Is the history of life a series of accidents or a drama scripted by selfish genes? Is there an "essential" human nature, determined at birth or in a distant evolutionary past? What should we conserve--species, ecosystems, or something else?
Informed answers to questions like these, critical to our understanding of ourselves and the world around us, require both a knowledge of biology and a philosophical framework within which to make sense of its findings. In this accessible introduction to philosophy of biology, Kim Sterelny and Paul E. Griffiths present both the science and the philosophical context necessary for a critical understanding of the most exciting debates shaping biology today. The authors, both of whom have published extensively in this field, describe the range of competing views--including their own--on these fascinating topics.
With its clear explanations of both biological and philosophical concepts, Sex and Death will appeal not only to undergraduates, but also to the many general readers eager to think critically about the science of life.
Sex and Death is a clear and lively survey of the conceptual issues that engage philosophers of biology and philosophically minded biologists. Kim Sterelny and Paul E. Griffith thoroughly examine philosophical problems raised by evolutionary theory and also discuss those raised by molecular biology, ecology, and developmental biology.