Understanding Life and Mind: Topics in the Philosophy of Biology|
Fall 2015 not offered
This advanced seminar explores the philosophical significance of recent developments in evolutionary, developmental, and genomic biology, with special emphasis upon topics that bear on biologically grounded conceptions of mind and language. After initial treatment of preparatory topics such as naturalism and reductionism, the course takes up four primary themes: organism/environment relations; relations between genetics, epigenetics, and genomics; developmentalist challenges to orthodox neo-Darwinist conceptions of evolution; and evolutionary approaches to understanding mind and language, especially those that emphasize niche construction and the co-evolution of language and homo sapiens.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Student Option|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (PHIL)(PHIL-Philosophy)(PHIL-Social Jus)(SISP)(SISP-ScieDblMjr)
John Dupre, PROCESSES OF LIFE
Richard Lewontin, THE TRIPLE HELIX
Paul Griffiths and Karel Stotz, GENETICS AND PHILOSOPHY
Evan Thompson, MIND IN LIFE
M. Pigliucci and G. Muller, eds., THE EXTENDED SYNTHESIS
S. Oyama, P. Griffiths, and P. Gray, eds., CYCLES OF CONTINGENCY
P. Griffiths and K. Sterelny, SEX AND DEATH
John Haugeland, "Mind Embodied and Embedded"
K. Laland, J. Odling-Smee, and M. Feldman, NICHE CONSTRUCTION
Elisabeth Lloyd, "Kanzi, Language, and Evolution"
Daniel Dor and Eva Jablonka, "From Cultural Selection to Genetic Selection"
Kathleen Akins, "Of Sensory Systems and the Aboutness of Mental States"
|Examinations and Assignments: |
Seminar presentations to initiate discussion
Final term paper
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
This is an advanced seminar that presupposes both prior work in philosophy, and a solid basic understanding of contemporary biology (roughly equivalent to BIOL 181-182, or a very strong high school background).
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