The Philosophy of Social Evolution

Author: Jonathan Birch

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198733054

Category: Social evolution

Page: 268

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From mitochondria to meerkats, the natural world is full of spectacular examples of social behaviour. In the early 1960s W. D. Hamilton changed the way we think about how such behaviour evolves. He introduced three key innovations - now known as 'Hamilton's rule,' 'kin selection,' and 'inclusive fitness' - and his pioneering work kick-started a research programme now known as social evolution theory. His work has been enormously influential, but remains the subject of fierce controversy. This is a book about the philosophical foundations and future prospects of social evolution theory. In Part I, 'Foundations', Jonathan Birch provides a careful exposition and defence of Hamilton's ideas, with a few modifications along the way. In Part II, 'Extensions', Birch shows how these ideas can be applied to phenomena including cooperation in microorganisms, cooperation among the cells of a multicellular organism, and culturally evolved cooperation in the earliest human societies. Birch argues that real progress can be made in understanding microbial evolution, evolutionary transitions, and human evolution by viewing them through the lens of social evolution theory, provided the theory is interpreted with care and adapted where necessary. This book, the first book-length philosophical study of Hamilton's ideas, places social evolution theory on a firm philosophical footing and sets out exciting new directions for further work. It is essential reading for philosophers of science, evolutionary biologists, and evolutionary social scientists. -- from dust jacket.
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The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Social Science

Author: Harold Kincaid

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0195392752

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 657

View: 4083

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The philosophy of the social sciences considers the underlying explanatory powers of the social (or human) sciences, such as history, economics, anthropology, politics, and sociology. The type of questions covered includes the methodological (the nature of observations, laws, theories, and explanations) to the ontological — whether or not these sciences can explain human nature in a way consistent with common-sense beliefs. This Handbook is a major, comprehensive look at the key ideas in the field, is guided by several principles. The first is that the philosophy of social science should be closely connected to, and informed by, developments in the sciences themselves. The second is that the volume should appeal to practicing social scientists as well as philosophers, with the contributors being both drawn from both ranks, and speaking to ongoing controversial issues in the field. Finally, the volume promotes connections across the social sciences, with greater internal discussion and interaction across disciplinary boundaries.
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The Philosophy of Human Evolution

Author: Michael Ruse

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 0521117933

Category: Philosophy

Page: 271

View: 4181

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Provides a unique discussion of human evolution from a philosophical viewpoint, covering such issues as religion, race and gender.
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The Philosophy of Habermas

Author: Andrew Edgar

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317489101

Category: Philosophy

Page: 304

View: 6978

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This comprehensive introduction to the thought of Jurgen Habermas covers the full range of his ideas from his early work on student politics to his recent work on communicative action, ethics and law. Andrew Edgar examines Habermas' key texts in chronological order, revealing the developments, shifts and turns in Habermas' thinking as he refines his basic insights and incorporates new sources and ideas. Some of the themes discussed include Habermas' early reshaping of Marxist theory and practice, his characterization of critical theory, his conception of universal pragmatics, his theories of communicative action and discourse ethics, and his defence of the project of modernity. Edgar offers much more than a schematic run through of Habermas' big ideas. He deals in detail with Habermas' arguments in order to demonstrate how he weaves together multiple strands of thought, and he usefully situates Habermas' ideas within the contexts of the history of German philosophy, the history of sociology, and within contemporary debates in both continental and analytic philosophy. By engaging with some of Habermas' key critics and contrasting his views with the ideas of contemporaries, Edgar is able to give a clear sense of Habermas' place and importance in contemporary philosophy and social theory.
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The Philosophy of Social Practices

A Collective Acceptance View

Author: Raimo Tuomela

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9781139434904

Category: Philosophy

Page: N.A

View: 5854

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This is a systematic philosophical and conceptual study of the notion of a social practice. Raimo Tuomela explains social practices in terms of the interlocking mental states of the agents; he shows how social practices (for example customs and traditions) are 'building blocks of society'; and he offers a clear and powerful account of the way in which social institutions are constructed from these building blocks as established, interconnected sets of social practices with a special new social status. His analysis is based on the novel concept of shared 'we-attitudes', which represent a weak form of collective intentionality, and he makes instructive connections to major topics and figures in philosophy and the social sciences. His book will be of interest to a wide range of readers in philosophy of mind, philosophy of social science, psychology and sociology, and artificial intelligence.
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Philosophy of Biology

