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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A Companion to the Philosophy of Biology

Author: Sahotra Sarkar,Anya Plutynski

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 1444337858

Category: Science

Page: 616

View: 2561

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Comprised of essays by top scholars in the field, this volume offers detailed overviews of philosophical issues raised by biology. Brings together a team of eminent scholars to explore the philosophical issues raised by biology Addresses traditional and emerging topics, spanning molecular biology and genetics, evolution, developmental biology, immunology, ecology, mind and behaviour, neuroscience, and experimentation Begins with a thorough introduction to the field Goes beyond previous treatments that focused only on evolution to give equal attention to other areas, such as molecular and developmental biology Represents both an authoritative guide to philosophy of biology, and an accessible reference work for anyone seeking to learn about this rapidly-changing field
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The Philosophy of Human Evolution

Author: Michael Ruse

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 0521117933

Category: Philosophy

Page: 271

View: 4205

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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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Science and Selection

Essays on Biological Evolution and the Philosophy of Science

Author: David L. Hull

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521644051

Category: Philosophy

Page: 267

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This 2001 book brings together many of David Hull's most important essays on selection in one accessible volume.
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The Philosophy of Habermas

Author: Andrew Edgar

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317489101

Category: Philosophy

Page: 304

View: 2433

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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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Philosophy of Biology

Author: Samir Okasha

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 019880699X

Category: Philosophy

Page: 152

View: 773

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Over the last forty years the philosophy of biology has emerged as an important sub-discipline of the philosophy of science. Covering some of science's most divisive topics, such as philosophical issues in genetics, it also encompasses areas where modern biology has increasingly impinged on traditional philosophical questions, such as free will, essentialism, and nature vs nurture. In this Very Short Introduction Samir Okasha outlines the core issues with which contemporary philosophy of biology is engaged. Offering a whistle-stop tour of the history of biology, he explores key ideas and paradigm shifts throughout the centuries, including areas such as the theory of evolution by natural selection; the concepts of function and design; biological individuality; and the debate over adaptationism. Throughout Okasha makes clear the relevance of biology for understanding human beings, human society, and our place in the natural world, and the importance of engaging with these issues. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
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The Philosophy of Biology

An Episodic History

Author: Marjorie Grene,David Depew

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521643801

Category: Philosophy

Page: 416

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Examines how the philosophy of biology has evolved to our current understanding.
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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: 7344

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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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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: 3987

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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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The Philosophy of Science

Author: Sahotra Sarkar,Jessica Pfeifer

Publisher: Psychology Press

ISBN: 0415939275

Category: Philosophy

Page: 965

View: 7175

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The first in-depth reference in the field that combines scientific knowledge with philosophical inquiry, The Philosophy of Science: An Encyclopedia is a two-volume set that brings together an international team of leading scholars to provide over 130 entries on the essential concepts in the philosophy of science. The areas covered include: biology chemistry epistemology and metaphysics physics psychology and mind the social sciences key figures in the combined studies of science and philosophy. The essays represent the most up-to-date philosophical thinking on timeless scientific topics such as: determinism, explanation, laws of nature, perception, individuality, time, and economics as well as timely topics like adaptation, conservation biology, quantum logic, consciousness, evolutionary psychology, and game theory.
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