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What Makes Biology Unique

Author: Ernst Mayr
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521700344
Size: 30.73 MB
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This book, a collection of essays written by the most eminent evolutionary biologist of the twentieth century, explores biology as an autonomous science, offers insights on the history of evolutionary thought, critiques the contributions of philosophy to the science of biology, and comments on several of the major ongoing issues in evolutionary theory. Notably, Mayr explains that Darwin's theory of evolution is actually five separate theories, each with its own history, trajectory and impact. Natural selection is a separate idea from common descent, and from geographic speciation, and so on. A number of the perennial Darwinian controversies may well have been caused by the confounding of the five separate theories into a single composite. Those interested in evolutionary theory, or the philosophy and history of science will find useful ideas in this book, which should appeal to virtually anyone with a broad curiosity about biology.

What Makes Biology Unique

Author: Ernst Mayr
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521841146
Size: 58.86 MB
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View: 6948
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This book, a collection of essays written by the most eminent evolutionary biologist of the twentieth century, explores biology as an autonomous science, offers insights on the history of evolutionary thought, critiques the contributions of philosophy to the science of biology, and comments on several of the major ongoing issues in evolutionary theory. Notably, Mayr explains that Darwin's theory of evolution is actually five separate theories, each with its own history, trajectory and impact. Natural selection is a separate idea from common descent, and from geographic speciation, and so on. A number of the perennial Darwinian controversies may well have been caused by the confounding of the five separate theories into a single composite. Those interested in evolutionary theory, or the philosophy and history of science will find useful ideas in this book, which should appeal to virtually anyone with a broad curiosity about biology.

The Music Of Life

Author: Denis Noble
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 9780191578809
Size: 10.63 MB
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What is Life? Decades of research have resulted in the full mapping of the human genome - three billion pairs of code whose functions are only now being understood. The gene's eye view of life, advocated by evolutionary biology, sees living bodies as mere vehicles for the replication of the genetic codes. But for a physiologist, working with the living organism, the view is a very different one. Denis Noble is a world renowned physiologist, and sets out an alternative view to the question - one that becomes deeply significant in terms of the living, breathing organism. The genome is not life itself. Noble argues that far from genes building organisms, they should be seen as prisoners of the organism. The view of life presented in this little, modern, post-genome project reflection on the nature of life, is that of the systems biologist: to understand what life is, we must view it at a variety of different levels, all interacting with each other in a complex web. It is that emergent web, full of feedback between levels, from the gene to the wider environment, that is life. It is a kind of music. Including stories from Noble's own research experience, his work on the heartbeat, musical metaphors, and elements of linguistics and Chinese culture, this very personal and at times deeply lyrical book sets out the systems biology view of life.

One Long Argument

Author: Ernst Mayr
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674639065
Size: 35.57 MB
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Who could elucidate the subtitles of Darwin's thought and that of his contemporaries and intellectual heirs--A.R. Wallace, T.H. Huxley, August Weisman, Asa Gray--better then Ernst Mayr, a man considered by many to be the greatest evolutionist of the twentieth century? In this gem of historical scholarship, Mayr has achieved a remarkable distillation of Charles Darwin's scientific thought and his enormous legacy to twentieth-century biology.

A Sociology Of Modernity

Author: Peter Wagner
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134891911
Size: 14.59 MB
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First Published in 2004. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.

Systematics And The Origin Of Species From The Viewpoint Of A Zoologist

Author: Ernst Mayr
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674862500
Size: 13.69 MB
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Ernst Mayr is perhaps the most distinguished biologist of the twentieth century, and "Systematics and the Origin of Species" may be one of his greatest and most influential books. This classic study, first published in 1942, helped to revolutionize evolutionary biology by offering a new approach to taxonomic principles and correlating the ideas and findings of modern systematics with those of other life science disciplines. This book is one of the foundational documents of the "Evolutionary Synthesis." It is the book in which Mayr pioneered his new concept of species based chiefly on such biological factors as interbreeding and reproductive isolation, taking into account ecology, geography, and life history. In his new introduction for this edition, Mayr reflects on the place of this enduring work in the subsequent history of his field.

The Philosophy Of Childhood

Author: Gareth B. Matthews
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674664807
Size: 67.18 MB
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So many questions, such an imagination, endless speculation: the child seems to be a natural philosopher--until the ripe old age of eight or nine, when the spirit of inquiry mysteriously fades. What happened? Was it something we did--or didn't do? Was the child truly the philosophical being he once seemed? Gareth Matthews takes up these concerns in The Philosophy of Childhood, a searching account of children's philosophical potential and of childhood as an area of philosophical inquiry. Seeking a philosophy that represents the range and depth of children's inquisitive minds, Matthews explores both how children think and how we, as adults, think about them. Adult preconceptions about the mental life of children tend to discourage a child's philosophical bent, Matthews suggests, and he probes the sources of these limiting assumptions: restrictive notions of maturation and conceptual development; possible lapses in episodic memory; the experience of identity and growth as "successive selves," which separate us from our own childhoods. By exposing the underpinnings of our adult views of childhood, Matthews, a philosopher and longtime advocate of children's rights, clears the way for recognizing the philosophy of childhood as a legitimate field of inquiry. He then conducts us through various influential models for understanding what it is to be a child, from the theory that individual development recapitulates the development of the human species to accounts of moral and cognitive development, including Piaget's revolutionary model. The metaphysics of playdough, the authenticity of children's art, the effects of divorce and intimations of mortality on a child--all have a place in Matthews's rich discussion of the philosophical nature of childhood. His book will prompt us to reconsider the distinctions we make about development and the competencies of mind, and what we lose by denying childhood its full philosophical breadth.