Darwinism in Philosophy, Social Science and Policy

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A collection of essays by Alexander Rosenberg, the distinguished philosopher of science. The essays cover three broad areas related to Darwinian thought and naturalism: – the first deals with the solution of philosophical problems such as reductionism; – the second with the development of social theories; – and the third with the intersection of evolutionary biology with economics, political philosophy, and public policy. Specific papers deal with naturalistic epistemology, the limits of reductionism, the biological justification of ethics, the so-called 'trolley problem' in moral philosophy, the political philosophy of biological endowments, and the Human Genome Project and its implications for policy. Rosenberg's important writings on a variety of issues are here organized into a coherent philosophical framework which promises to be a significant and controversial contribution to scholarship in many areas. – Contents : Introduction. – 1. A field guide to recent species of naturalism; – 2. Naturalistic epistemology for eliminative materialists; – 3. Limits to biological knowledge; – 4. Reductionism redux: computing the embryo; – 5. What happens to genetics when holism runs amok?; – 6. The biological justification of ethics: a best-case scenario; – 7. Moral realism and social science; – 8; Contractarianism and the 'trolley' problem; – 9. Does evolutionary theory give comfort or inspiration to economics?; – 10. The politicial philosophy of biological endowments: some considerations; – 11. Research tactics and economic strategies: the case of the human Genome project. – Includes bibliographical references (p. 243-247) and index.