How much can Darwinian mechanisms account for human values, the character of social institutions and the justification of our claims to knowledge in the sciences? Alexander Rosenberg, the distinguished philosopher of science, explores these questions and their ramifications in this groundbreaking and timely collection of papers.
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, evolution and the social contract in political philosophy, the political philosophy of biological endowments and the Human Genome Project and its implications for policy.
Many of 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. The book will be of interest to students and professionals in the philosophy of science and the application of evolutionary biology to social science and policy.