The Structure Of Evolutionary Theory

Download or search for the The Structure Of Evolutionary Theory ebook pdf, pdf ebook for read or download subscribe or signup to support authors. Notes some of books may not available for your country and only available for those who subscribe and depend to the source of the book library websites.

The Structure of Evolutionary Theory

The Structure of Evolutionary Theory Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Stephen Jay Gould
Editor: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674417933
FileSize: 1746kb
File Format: Pdf
Read: 1746

GET EBOOK

The Structure of Evolutionary Theory by Stephen Jay Gould Summary

The world’s most revered and eloquent interpreter of evolutionary ideas offers here a work of explanatory force unprecedented in our time—a landmark publication, both for its historical sweep and for its scientific vision. With characteristic attention to detail, Stephen Jay Gould first describes the content and discusses the history and origins of the three core commitments of classical Darwinism: that natural selection works on organisms, not genes or species; that it is almost exclusively the mechanism of adaptive evolutionary change; and that these changes are incremental, not drastic. Next, he examines the three critiques that currently challenge this classic Darwinian edifice: that selection operates on multiple levels, from the gene to the group; that evolution proceeds by a variety of mechanisms, not just natural selection; and that causes operating at broader scales, including catastrophes, have figured prominently in the course of evolution. Then, in a stunning tour de force that will likely stimulate discussion and debate for decades, Gould proposes his own system for integrating these classical commitments and contemporary critiques into a new structure of evolutionary thought. In 2001 the Library of Congress named Stephen Jay Gould one of America’s eighty-three Living Legends—people who embody the “quintessentially American ideal of individual creativity, conviction, dedication, and exuberance.” Each of these qualities finds full expression in this peerless work, the likes of which the scientific world has not seen—and may not see again—for well over a century.

I Have Landed

I Have Landed Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Stephen Jay Gould
Editor: Random House
ISBN: 1409000133
FileSize: 1709kb
File Format: Pdf
Read: 1709

DOWNLOAD

I Have Landed by Stephen Jay Gould Summary

Stephen Jay Gould's writing remains the modern standard by which popular science writing is judged. Throughout his work Gould has developed a distinctive and personal form of essay to treat great scientific issues in the context of biography. With I Have Landed, Gould once again applied biographical perspectives to the illumination of key scientific concepts and their history. Ranging from the discovery of the new scourge of syphilis by Fracastero in the sixteenth century and Isabelle Duncan's nineteenth-century attempt at reconciling scripture and palaeontology to Freud's weird speculations about human phylogeny and recent creationist attacks on the study of evolution. As always, the essays brilliantly illuminate and elucidate the puzzles and paradoxes great and small that have fuelled the enterprise of science and opened our eyes to a world of unexpected wonders.

Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Stephen Jay Gould
Editor: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393245209
FileSize: 583kb
File Format: Pdf
Read: 583

DOWNLOAD

Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History by Stephen Jay Gould Summary

"[An] extraordinary book. . . . Mr. Gould is an exceptional combination of scientist and science writer. . . . He is thus exceptionally well placed to tell these stories, and he tells them with fervor and intelligence."—James Gleick, New York Times Book Review High in the Canadian Rockies is a small limestone quarry formed 530 million years ago called the Burgess Shale. It hold the remains of an ancient sea where dozens of strange creatures lived—a forgotten corner of evolution preserved in awesome detail. In this book Stephen Jay Gould explores what the Burgess Shale tells us about evolution and the nature of history.

Philosophy of Evolutionary Biology

Philosophy of Evolutionary Biology Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Stefan Linquist
Editor: Routledge
ISBN: 135191135X
FileSize: 1238kb
File Format: Pdf
Read: 1238

DOWNLOAD

Philosophy of Evolutionary Biology by Stefan Linquist Summary

The impact of evolutionary theory on the philosophy of science has been no less profound than its impact on the science of biology itself. Advances in this theory provide a rich set of examples for thinking about the nature of scientific explanation and the structure of science. Many of the developments in our understanding of evolution resulted from contributions by both philosophers and biologists engaging over theoretical questions of mutual interest. This volume traces some of the most influential exchanges in this field over the last few decades. Focal topics include the nature of biological functions, adaptationism as an explanatory and methodological doctrine, the levels of selection debate, the concepts of fitness and drift, and the relationship of evolutionary to developmental biology.

