HPL 367 Philosophy of Biology

This class is an introduction to the philosophy of biology and structured around a number of the central issues of the field. Students will consider some of the following questions: Is the history of life a series of accidents or a drama scripted by selfish genes? Is there an "essential" human nature, determined our biology either at birth or in a distant evolutionary past? What parts of our behavior are most shaped by natural selection? Can evolutionary theory give us any insight into the nature of human consciousness? What does it mean for an evolutionary biologist to say that our heart is supposed to pump blood? What defines a biological species? Are human races biologically real? How does evolutionary theory, and contemporary human biology more generally, impact classical ethical theory?




Humanities and Social Sciences Program

Typically Offered Periods

Fall Semester Summer Session 1