Understanding life: Recent work in philosophy of biology

British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 46 (2):155-183 (1995)
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This paper surveys recent philosophy of biology. It aims to introduce outsiders to the field to the recent literature (which is reviewed in the footnotes) and the main recent debates. I concentrate on three of these: recent critiques of the replicator/vehicle distinction and its application to the idea of the gene as the unit of section; the recent defences of group selection and the idea that standard alternatives to group selection are in fact no more than a disguised form of group selection; and recent ideas on the role of selection in evolution, especially the role of selection in structuring the large-scale history of life. The paper connects philosophy of biology to some more general problems in the philosophy of science, and concludes with a few suggestions about unfinished business.



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Kim Sterelny
Australian National University

Citations of this work

Evolution.Roberta L. Millstein - 2017 - Stanford Encylopedia of Philosophy.
Traits, Genes, and Coding.Michael Wheeler - 2007 - In Michael Ruse (ed.), Philosophy of Biology. Prometheus Books. pp. 369--401.

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