The Mismeasure of Man (Revised and Expanded)

The Mismeasure of Man (Revised and Expanded) Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Stephen Jay Gould
Editor: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393340406
FileSize: 1447kb
File Format: Pdf
Read: 1447

DOWNLOAD

The Mismeasure of Man (Revised and Expanded) by Stephen Jay Gould Summary

The definitive refutation to the argument of The Bell Curve. When published in 1981, The Mismeasure of Man was immediately hailed as a masterwork, the ringing answer to those who would classify people, rank them according to their supposed genetic gifts and limits. And yet the idea of innate limits—of biology as destiny—dies hard, as witness the attention devoted to The Bell Curve, whose arguments are here so effectively anticipated and thoroughly undermined by Stephen Jay Gould. In this edition Dr. Gould has written a substantial new introduction telling how and why he wrote the book and tracing the subsequent history of the controversy on innateness right through The Bell Curve. Further, he has added five essays on questions of The Bell Curve in particular and on race, racism, and biological determinism in general. These additions strengthen the book's claim to be, as Leo J. Kamin of Princeton University has said, "a major contribution toward deflating pseudo-biological 'explanations' of our present social woes."

Rocks of Ages

Rocks of Ages Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Stephen Jay Gould
Editor: Ballantine Books
ISBN: 0307801411
FileSize: 703kb
File Format: Pdf
Read: 703

DOWNLOAD

Rocks of Ages by Stephen Jay Gould Summary

"People of good will wish to see science and religion at peace. . . . I do not see how science and religion could be unified, or even synthesized, under any common scheme of explanation or analysis; but I also do not understand why the two enterprises should experience any conflict." So states internationally renowned evolutionist and bestselling author Stephen Jay Gould in the simple yet profound thesis of his brilliant new book. Writing with bracing intelligence and elegant clarity, Gould sheds new light on a dilemma that has plagued thinking people since the Renaissance. Instead of choosing between science and religion, Gould asks, why not opt for a golden mean that accords dignity and distinction to each realm? At the heart of Gould's penetrating argument is a lucid, contemporary principle he calls NOMA (for nonoverlapping magisteria)--a "blessedly simple and entirely conventional resolution" that allows science and religion to coexist peacefully in a position of respectful noninterference. Science defines the natural world; religion, our moral world, in recognition of their separate spheres of influence. In elaborating and exploring this thought-provoking concept, Gould delves into the history of science, sketching affecting portraits of scientists and moral leaders wrestling with matters of faith and reason. Stories of seminal figures such as Galileo, Darwin, and Thomas Henry Huxley make vivid his argument that individuals and cultures must cultivate both a life of the spirit and a life of rational inquiry in order to experience the fullness of being human. In his bestselling books Wonderful Life, The Mismeasure of Man, and Questioning the Millennium, Gould has written on the abundance of marvels in human history and the natural world. In Rocks of Ages, Gould's passionate humanism, ethical discernment, and erudition are fused to create a dazzling gem of contemporary cultural philosophy. As the world's preeminent Darwinian theorist writes, "I believe, with all my heart, in a respectful, even loving concordat between . . . science and religion."

Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science

Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science Pdf/ePub eBook Author: National Academy of Sciences,Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education,Board on Science Education,Working Group on Teaching Evolution
Editor: National Academies Press
ISBN: 9780309185417
FileSize: 355kb
File Format: Pdf
Read: 355

DOWNLOAD

Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science by National Academy of Sciences,Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education,Board on Science Education,Working Group on Teaching Evolution Summary

Today many school students are shielded from one of the most important concepts in modern science: evolution. In engaging and conversational style, Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science provides a well-structured framework for understanding and teaching evolution. Written for teachers, parents, and community officials as well as scientists and educators, this book describes how evolution reveals both the great diversity and similarity among the Earth's organisms; it explores how scientists approach the question of evolution; and it illustrates the nature of science as a way of knowing about the natural world. In addition, the book provides answers to frequently asked questions to help readers understand many of the issues and misconceptions about evolution. The book includes sample activities for teaching about evolution and the nature of science. For example, the book includes activities that investigate fossil footprints and population growth that teachers of science can use to introduce principles of evolution. Background information, materials, and step-by-step presentations are provided for each activity. In addition, this volume: Presents the evidence for evolution, including how evolution can be observed today. Explains the nature of science through a variety of examples. Describes how science differs from other human endeavors and why evolution is one of the best avenues for helping students understand this distinction. Answers frequently asked questions about evolution. Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science builds on the 1996 National Science Education Standards released by the National Research Council--and offers detailed guidance on how to evaluate and choose instructional materials that support the standards. Comprehensive and practical, this book brings one of today's educational challenges into focus in a balanced and reasoned discussion. It will be of special interest to teachers of science, school administrators, and interested members of the community.