Author: Elliott Sober

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Philosophy

Page: 236

View: 6646

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Perhaps because of it implications for our understanding of human nature, recent philosophy of biology has seen what might be the most dramatic work in the philosophies of the ”special” sciences. This drama has centered on evolutionary theory, and in the second edition of this textbook, Elliott Sober introduces the reader to the most important issues of these developments. With a rare combination of technical sophistication and clarity of expression, Sober engages both the higher level of theory and the direct implications for such controversial issues as creationism, teleology, nature versus nurture, and sociobiology. Above all, the reader will gain from this book a firm grasp of the structure of evolutionary theory, the evidence for it, and the scope of its explanatory significance.
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Philosophy of Biology

An Anthology

Author: Alex Rosenberg,Robert Arp

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 1405183179

Category: Science

Page: 464

View: 6863

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By combining excerpts from key historical writings with editors’ introductions and further reading material, Philosophy of Biology: An Anthology offers a comprehensive, accessible, and up-to-date collection of the field’s most significant works. Addresses central questions such as ‘What is life?’ and ‘How did it begin?’, and the most current research and arguments on evolution and developmental biology Editorial notes throughout the text define, clarify, and qualify ideas, concepts and arguments Includes material on evolutionary psychology and evolutionary developmental biology not found in other standard philosophy of biology anthologies Further reading material assists novices in delving deeper into research in philosophy of biology
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Science as a Process

An Evolutionary Account of the Social and Conceptual Development of Science

Author: David L. Hull

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226360515

Category: Science

Page: 600

View: 7363

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"Legend is overdue for replacement, and an adequate replacement must attend to the process of science as carefully as Hull has done. I share his vision of a serious account of the social and intellectual dynamics of science that will avoid both the rosy blur of Legend and the facile charms of relativism. . . . Because of [Hull's] deep concern with the ways in which research is actually done, Science as a Process begins an important project in the study of science. It is one of a distinguished series of books, which Hull himself edits."—Philip Kitcher, Nature "In Science as a Process, [David Hull] argues that the tension between cooperation and competition is exactly what makes science so successful. . . . Hull takes an unusual approach to his subject. He applies the rules of evolution in nature to the evolution of science, arguing that the same kinds of forces responsible for shaping the rise and demise of species also act on the development of scientific ideas."—Natalie Angier, New York Times Book Review "By far the most professional and thorough case in favour of an evolutionary philosophy of science ever to have been made. It contains excellent short histories of evolutionary biology and of systematics (the science of classifying living things); an important and original account of modern systematic controversy; a counter-attack against the philosophical critics of evolutionary philosophy; social-psychological evidence, collected by Hull himself, to show that science does have the character demanded by his philosophy; and a philosophical analysis of evolution which is general enough to apply to both biological and historical change."—Mark Ridley, Times Literary Supplement "Hull is primarily interested in how social interactions within the scientific community can help or hinder the process by which new theories and techniques get accepted. . . . The claim that science is a process for selecting out the best new ideas is not a new one, but Hull tells us exactly how scientists go about it, and he is prepared to accept that at least to some extent, the social activities of the scientists promoting a new idea can affect its chances of being accepted."—Peter J. Bowler, Archives of Natural History "I have been doing philosophy of science now for twenty-five years, and whilst I would never have claimed that I knew everything, I felt that I had a really good handle on the nature of science, Again and again, Hull was able to show me just how incomplete my understanding was. . . . Moreover, [Science as a Process] is one of the most compulsively readable books that I have ever encountered."—Michael Ruse, Biology and Philosophy
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The Social Evolution of Human Nature

From Biology to Language

Author: Harry Smit

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1107055199

Category: Philosophy

Page: 237

View: 4828

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Harry Smit examines the elements of current evolutionary theory and how they bear on the evolution of the human mind.
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Modelling and Simulation in the Social Sciences from the Philosophy of Science Point of View

Author: R. Hegselmann,Ulrich Mueller,Klaus G. Troitzsch

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 9780792341253

Category: Social Science

Page: 320

View: 5876

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Model building in the social sciences can increasingly rely on well elaborated formal theories. At the same time inexpensive large computational capacities are now available. Both make computer-based model building and simulation possible in social science, whose central aim is in particular an understanding of social dynamics. Such social dynamics refer to public opinion formation, partner choice, strategy decisions in social dilemma situations and much more. In the context of such modelling approaches, novel problems in philosophy of science arise which must be analysed - the main aim of this book. Interest in social simulation has recently been growing rapidly world- wide, mainly as a result of the increasing availability of powerful personal computers. The field has also been greatly influenced by developments in cellular automata theory (from mathematics) and in distributed artificial intelligence which provided tools readily applicable to social simulation. This book presents a number of modelling and simulation approaches and their relations to problems in philosophy of science. It addresses sociologists and other social scientists interested in formal modelling, mathematical sociology, and computer simulation as well as computer scientists interested in social science applications, and philosophers of social science.
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