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Concepts and Methods in Evolutionary Biology

Concepts and Methods in Evolutionary Biology

Part of Cambridge Studies in Philosophy and Biology

  • Date Published: May 1996
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521498883


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About the Authors
  • Robert Brandon is one of the most important and influential of contemporary philosophers of biology. This collection of his recent essays covers all the traditional topics in the philosophy of evolutionary biology and as such could serve as an introduction to the field. There are essays on the nature of fitness, teleology, the structure of the theory of natural selection, and the levels of selection. The book also deals with newer topics that are less frequently discussed but are of growing interest, for example the evolution of human language and the role of experimentation in evolutionary biology. A special feature of the collection is that it avoids jargon and is written in a style that will appeal to working evolutionary biologists as well as philosophers.

    • Author well known in the field and is professor of both philosophy and biology
    • Book addresses issues that will be of interest to biologists
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Anybody who feels that philosophy is of little importance to biology should read this excellent collection of papers by Robert Brandon. Each chapter offers the spectacle of a razor sharp mind neatly dissecting important problems in evolutionary biology with clinical precision ... I have no hesitation in recommending it.' Richard J. Ladle, Biologist

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 1996
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521498883
    • length: 240 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.36kg
    • contains: 10 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I:
    1. Adaptation and evolutionary theory
    2. Biological teleology: questions and explanations
    3. A structural description of evolutionary theory
    4. The levels of selection
    Part II:
    5. Phenotypic plasticity, cultural transmission and human sociobiology
    6. From icons to symbols: some speculations on the origins of language
    7. Individuality, pluralism, and the phylogenetic species concept
    8. The levels of selection: a hierarchy of interactors
    Part III:
    9. Theory and experiment in evolutionary biology
    10. The co-evolution of organism and environment
    11. Reductionism versus holism versus mechanism

  • Author

    Robert N. Brandon, Duke University, North Carolina

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