DE EVOLUTION

DE EVOLUTION Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Jeff Frank
Editor: Page Publishing Inc
ISBN: 1684096626
FileSize: 409kb
File Format: Pdf
Read: 409

DOWNLOAD

DE EVOLUTION by Jeff Frank Summary

A large sophisticated telescope complex sits atop a dormant volcano in one of Earth's most remote locations. Some incredibly bright but fiercely independent folks operate it much of the time. They detect, map, and perform threat analysis of near-Earth objects. Shortly after the world narrowly escapes an extinction event, they start collecting pieces of a related cosmic puzzle. When they've connected enough of them, an intriguing and disturbing picture emerges. Yet the most revealing pieces don't reveal themselves until after all life on Earth already has begun marching in lockstep toward possible oblivion.

This View of Life

This View of Life Pdf/ePub eBook Author: David Sloan Wilson
Editor: Vintage
ISBN: 1101870214
FileSize: 1941kb
File Format: Pdf
Read: 1941

DOWNLOAD

This View of Life by David Sloan Wilson Summary

It is widely understood that Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution completely revolutionized the study of biology. Yet, according to David Sloan Wilson, the Darwinian revolution won’t be truly complete until it is applied more broadly—to everything associated with the words “human,” “culture,” and “policy.” In a series of engaging and insightful examples—from the breeding of hens to the timing of cataract surgeries to the organization of an automobile plant—Wilson shows how an evolutionary worldview provides a practical tool kit for understanding not only genetic evolution but also the fast-paced changes that are having an impact on our world and ourselves. What emerges is an incredibly empowering argument: If we can become wise managers of evolutionary processes, we can solve the problems of our age at all scales—from the efficacy of our groups to our well-being as individuals to our stewardship of the planet Earth.

The Plausibility of Life

The Plausibility of Life Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Marc W. Kirschner,John C. Gerhart
Editor: Yale University Press
ISBN: 9780300128673
FileSize: 1140kb
File Format: Pdf
Read: 1140

DOWNLOAD

The Plausibility of Life by Marc W. Kirschner,John C. Gerhart Summary

Two biologists tackle the unresolved question in the field of evolution: how have living organisms on Earth developed with such variety and complexity? In the 150 years since Darwin, the field of evolutionary biology has left a glaring gap in understanding how animals developed their astounding variety and complexity. The standard answer has been that small genetic mutations accumulate over time to produce wondrous innovations such as eyes and wings. Drawing on cutting-edge research across the spectrum of modern biology, Marc Kirschner and John Gerhart demonstrate how this stock answer is woefully inadequate. Rather they offer an original solution to the longstanding puzzle of how small random genetic change can be converted into complex, useful innovations. In a new theory they call “facilitated variation,” Kirschner and Gerhart elevate the individual organism from a passive target of natural selection to a central player in the 3-billion-year history of evolution. In clear, accessible language, the authors invite every reader to contemplate daring new ideas about evolution. By closing the major gap in Darwin’s theory Kirschner and Gerhart also provide a timely scientific rebuttal to modern critics of evolution who champion “intelligent design.” “Makes for informative and enjoyable reading, and the issues the authors raise are worthy of attention.”—American Scientist “Thought-provoking and lucidly written…The Plausibility of Life will help readers understand not just the plausibility of evolution, but its remarkable, inventive powers.”—Sean Carroll, author of Endless Forms Most Beautiful: The New Science of Evo Devo

Science as a Process

Science as a Process Pdf/ePub eBook Author: David L. Hull
Editor: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226360490
FileSize: 1438kb
File Format: Pdf
Read: 1438

