One way to understand science is as a selection process. David Hull, one of the dominant figures in contemporary philosophy of science, sets out in this volume a general analysis of this selection process that applies equally to biological evolution, the reaction of the immune system to antigens, operant learning, and social and conceptual change in science. Hull aims to distinguish those characteristics that are contingent features of selection from those that are essential.
Part One focuses on selection in biological evolution. Part Two contains essays that treat science itself as a selection process. Hull explores questions such as: How
are scientists able to cooperate so extensively in such competitive situations, why are scientists so much better than members of other professions at policing themselves, and how come science is so clearly progressive? The answers given
to these questions are intended to be themselves scientific. Hence, anything that Hull's theory implies about scientific theories as such should apply to his theory as well. In Part Three Hull examines the testing of our views about science, arguing that if testing plays such a crucial role in other areas of science, then it must play the same role in the study of science.
Science and Selection brings together many of David Hull's most important essays on selection (some never before published) in one accessible volume. It will be of interest to students and professionals in philosophy of science and evolutionary biology, and any others interested in the study of science.