Encyclopedia of Science Education

Living Edition
| Editors: Richard Gunstone

Biology, Philosophy of

  • Michael Ruse
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6165-0_236-1

William James distinguishes between tender-minded philosophers and tough-minded philosophers. No one would use tender-minded as a term referring to Aristotle, the first and the best of philosophers to look at biology, but it does seem true that in the millennia succeeding (especially since the scientific revolution) biology has attracted thinkers who do want to find meaning and comfort in the material world and its explanations. Vitalism, holism, and emergentism were the terms commonly favored.

Things started to change significantly about 50 years ago, when a small group of analytically trained philosophers, including David Hull and Michael Ruse, turned their attentions to the biological sciences, determined to bring understanding and rigor to meta-analyses of the life sciences (Ruse 1988). Today, philosophy of biology is one of the strongest and most popular areas of Anglophone philosophy, with related interest in other academic cultures.

For fairly obvious reasons, evolutionary...

Keywords

Science Education Evolutionary Theory Good Science Facial Hair Creation Story 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Gould SJ, Lewontin RC (1979) The spandrels of San Marco and the Panglossian paradigm: a critique of the adaptationist programme. Proc R Soc of Lond Ser B Biol Sci 205:581–598CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Pennock R, Ruse M (eds) (2008) But is it science? The philosophical question in the creation/evolution controversy, 2nd edn. Prometheus, BuffaloGoogle Scholar
  3. Plantinga A (2011) Where the conflict lies: science, religion, and naturalism. Oxford University Press, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Ruse M (1988) Philosophy of biology today. SUNY Press, AlbanyGoogle Scholar
  5. Ruse M (ed) (2008) The Oxford handbook of the philosophy of biology. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyFlorida State University, College of Arts & SciencesTallahasseeUSA