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Making Sense of Evolution: The Conceptual Foundations of Evolutionary Biology Paperback – November 15, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0226668376 ISBN-10: 0226668371

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 236 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press (November 15, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226668371
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226668376
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,290,394 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"The philosophical analysis in this book offers a clear conceptual perspective for evolutionary geneticists trying to get their mathematical apparatus clear and make an estimation of its relevance to explaining biological phenomena. But it also should encourage philosophers that evolutionary quantititative genetics is a fertile domain for analysing the meaning and use of concepts."
(Alan C. Love Mind) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Massimo Pigliucci is associate professor of ecology and evolution at Stony Brook University. Jonathan Kaplan is assistant professor of philosophy at Oregon State University.

More About the Author

Massimo Pigliucci is a Professor of Philosophy at the City University of New York. His research is concerned with philosophy of science, the relationship between science and philosophy, and the nature of pseudoscience.

He received a Doctorate in Genetics from the University of Ferrara in Italy, a PhD in Botany from the University of Connecticut, and a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Tennessee. He has published over a hundred technical papers and several books. Prof. Pigliucci has been awarded the prestigious Dobzhansky Prize from the Society for the Study of Evolution. He has been elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science "for fundamental studies of genotype by environmental interactions and for public defense of evolutionary biology from pseudoscientific attack."

In the areas of outreach and critical thinking, Prof. Pigliucci has published in national magazines such as Skeptic, Skeptical Inquirer, Philosophy Now, and The Philosopher's Magazine, among others. He has also been elected as a Consultant for the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. Pigliucci pens the "Rationally Speaking" blog (, and co-hosts the Rationally Speaking podcast.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Shaun Johnston on January 11, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I came to this book for an introduction to the statistics at the heart of current evolutionary theory. It gave me that, and a whole lot more--a great round up of issues in evolution at the professional level, most of it way over my head. I felt well satisfied that I'd been introduced to modern evolutionary discourse, to how professional evolutionists think about the subject and what issues matter to them. I noticed how little that discourse connects to the roots of evolutionary theory in the 19th C. Discussion of basics went back no further than the 1920s and '30s. My overriding impression was that professional evolutionists no longer have a language in which to talk to laypeople about lay interests. I recommend that, if you want to argue with evolutionists about something, you read this book first and see if your "something" can be framed in their discourse. If not, you may be met with an expression of well-meaning puzzlement--"what are you talking about?". Well-written, easy to read, except for the inscrutability of the subject matter itself, which I ultimately found just uninteresting.
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By Ronald S. Wardrop on September 24, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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