Evolutionary Worlds Without End
Diversity and complexity are the hallmarks of living forms. Yet science aims for general causal explanations of its observations. So how can these be reconciled within the non-physical sciences? Is it possible for a science of life to conform to the requirements of a general theory - the typeof theory seen in a 'hard' science such as physics? These are the questions that are explored in this important new book. In Evolutionary Worlds without End, Henry Plotkin considers whether there is any general theory in biology, including the social sciences, that is in any way equivalent to the general theories of physics. It starts by examining Ernest Rutherford's famous dictum as to what science is. In the laterchapters he considers the possibility, within an historical framework, of a general theory being based upon selection processes.Throughout, the author constructs a compelling argument for the idea that there are within biology, and that includes the social sciences, something like the general theories that make physics such powerful science. The book will be valuable for all those in the biological and social sciences, inparticular, biologists, psychologists, as well as philosophers of science.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
1 The Rutherford dictum and its meaning for biology
2 Plus ša change
3 The expansion of selection theory
4 Evolutionary epistemology
5 Selection and cultural change
Other editions - View all
adaptive amongst analysis animals argued artefacts Basalla behaviour biologists brain Campbell Campbell’s causal cells central century chapter classical conditioning cognitive complex conception considered cultural change cultural evolution Darden and Cain Darwin Darwin’s theory Darwinian Dawkins driving economic entities environment epigenetic epigenetic inheritance evolutionary epistemology evolutionary theory evolved example exaptations existence framework gene-culture coevolution genes genetic group selection hierarchy HOKS human culture ideas immune system important individual inheritance systems intentionality interactions interactors Jablonka and Lamb knowledge gain Lamarck Lamarckian language levels Lewontin living forms mechanisms memetics molecular natural selection neoDarwinism neural networks niche construction notion observed occur ofthe organisms phenotype philosophers physics Popper populations possible problem psychological reductionism result Rutherford scientists selection processes selection theory shared social constructions social reality Spencer structure theoretical theory in biology theory of evolution thought tion transformation of species transmission understanding units of selection variation Waddington