Philosophy of Biology

Edited by Manolo Martínez (Universitat de Barcelona)
Assistant editor: Wiseley Wong (University of Western Ontario)
About this topic
Summary Philosophy of biology generally covers the issues that arise from the science and history of biology. It includes evolutionary, developmental, environmental and genetic biology, as well as such issues as evolutionary ethics and epistemology, the general notions of biological information, function, classification and heredity. Metalevel issues in the philosophy of biology deal with such matters as the reduction of biology to physical or molecular theories, the question of lawlike generalisations in biology, and of natural kinds. The field has been divided into four general areas: Developmental Biology, Ecology and Environmental Biology, Evolutionary Biology, Genetics and Molecular Biology, as well as several specialist fields. A special field of Environmental Philosophy covers policy and ethical issues to do with the environment. Systematic Biology covers the role and tasks of classification within biology and related fields. Teleology and Function covers what has been a very active subject in the field. Finally, Interlevel Relations in Biology covers discussions of this subject as it pertains to biology in particular.
Key works Sterelny 1995 Stotz et al 2004 Sober 1984 Sarkar 2004
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