Biology & Philosophy

, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 149–167

Thirty years of Biology & Philosophy: philosophy of which biology?


DOI: 10.1007/s10539-016-9558-7

Cite this article as:
Pradeu, T. Biol Philos (2017) 32: 149. doi:10.1007/s10539-016-9558-7


Which domains of biology do philosophers of biology primarily study? The fact that philosophy of biology has been dominated by an interest for evolutionary biology is widely admitted, but it has not been strictly demonstrated. Here I analyse the topics of all the papers published in Biology & Philosophy, just as the journal celebrates its thirtieth anniversary. I then compare the distribution of biological topics in Biology & Philosophy with that of the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the USA, focusing on the recent period 2003–2015. This comparison reveals a significant mismatch between the distributions of these topics. I examine plausible explanations for that mismatch. Finally, I argue that many biological topics underrepresented in philosophy of biology raise important philosophical issues and should therefore play a more central role in future philosophy of biology.


Biology & Philosophy Philosophy of biology History of philosophy of biology 

Supplementary material

10539_2016_9558_MOESM1_ESM.doc (1.1 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 1172 kb)

Funding information

Funder NameGrant NumberFunding Note
Seventh Framework Programme
  • 637647

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ImmunoConceptCNRS and University of BordeauxBordeauxFrance
  2. 2.Institut d’histoire et de philosophie des Sciences et des TechniquesCNRS and Panthéon-Sorbonne UniversityParisFrance

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