New Philosophy

Other Trends in New Philosophy

What are some of the main themes in philosophy of biology?

Philosophers of biology are interested in how biological explanations differ in form from explanations in the other sciences regarding whether the behavior of living things can be predicted, and in how environment, genetics, and processes of development interact to result in organisms. They are also interested in evolutionary theory.

Useful texts in philosophy of biology include: Alexander Rosenberg, Structure of Biological Science (1985); Elliot Sober, The Nature of Selection (1984); and Michael Ruse, Philosophy of Biology (1973). Most contemporary philosophers of biology rely on Ernst Mayr’s The Growth of Biological Thought: Diversity, Evolution and Inheritance (1982) and Towards a New Philosophy of Biology: Observations of an Evolutionist (1988). Additional thought by biologists have also resulted in new perspectives on biology that include work by: Patrick Bateson, Richard Dawkins, Jared Diamond, Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Lewontin, John Maynard Smith, and Edward O. Wilson. Also, evolutionary biology has inspired new philosophical systems of thought—for example, by Daniel Dennett.


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