Philosophy of Science

The Poverty of the Linnaean Hierarchy

by Mark Ereshefsky
Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2001. 316 pages.

In The Poverty of the Linnaean Hierarchy, Marc Ereshefsky, a professor of philosophy at the University of Calgary, offers a survey of competing philosophies of classification, articulates and defends a form of pluralism with regard to species concepts, and argues that the Linnaean system ought to be abandoned in favor of a post-Linnaean, rank-free, phylogenetic taxonomy (like PhyloCode, with a few differences).

The Units of Evolution: Essays on the Nature of Species

edited by Marc Ereshefsky
Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1991. 426 pages.

From the publisher: "The Units of Evolution [published in 1991] is the first anthology devoted solely to the nature of species, one of the most hotly debated issues in biology and the philosophy of biology. The anthology is evenly balanced between biological and philosophical issues, making it equally useful for workers in both fields.

Species: New Interdisciplinary Essays

edited by Robert A. Wilson
Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1999. 349 pages.

In a dozen specially commissioned essays, the contributors to Species offer a variety of perspectives — not only biological but also philosophical, historical, and anthropological — on the concept (or concepts) of species. Robert N. Brandon hails Species as "a fresh, well-conceived collection on one of the most persistent problems in the philosophy of biology — the species problem." The contributors are John Dupré, David L. Hull, Kevin de Queiroz, David L. Nanney, Kim Sterelny, Richard Boyd, Robert A. Wilson, Paul E.

Evidence and Evolution

by Elliott Sober
Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2008. 392 pages.

The publisher writes, "How should the concept of evidence be understood? And how does the concept of evidence apply to the controversy about creationism and also to work in evolutionary biology about natural selection and common ancestry? In this rich and wide-ranging book, Elliott Sober investigates general questions about probability and evidence and shows how the answers he develops to those questions apply to the specifics of evolutionary biology.

The Moral Animal: Why We Are the Way We Are: The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology

by Robert Wright
New York: Vintage Books, 1994. 496 pages.

In The Moral Animal, the popular science journalist Robert Wright — author of Three Scientists and Their Gods: Looking for Meaning in an Age of Information and Non-Zero: The Logic of Human Destiny — turns his attention to the new science of evolutionary psychology. Summarizing and synthesizing a wealth of state-of-the art scientific information, Wright provocatively argues that human moral behavior was — and is — largely shaped by our adaptation to the ancestral environment.

Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life

by Daniel Dennett
New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995. 592 pages

Tufts University philosopher Dennett thoroughly describes evolutionary science, including its current controversies, and then goes on to spell out its implications for modern philosophy and modern life. Dennett argues that natural selection "is a universal solvent, capable of cutting right to the heart of everything in sight".