DOWNLOAD

Science as a Process by David L. Hull Summary

"Legend is overdue for replacement, and an adequate replacement must attend to the process of science as carefully as Hull has done. I share his vision of a serious account of the social and intellectual dynamics of science that will avoid both the rosy blur of Legend and the facile charms of relativism. . . . Because of [Hull's] deep concern with the ways in which research is actually done, Science as a Process begins an important project in the study of science. It is one of a distinguished series of books, which Hull himself edits."—Philip Kitcher, Nature "In Science as a Process, [David Hull] argues that the tension between cooperation and competition is exactly what makes science so successful. . . . Hull takes an unusual approach to his subject. He applies the rules of evolution in nature to the evolution of science, arguing that the same kinds of forces responsible for shaping the rise and demise of species also act on the development of scientific ideas."—Natalie Angier, New York Times Book Review "By far the most professional and thorough case in favour of an evolutionary philosophy of science ever to have been made. It contains excellent short histories of evolutionary biology and of systematics (the science of classifying living things); an important and original account of modern systematic controversy; a counter-attack against the philosophical critics of evolutionary philosophy; social-psychological evidence, collected by Hull himself, to show that science does have the character demanded by his philosophy; and a philosophical analysis of evolution which is general enough to apply to both biological and historical change."—Mark Ridley, Times Literary Supplement "Hull is primarily interested in how social interactions within the scientific community can help or hinder the process by which new theories and techniques get accepted. . . . The claim that science is a process for selecting out the best new ideas is not a new one, but Hull tells us exactly how scientists go about it, and he is prepared to accept that at least to some extent, the social activities of the scientists promoting a new idea can affect its chances of being accepted."—Peter J. Bowler, Archives of Natural History "I have been doing philosophy of science now for twenty-five years, and whilst I would never have claimed that I knew everything, I felt that I had a really good handle on the nature of science, Again and again, Hull was able to show me just how incomplete my understanding was. . . . Moreover, [Science as a Process] is one of the most compulsively readable books that I have ever encountered."—Michael Ruse, Biology and Philosophy

Structure of Biological Theories, The

Structure of Biological Theories, The Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Paul Thompson
Editor: SUNY Press
ISBN: 1438422067
FileSize: 1326kb
File Format: Pdf
Read: 1326

DOWNLOAD

Structure of Biological Theories, The by Paul Thompson Summary

The central thesis of this book is that the semantic conception is a logical methodologically and heuristically richer and more accurate account of scientific theorizing, and in particular of theorizing in evolutionary biology, than the more widely adhered to syntactic conception. In this book, the author outlines both the conceptions indicating the significant problems with the syntactic conception; explains and criticizes two influential syntactic-conception accounts of the structure of evolutionary theorizing. Thompson also argues that the semantic conception provides a richer and more accurate understanding than the syntactic conception of sociobiological explanation, of the testability of sociobiology, and of the role of culture and cognition in evolutionary explanations of human behavior.

The Origins of Order

The Origins of Order Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Stuart A. Kauffman
Editor: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199826674
FileSize: 736kb
File Format: Pdf
Read: 736

DOWNLOAD

The Origins of Order by Stuart A. Kauffman Summary

Stuart Kauffman here presents a brilliant new paradigm for evolutionary biology, one that extends the basic concepts of Darwinian evolution to accommodate recent findings and perspectives from the fields of biology, physics, chemistry and mathematics. The book drives to the heart of the exciting debate on the origins of life and maintenance of order in complex biological systems. It focuses on the concept of self-organization: the spontaneous emergence of order that is widely observed throughout nature Kauffman argues that self-organization plays an important role in the Darwinian process of natural selection. Yet until now no systematic effort has been made to incorporate the concept of self-organization into evolutionary theory. The construction requirements which permit complex systems to adapt are poorly understood, as is the extent to which selection itself can yield systems able to adapt more successfully. This book explores these themes. It shows how complex systems, contrary to expectations, can spontaneously exhibit stunning degrees of order, and how this order, in turn, is essential for understanding the emergence and development of life on Earth. Topics include the new biotechnology of applied molecular evolution, with its important implications for developing new drugs and vaccines; the balance between order and chaos observed in many naturally occurring systems; new insights concerning the predictive power of statistical mechanics in biology; and other major issues. Indeed, the approaches investigated here may prove to be the new center around which biological science itself will evolve. The work is written for all those interested in the cutting edge of research in the life sciences.

