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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: November 2019

15 - A Modern Synthesis of Philosophy and Biology

from Section Two - Logic, Metaphysics, Science


There is much to be said for the birth of philosophy of biology coming out of the Modern (Evolutionary) Synthesis (MS) during the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. While biologists such as Theodosius Dobzhansky, Julian Huxley, George Gaylord Simpson, and Ernst Mayr launched the MS, philosophers as interpreters and critics played a significant part in determining its faith, as we shall see. Moreover, as noted by Marjorie Grene and David Depew, “The work of defending, expanding, challenging, and, perhaps, replacing the Modern Synthesis has tended to bring out the philosopher in many evolutionary biologists” (2004: 248).

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