History and Philosophy Of Science | Philosophy of Biology
X755 | 3067 | E. Lloyd


During the graduate seminar on Philosophy of Biology, X755, we will
investigate some of the leading debates in evolutionary biology
today.  The course will focus on three themes:  Adaptation, burdens
of proof and exaptations; units of selection; and human evolution
and evolutionary psychology.  When can we tell that something is an
adaptation?  How should we approach research into adaptations and
exaptations? What sense does it make to say that the gene is the
unif of selection?  What  are the current choices among hierarchical
evolutionary approaches?  And finally, how well is the new field of
evolutionary psychology doing?  What can we say is established about
human evolution?

We will build the course around two basic texts, Elliott Sober's The
Philosophy of Biology, and Sterelny and Griffiths' Sex and Death.
The additional course readings will be collected in a required
course reader.