Explores some of the philosophical implications and assumptions of contemporary evolutionary biology, ecology and the other life sciences. The unit begins by considering [i] the standard view of evolution, [ii] the debate over the unit of selection, [iii] differing conceptions of gene, organism and species, and [iv] the nature and limitations of adaptationist reasoning. The unit also considers the implications of evolutionary reasoning. Topics here may include: [i] the role of findings in the life sciences in contemporary ethical debates over abortion, cloning, genetic engineering etc, [ii] socio-biology, evolutionary psychology, and the use of evolutionary theory to understand aspects of human nature, and [iii] the use of evolutionary models in sociology, epistemology and other fields.
ASSESSMENT: 2 x 750 word short assignments (15% each), 1,500 word essay (30%), 2-hour exam (40%)
Units are offered in attending mode unless otherwise indicated (that is attendance is required at the campus identified). A unit identified as offered by distance, that is there is no requirement for attendance, is identified with a nominal enrolment campus. A unit offered to both attending students and by distance from the same campus is identified as having both modes of study.
Campus - H Hobart, L Launceston, W Burnie. Study Centre - V Sydney, R Rozelle, P Beauty Point. Distance units may also have a campus identifier of I Isolated, N Interstate, O Overseas. Units delivered in Transnational Education (TNE) Programs have a campus identifier of A Hangzhou, F Fuzhou, G Shanghai, K KDU Malaysia, Q Kuwait or Y Hong Kong.