The Oxford Handbook of Causation

The Oxford Handbook of Causation Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Helen Beebee,Christopher Hitchcock,Peter Menzies
Editor: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191629464
FileSize: 911kb
File Format: Pdf
Read: 911

DOWNLOAD

The Oxford Handbook of Causation by Helen Beebee,Christopher Hitchcock,Peter Menzies Summary

Causation is a central topic in many areas of philosophy. In metaphysics, philosophers want to know what causation is, and how it is related to laws of nature, probability, action, and freedom of the will. In epistemology, philosophers investigate how causal claims can be inferred from statistical data, and how causation is related to perception, knowledge and explanation. In the philosophy of mind, philosophers want to know whether and how the mind can be said to have causal efficacy, and in ethics, whether there is a moral distinction between acts and omissions and whether the moral value of an act can be judged according to its consequences. And causation is a contested concept in other fields of enquiry, such as biology, physics, and the law. This book provides an in-depth and comprehensive overview of these and other topics, as well as the history of the causation debate from the ancient Greeks to the logical empiricists. The chapters provide surveys of contemporary debates, while often also advancing novel and controversial claims; and each includes a comprehensive bibliography and suggestions for further reading. The book is thus the most comprehensive source of information about causation currently available, and will be invaluable for upper-level undergraduates through to professional philosophers.

The Theory of Evolution and Its Impact

The Theory of Evolution and Its Impact Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Aldo Fasolo
Editor: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9788847019744
FileSize: 1653kb
File Format: Pdf
Read: 1653

DOWNLOAD

The Theory of Evolution and Its Impact by Aldo Fasolo Summary

Year 2009 was the triumph of Darwin as a global superstar, spinning from the pop icon to the actual understanding to what make him a great innovator, able to give a turn to whole modern culture. Does all this activity mean evolution has lost its ability to excite fear and opposition? After such a deluge of books, conferences, reviews, gadgets, what is today our vision on theory of Evolution and its Impact? These are the questions asked at an inter-academy conference held in Torino (May 27-29, 2010) among the Accademia delle Scienze di Torino, the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei and the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften. The present book collects the contributions from the meeting, mixing styles, arguments, topics, history and philosophy of science, modern biology and epistemology . This kind of inter-disciplinary approach may appear erratic, but it conveys flashes of lights on the changing scene where the theory of evolution plays. This is in line with the idea to reopen the file of the Two Cultures, looking at shared problems, which are not yet really the Third Culture invoked by Charles Percy Snow half a century ago, but they can foster it, at least in such a pivotal domain as evolution. According to the philosopher Michael Ruse, the conclusion is “that in fifty years or a hundred years we will still have the theory of the Origin around. Great, precisely because it does not stand still, but remakes itself and grows and changes by virtue of the fact that it gives such a terrific foundation. Is Darwinism past its sell-by date? Not by a long chalk yet!”

European Philosophy of Science - Philosophy of Science in Europe and the Viennese Heritage

European Philosophy of Science - Philosophy of Science in Europe and the Viennese Heritage Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Maria Carla Galavotti,Elisabeth Nemeth,Friedrich Stadler
Editor: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 331901899X
FileSize: 1191kb
File Format: Pdf
Read: 1191

DOWNLOAD

European Philosophy of Science - Philosophy of Science in Europe and the Viennese Heritage by Maria Carla Galavotti,Elisabeth Nemeth,Friedrich Stadler Summary

This volume combines the theoretical and historical perspective focusing on the specific features of a European philosophy of science. On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Institute Vienna Circle the Viennese roots and influences will be addressed, in addition. There is no doubt that contemporary philosophy of science originated mainly in Europe beginning in the 19th century and has influenced decisively the subsequent development of globalized philosophy of science, esp. in North America. Recent research in this field documents some specific characteristics of philosophy of science covering the natural, social, and also cultural sciences in the European context up to the destruction and forced migration caused by Fascism and National Socialism. This European perspective with the integration of history and philosophy of science and the current situation in the philosophy of science after the transatlantic interaction and transformation, and the “return” after World War II raises the question of contemporary European characteristics in the philosophy of science. The role and function of the renowned Vienna Circle of Logical Empiricism and its impact and influence on contemporary philosophy of science is on the agenda, too. Accordingly, the general topic is dealt with in two parallel sessions representing systematic-formal as well as genetic-historical perspectives on philosophy of science in a European context up to the present.​

