Course Detail
Course Components:
Enrollment Information
Enrollment Requirement:
Recommended Prerequisite: PHIL 3012, 3300, 3310, 3350, 3400, 3440, 3600, 3370, 4380.
This course introduces students to philosophical questions pertaining to the foundations of the biological sciences. It will introduce students to thinking critically about explanation, confirmation and prediction in the biological sciences, and it will increase the insight, for biology majors, into foundational and conceptual issues in their own major. Students will read contemporary as well as historical materials pertaining to: the concept of fitness; the units and levels of selection; adaptationism; the nature of species; the character of explanation in biology; the historical controversy over the neutral theory of molecular evolution; Darwinism and neo-Darwinism; Evo-Devo: the new synthesis of evolution and developmental biology; optimization modeling and its limitations; the way history shapes the development of the biological sciences, and the way that the biological sciences shape the course of history. Additional readings and an appropriate research paper is required for graduate student credit.