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Название: The Cambridge Companion to the Philosophy of Biology (Cambridge Companions to Philosophy)
Авторы: David L. Hull, Michael Ruse
The preceding review of this book is so silly, glib and off the mark that it requires some form of response. First, note that the title of the book is the Cambridge COMPANION to The Philosophy of Biology, which is indicative of its purpose as a supplementary collection of scholarly essays, each of which sets out to discuss particular contemporary issues internal to the philosophy of biology, of which there are many. It is not a book of biology. It is not a book about Philosophy with a capital 'P'. It is a book about biology and it's philosophical commitments. The idea that this book does or must take as its primary task the debate between Creationism/Intelligent Design and Evolution, or more generally the tension between biology and religion is absurd. This is not an introductory or popular book on evolution, biology, philosophy, Darwinism, or even the philosophy of science specifically. Nor should it be taken as weighing in (with anything approaching consensus) on issues associated only with Darwinism contra the previous reviewers assertions. The evolution/creationism debate, contrary to some popular opinion, is NOT the sine qua non of biology as a science, nor the philosophical issues associated with it. If nothing else this book illustrates that fact (The essay by Pennock being the only one in the collection that discusses the debate specifically). It is an anthology specifically tailored to a sub-discipline of the philosophy of science, concerned with identifying and evaluating conceptual assumptions and methodological practices in biology, as well as its historical and cultural development amongst other things. It has no unifying theme beyond this specificity of subject; it is intentionally broad in scope so as to touch on a variety of issues within the discipline. In other words, and apparently this bears repeating, it is about the philosophy OF biology; if you were previously unaware that such a discipline exists as a robust research program in contemporary philosophy, you are not likely to enjoy this book (yet!). It is a collection of specialized scholarly material and should be treated as such, and to that end, it succeeds. Some familiarity beyond book store browsing in both the philosophy of science and biology is presumed, and there is nothing clandestine about this. For those looking for an introduction to this discipline consider an introductory text along the lines of Sterelny and Griffith's 1999Sex and Death: An Introduction to Philosophy of Biology (Science and Its Conceptual Foundations series) , or Sober's 2000Philosophy of Biology, 2nd Edition (Dimensions of Philosophy). Readers interested in more 'grandiose' or less specialized scholarship, or for an introductory biology or philosophy text should obviously look elsewhere. If, alternatively, you are in the market for another book that spins some variant of "God smells and Darwin rules; QED", or you think that this is the only real question of interest regarding biology, do look elsewhere. Perhaps in a deep and remote cave.