Processes of Life: Essays in the Philosophy of Biology by John DupreProcesses of Life: Essays in the Philosophy of Biology by John Dupre

Processes of Life: Essays in the Philosophy of Biology

byJohn Dupre

Paperback | February 3, 2014

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John Dupre explores recent revolutionary developments in biology and considers their relevance for our understanding of human nature and human society. Epigenetics and related areas of molecular biology have eroded the exceptional status of the gene and presented the genome as fullyinteractive with the rest of the cell. Developmental systems theory provides a space for a vision of evolution that takes full account of the fundamental importance of developmental processes. Dupre shows the importance of microbiology for a proper understanding of the living world, and reveals howit subverts such basic biological assumptions as the organisation of biological kinds on a branching tree of life, and the simple traditional conception of the biological organism. These topics are considered in the context of a view of science as realistically grounded in the natural order, but at the same time as pluralistic and inextricably integrated within a social and normative context. The volume includes a section that recapitulates and expands some of the author'sgeneral views on science; a section addressing a range of topics in biology, including the significance of genomics, the nature of the organism and the current status of evolutionary theory; and a section exploring some implications of contemporary biology for humans, for example on the reality orunreality of human races, and the plasticity of human nature.
John Dupre is Professor of Philosophy of Science at the University of Exeter and, since 2002, Director of the ESRC Centre for Genomics in Society (Egenis). He has formerly held posts at Oxford, Stanford, and Birkbeck College, London. In 2006 he held the Spinoza Visiting Professorship at the University of Amsterdam. He is the President...
Title:Processes of Life: Essays in the Philosophy of BiologyFormat:PaperbackDimensions:362 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.03 inPublished:February 3, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198701225

ISBN - 13:9780198701224

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Table of Contents

IntroductionI. Science1. The Miracle of Monism2. What's the Fuss about Social Constructivism?3. The Inseparability of Science and ValuesII. Biology4. The Constituents of Life 1: Species, Microbes and Genes5. The Constituents of Life 2: Organisms and Systems6. Understanding Contemporary Genomics7. The Polygenomic Organism8. It is not Possible to Reduce Biological Explanations to Explanations in Chemistry and/or Physics9. Postgenomic DarwinismIII. Microbes10. (with Maureen O'Malley): Size Doesn't Matter: Towards a More Inclusive Philosophy of Biology11. (with Maureen O'Malley): Metagenomics and Biological Ontology12. (with Maureen O'Malley): Varieties of living things: Life at the intersection of lineage and metabolism13. Emerging Sciences and New Conceptions of Disease: Or, Beyond the Monogenomic Differentiated Cell LineageIV. Humans14. Against Maladaptationism: or What's Wrong with Evolutionary Psychology15. What Genes Are, and Why There Are No Genes for Race16. Causality and Human Nature in the Social Sciences

Editorial Reviews

"provides not only a glimpse into the mind of one of the leading philosophers of biology but also a keen sense of some of the new directions that the field has taken over the past decade ... Dupre's writing is crisp and engaging" --Robert A. Wilson, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews