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Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Biology Paperback – 13 Nov 2009

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  “All chapters (including the very interesting contributions on the species problem by Claridge and Mishler, as well as the stimulating papers on evolutionary ethics by Ruse and Ayala) serve as an excellent introduction to the most hotly debated topics in the philosophy of biology today.”  ( Metascience , 2011)   "A brief review like this can scarcely do justice to the richness of the ideas discussed in this text or the considerable care that went into its organization. This is, in short, a very fine contribution to the pedagogical literature on philosophy of biology. The editors are to be congratulated for the thoughtfulness that went into producing this text. May it gain the wide acceptance it deserves." (Science & Education, 2010) "Highly recommended. Lower–division undergraduates and above". (Choice, 1 November 2010) “Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Biology is an engaging anthology with many interesting contributions. The strength of the book is the format: two eminent representatives of the biophilosophical community have their say on a pivotal biophilosophical issue.” ( Metapsychology, May 2010) "A very fine contribution to the pedagogical literature on philosophy of biology. The editors are to be congratulated for the thoughtfulness that went into producing this text. May it gain the wide acceptance it deserves." (Science & Education, March 2010)


“A greatly needed and welcome contribution by excellent scholars, this book invites newcomers and experts alike to think critically about core issues in the philosophy of biology.” – Roberta L. Millstein , University of California, Davis

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2 reviews
Not for strictly philosophers 1 Oct. 2014
By Jenelle Lee - Published on
Format: Paperback
I'll agree with the other reviewer here that this book was probably more geared towards Biology students than Philosophy students. But, for those who study both Biology and Philosophy like me, this book is amazing. It's not nearly as philosophically enlightening as the normal just-philosophy anthology, but it's a great introduction to the topics of modern philosophy of biology like intelligent design and the place of God in science and philosophy. It's broken up into sections by the debate topic, so even if you're not getting this for a class, you can just read through the section that you're interested in.

Remember that Francisco J. Ayala is not primarily a philosopher, but originally a microbiologist that started delving into philosophy of biology. So if you're reading this as a total philosopher with little to no background in biology, yes: you will be disappointed and probably confused. But if you're a biologist with an interest in philosophy, this is a good start in the topic of philosophy of biology.

Additionally, if you're a Christian or related deist who is also studying Biology and is struggling to reconcile evolution with the existence of God, I strongly recommend you read some of Ayala's work.
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A very bad philosophy volume 13 Dec. 2013
By Quoc Thai - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There is no philosophy in this book (or at least relatively small philosophical argument). 2/3 of the essays in this book is so biological technical that a normal philosophy student could not make sense of. And the other 1/3 is either making minor claim (e.g. micro vs macro evo chapters) or totally off mainstream debates in the respective topic (e.g. evolutionary ethics). On top of that, most essays do not serve the purpose of being symmetrically opposite. They tend to disagree in one small portion of the other view, which do not serve well if the purpose of the book is to give the reader two sides of the debate. Most writer here wrote like the topic was forced to them. They try to stay off the topic and talk about what they want to talk and in the end making small connection with the assigned topic. Most essays here could serve as reading for biology students instead of philosophy students.
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