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: HPA218 - 3000 words internal assessment (60%) 2-hour examination (40%)
HPA318 -3500 words internal assessment (60%)2-hour examination (40%)
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