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Philosophy of biology

The philosophy of biology emerged as an independent academic discipline – a branch of the philosophy of science – under the influence of a handful of academic philosophers, mostly from North America, in the 1970s. This opened the door to an international exchange of ideas in the more speculative and controversial aspects of biology.

Of special interest have been philosophical question in taxonomy, evolutionary theory, genetics and the relation between the ‘hard’ sciences of mathematics, physics, and chemistry, the ‘soft’ biological sciences, and the ‘even softer’ social sciences, economic science. Of particular contemporary interest are problems relating to consciousness, artificial intelligence, neuroscience and problems in the philosophy of mind.

Like other disciplines, in order to thrive the philosophy of biology needed an instrument of communication between its practitioners. The journal History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences was introduced in 1979 and in 1986 the journal Biology and Philosophy was launched, followed by Biological TheoryPhilosophy and Practice of BiologyHistory and Philosophy of the Life Sciences, and Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences.

The following is a list of a few introductory student text books.

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