Biology & Philosophy

, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 439-447

First online:

The long reach of philosophy of biology

Michael Ruse: The Oxford handbook of philosophy of biology. Oxford University Press, 2008
  • Matt GersAffiliated withDepartment of Philosophy, Victoria University of Wellington Email author 

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The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Biology covers a broad range of topics in this field. It is not just a textbook focusing on evolutionary theory but encompasses ethics, social science and behaviour too. This essay outlines the scope of the work, discusses some points on methodology in the philosophy of biology, and then moves on to a more detailed analysis of cultural evolution and the applicability of a philosophy of biology toolkit to the social sciences. It is noted that concepts like the species concept may generalise to other domains whilst failing to account for the nature of all species. Finally, the author notes the omission of any discussion of information in biology.


Culture Development Ethics Evolution Information Philosophy of biology Social science Species