Summary and Info
"As important as Michael Ghiselin's work has been, he is an excellent exampleof someone who really has not received the attention and acclaim that hiswork deserves. The most innovative scientists and philosophers think highlyof his work and cite it frequently, but too often the larger body of scholars isaware of only bits and pieces. This book will set things straight. Ghiselin hasbeen preparing to write this book all his life. It integrates all of the variousaspects of his research into a single, unified, and impressive whole."-David L. Hull, Dressier Professor in the HumanitiesNorthwestern UniversityThis sweeping discussion of the philosophy of evolutionary biology is basedon the author's revolutionary idea that species are not kinds of organisms butwholes composed of organisms-individuals in the broadest ontological sense.Although the book's primary focus is on species and speciation, it deals with awide variety of other fundamental units and basic processes and provides areexamination of the role of classification in biology and other sciences.In explaining his individuality thesis, Michael T. Ghiselin provides extendeddiscussions of such philosophical topics as definition, the reality of variouskinds of groups, and how we classify traits and processes. He develops andapplies the implications for general biology and other sciences and makes thecase that a better understanding of species and of classification in generalputs biologists and paleontologists in a much better position to understandnature in general, and such processes as extinction in particular."This book will be highly praised by some readers and viciously attacked byothers. There is no other such comprehensive treatment in the available literature.The excellent, very extensive cross-references are a particular virtue.The crucial literature is cited for virtually every controversial issue. Thus thebook is a most useful introduction to the covered field ."-Ernst Mayr, Harvard UniversityMichael T. Ghiselin is the author of Intellectual Compromise, The Economy ofNature and the Evolution of Sex, and The Triumph of the Darwinian Method. ASenior Research Fellow at the California Academy of Sciences, he is the reCipientof a 1981 MacArthur Prize and was awarded the 1970 Pfizer Prize by theHistory of Science Society.
More About the Author
Michael T. Ghiselin (born May 13, 1939) is an American biologist, and philosopher as well as historian of biology currently at the California Academy of Sciences.
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