Questions the dominant biological approach of explaining animal development as entirely genetic by exploring the explanatory value of investigating environmental influences.
Images of Development questions the dominant biological approach of explaining animal development as entirely genetic by exploring the explanatory value of investigating environmental influences. Van der Weele discusses assumptions, explanatory patterns, and conceptual tools in developmental and evolutionary biology and reviews many concrete examples of environmental influence in animal development. She provides perspectives from biology, philosophy of science, and ethics in an integrative way.
Cor van der Weele is Assistant Professor of Science and Ethics at Utrecht University, The Netherlands.
"Images of Development introduces biology and philosophy for specialists and, at the same time, for readers not acquainted with one or both of these fields. The amazing thing is that, as one continues reading, one notices after a while that the two disciplines merge in such a way that you can't tell them apart anymore. This is philosophy of biology at its best.
"This book offers a perspective on developmental biology, evolutionary biology, genetics, and relations between these disciplines which is entirely new. In forging relations, it uncovers minor and major biases, not least those concerning overemphases on genetics. This ultimately leads to a view of relations between ethics and science which should have profound consequences for ethics and science alike. " — Wim J. van der Steen, author of A Practical Philosophy for the Life Sciences
"Van der Weele covers many important topics and relates them to each other very well. The focus on environmental causes is a welcome counterbalance to overemphasis on the gene, and her discussion of the pragmatics of science is timely. " — Susan Oyama, John Jay College, City University of New York and CUNY Graduate School