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Toward a New Philosophy of Biology: Observations of an Evolutionist Reprint Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0674896666
ISBN-10: 0674896661
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

$35. biology Mayr, one of the principal architects of the modern evolutionary synthesis, has been a protagonist and astute observer in evolutionary discussions for over 50 years. This series of essays is organized topically under such headings as natural selection, adaptation, Darwin and Darwinism, taxonomic diversity, speciation, macroevolution, and philosophy of science as it is affected by evolutionary thought. The book's organization is reminiscent of similar compilations by Stephen Jay Gould (e.g., The Flamingo's Smile , LJ 9/15/86), but most of these essays require more sophistication from the reader. The book is vintage Mayrshowing him, as ever, a cogent, critical, and remarkably well-read biologist, historian, and philosopher. For informed readers and scholars. Margery C. Coombs, Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

It is a pleasure to be in the company of a mind so vibrant and still exploring the boundary between the circle of what is known and the vast expanse of what isn't. (Lee Dembart Los Angeles Times)

Mayr's power to discern biological connections and also to identify the telling example should excite unqualified admiration...Toward a New Philosophy of Biology is a book to be developed, to be argued with, a book whose margins should be filled with exciting scribblings. (Philip Kitcher Nature)

Mayr is the greatest living commentator on biology; and if biology is what you do, as a researcher, teacher, writer, or as amateur, then this is a book you should own. (Colin Tudge New Scientist)

Ernst Mayr is one of a handful of the greatest scientific minds humankind has yet produced...This beautifully presented collection of twenty-eight articles and essays, elegantly introduced and filled with important neologisms all contributing to clarity, is so close to competing with Darwin's Origin of Species that I would not be surprised if history were to judge that Evolutionism in our century also has a Prophet...In short, this is one great classic. (Dick Duman Bloomsbury Review)

Never too far below the surface of Mayr the philosopher or historian lies Mayr the combative scientific streetfighter. It is in this capacity that he has been most creative, informative, and downright entertaining throughout his career; and this book is no exception...If you are at all interested in evolution--as a historian, a philosopher, or, above all, as a practicing biologist--you really should read this book. (Niles Eldredge BioScience)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 575 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press; Reprint edition (September 9, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674896661
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674896666
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #347,515 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
I have found this to be one of the best treatments of biology, philosophy, evolution, and other related issues that is available. Perhaps this is so because it was not written by a computational biologist, but rather by a "real" biologist, and one who has seen everything since the NeoDarwinian synthesis that he contributed to. I strongly recommend this book to everyone with more than a passing interest in biology.
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Format: Paperback
"Darwinism is not a simple theory that is either true or false but is rather a highly complex research program that is being continuously modified and improved." If that isn't a grand, new way of looking at it, I don't know what is. Of course, that quote is from the last chapter, and there is much else to be gleaned there and throughout the somewhat thick treatise. See for example his definitions of adaptation and, especially, his definition of evolution--the fact of evolution--and his ethics in the light of evolution. Highly recommended... - lc
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