in genetics within a broad and philosophical focus, suitable for readers without a scientific background
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    'A valuable resource for students and other readers interested in science and philosophy and the history of these fields, along with modern applications of genetic information, including the bioethics of genomic analysis … Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through professionals; informed general audiences.' D. L. Beach, Choice

    'Griffiths and Stotz have written an important book. It is a bridge between the way scientists traditionally approach their work and the way philosophers do theirs.' Elof Axel Carlson, The Quarterly Review of Biology

    '… offers an in depth study of the current lines of thought in the field of philosophy of science and a thorough and thoughtful critical reflection … a relevant book for a diverse audience, including molecular biologists who want to read an in depth philosophical discussion of their field, as well as philosophers of science and philosophers in general.' Kristien Hens, Ethical Perspectives

    'This book is intended as an introduction to philosophical issues raised by genetics. One of its many strengths is that it construes genetics very broadly to include all of heredity, including genomics. The range of topics covered is admirable; all standard themes in the philosophy of genetics are treated at an introductory level - reductionism, genetic information, heritability, adaptationism, and so forth.' Sahotra Sarkar, Isis

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2013
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521173902
    • length: 280 pages
    • dimensions: 241 x 173 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.52kg
    • contains: 18 b/w illus. 3 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Mendel's gene
    2. The physical gene
    3. The behavioural gene
    4. The reactive genome
    5. Outside the gene
    6. The informational gene
    7. The evolving gene.

  • Authors

    Paul Griffiths, University of Sydney
    Paul Griffiths is University Professorial Research Fellow at the University of Sydney. He is the author of What Emotions Really Are: The Problem of Psychological Categories (1997) and Sex and Death: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Biology (with K. Sterelny, 1999). He is the editor of Trees of Life: Essays in Philosophy of Biology (1992), Biology and Philosophy (2000) and Cycles of Contingency: Developmental Systems and Evolution (with S. Oyama and R. D. Gray, 2001).

    Karola Stotz, University of Sydney
    Karola Stotz is an Australian Research Fellow at the University of Sydney in the project 'Postgenomic Perspectives on Human Nature'. She is the editor of Genes, Genomes and Genetic Elements (2004), Reconciling Nature and Nurture in the Study of Behavior and Cognition Research (with C. Allen, 2008) and Philosophy in the Trenches: From Naturalized Philosophy to Experimental Philosophy (of Science) (2009).

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.