Chapter 8. Philosophy of Biology

  1. Fritz Allhoff Assistant Professor Fellow Director
  1. Matthew H. Haber Assistant Professor1,
  2. Andrew Hamilton Assistant Professor2,
  3. Samir Okasha Professor of Philosophy3 and
  4. Jay Odenbaugh Assistant Professor member4

Published Online: 15 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444315578.ch8

Philosophies of the Sciences: A Guide

Philosophies of the Sciences: A Guide

How to Cite

Haber, M. H., Hamilton, A., Okasha, S. and Odenbaugh, J. (2010) Philosophy of Biology, in Philosophies of the Sciences: A Guide (ed F. Allhoff), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444315578.ch8

Editor Information

  1. Department of Philosophy, Western Michigan University, USA

Author Information

  1. 1

    Department of Philosophy, University of Utah, USA

  2. 2

    School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, USA

  3. 3

    University of York, UK

  4. 4

    Environmental Studies Program, Lewis and Clark College, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JAN 2010
  2. Published Print: 4 JAN 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405199957

Online ISBN: 9781444315578



  • philosophy of biology;
  • ongoing work in systematics, ecology, and natural selection theory;
  • philosophy of biology - vibrant and growing field;
  • philosophy - important impact on biology;
  • biological sciences - diverse as the physical sciences;
  • characterization of species - at odds with Darwinian thinking;
  • discovering phylogenies - problems familiar to philosophers of science;
  • intersection of ecology with evolution;
  • messy interactions - concerning two-scale approach;
  • levels-of-selection question


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Introduction

  • What Are the Biological Sciences (Not)?

  • Systematics

  • Ecology and Evolution

  • Levels of Selection

  • Conclusion

  • References