Philosophy of Biology

Philip Kitcher

in The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Philosophy

Published in print November 2007 | ISBN: 9780199234769
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:


 Philosophy of Biology

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The philosophy of biology has evolved in a number of directions, sometimes attempting to illuminate the general philosophy of science, sometimes offering new perspectives on old philosophical problems, sometimes entering the theoretical fray within biology, sometimes participating in controversies about the social implications of biological findings. Although it's useful to consider these four varieties of philosophical work, it would be artificial and misguided to attempt to classify every article or book as exemplifying just one of them. Authors writing on the character of species, for example, may have an interest both in sorting out a biological controversy and in enriching philosophical discussion about natural kinds. Sometimes, as reflected in this article, the attempt to engage a socially vexed question prompts a new theoretical debate that demands philosophical analysis.

Keywords: philosophy of biology; philosophical problems; social implications; biological finding; philosophical analysis; philosophy of science

Article.  13424 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Philosophy of Science

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