The Philosophy of Biology: A Companion for Educators: 1 (History, Philosophy and Theory of the Life Sciences)

The Philosophy of Biology: A Companion for Educators: 1 (History, Philosophy and Theory of the Life Sciences)

Kostas Kampourakis

Language: English

Pages: 764


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

This book brings together for the first time philosophers of biology to write about some of the most central concepts and issues in their field from the perspective of biology education. The chapters of the book cover a variety of topics ranging from traditional ones, such as biological explanation, biology and religion or biology and ethics, to contemporary ones, such as genomics, systems biology or evolutionary developmental biology. Each of the 30 chapters covers the respective philosophical literature in detail and makes specific suggestions for biology education.

The aim of this book is to inform biology educators, undergraduate and graduate students in biology and related fields, students in teacher training programs, and curriculum developers about the current state of discussion on the major topics in the philosophy of biology and its implications for teaching biology. In addition, the book can be valuable to philosophers of biology as an introductory text in undergraduate and graduate courses.

















natural populations of five Drosophila species and the hypothesis of the selective neutrality of protein polymorphisms. Genetics 7: 226–235. Beatty, J. 1984. Chance and natural selection. Philosophy of Science 51: 183–211.CrossRef Beatty, J. 1987a. Weighing the risks: Stalemate in the classical/balance controversy. Journal of the History of Biology 20(1987): 289–319.CrossRef Beatty, J. 1987b. Natural selection and the null hypothesis. In The latest on the best, ed. John Dupre. Cambridge: MIT

contexts in which it usually operates. Just as researchers often must iterate the process of decomposition, they often must also iterate the processes of recomposing and situating the mechanism since its operation may be affected not just by other activities in its local environment, but also by activities in the environment of the system of which it is a component. I will briefly indicate three such levels of situating and recomposing required to understand circadian rhythms. Earlier I noted

have facial features like their biological parents’ facial features, regardless of whether or not they are adopted at birth. Likewise, some of our normal characteristics, such as five fingers on each hand, are present at birth, contributing to the impression that experiences play no role in the development of these traits. Such observations lead us to think that certain aspects of our behavioral characteristics, too—for example, a person’s intelligence or personality—might not be affected by

contribution to our understanding of “human nature.” Nonetheless, as is evident from the recent publication (or re-issuing) of books such as The mirage of a space between Nature and Nurture (Keller 2010), The Nurture assumption: Why children turn out the way they do (Harris 2009), or Kids: How biology and culture shape the way we raise young children (Small 2011), theorists continue to write about “the Nature versus Nurture debate” and publishers continue to believe there are people interested in

importantly use it to formulate explanations or justify why this is not possible. The analysis provided by Potochnick in her chapter is very useful for this purpose. Traditionally, explanations in science have been presented as law-based. However, this is not what one finds in biology. But if natural laws existed in biology, what kinds of laws would those be? This is the topic of the next chapter, What Would Natural Laws in the Life Sciences Be? , by Marc Lange. The author starts by discussing

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