Why Gould Was Wrong

Why Gould Was Wrong Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Nils K. Oeijord
Editor: iUniverse
ISBN: 0595752039
FileSize: 633kb
File Format: Pdf
Read: 633

DOWNLOAD

Why Gould Was Wrong by Nils K. Oeijord Summary

Stephen Jay Gould (1941-2002) was a leading critic of human behavioral genetics, human sociobiology, evolutionary psychology, and the modern evolutionary synthesis. Why Gould Was Wrong explains why Gould's claims were horribly wrong.

Reading Richard Dawkins

Reading Richard Dawkins Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Gary Keogh
Editor: Fortress Press
ISBN: 1451479786
FileSize: 461kb
File Format: Pdf
Read: 461

DOWNLOAD

Reading Richard Dawkins by Gary Keogh Summary

Theological reactions to the rise of the new atheist movement have largely been critically hostile or defensively deployed apologetics to shore up the faith against attack. Gary Keogh contends that focusing on scholarly material that is inherently agreeable to theology will not suffice in the context of modern academia. Theology needs to test its boundaries. Engaging Richard Dawkins illustrates how dialogue with antithetical viewpoints may offer new perspectives on classical theological problems. Keogh demonstrates how a dialogical paradigm may take shape—one which is up to the task of facing its critics in the context of modern academia.

Science Teaching

Science Teaching Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Michael R. Matthews
Editor: Routledge
ISBN: 1136336753
FileSize: 1884kb
File Format: Pdf
Read: 1884

DOWNLOAD

Science Teaching by Michael R. Matthews Summary

Science Teaching explains how history and philosophy of science contributes to the resolution of persistent theoretical, curricular, and pedagogical issues in science education. It shows why it is essential for science teachers to know and appreciate the history and philosophy of the subject they teach and how this knowledge can enrich science instruction and enthuse students in the subject. Through its historical perspective, the book reveals to students, teachers, and researchers the foundations of scientific knowledge and its connection to philosophy, metaphysics, mathematics, and broader social influences including the European Enlightenment, and develops detailed arguments about constructivism, worldviews and science, multicultural science education, inquiry teaching, values, and teacher education. Fully updated and expanded, the 20th Anniversary Edition of this classic text, featuring four new chapters—The Enlightenment Tradition; Joseph Priestley and Photosynthesis; Science, Worldviews and Education; and Nature of Science Research—and 1,300 references, provides a solid foundation for teaching and learning in the field.

Towards a Theory of Development

Towards a Theory of Development Pdf/ePub eBook Author: Alessandro Minelli,Thomas Pradeu
Editor: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191651184
FileSize: 321kb
File Format: Pdf
Read: 321

DOWNLOAD

Towards a Theory of Development by Alessandro Minelli,Thomas Pradeu Summary

Is it possible to explain and predict the development of living things? What is development? Articulate answers to these seemingly innocuous questions are far from straightforward. To date, no systematic, targeted effort has been made to construct a unifying theory of development. This novel work offers a unique exploration of the foundations of ontogeny by asking how the development of living things should be understood. It explores the key concepts of developmental biology, asks whether general principles of development can be discovered, and examines the role of models and theories. The two editors (one a biologist with long interest in the theoretical aspects of his discipline, the other a philosopher of science who has mainly worked on biological systems) have assembled a team of leading contributors who are representative of the scientific and philosophical community within which a diversity of thoughts are growing, and out of which a theory of development may eventually emerge. They analyse a wealth of approaches to concepts, models and theories of development, such as gene regulatory networks, accounts based on systems biology and on physics of soft matter, the different articulations of evolution and development, symbiont-induced development, as well as the widely discussed concepts of positional information and morphogenetic field, the idea of a 'programme' of development and its critiques, and the long-standing opposition between preformationist and epigenetic conceptions of development. Towards a Theory of Development is primarily aimed at students and researchers in the fields of 'evo-devo', developmental biology, theoretical biology, systems biology, biophysics, and the philosophy of science.