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Hardcover | Out of Print | 816 pp. | 7 x 10 in | June 1991 | ISBN: 9780262023153
Paperback | Out of Stock | 816 pp. | 7 x 10 in | June 1991 | ISBN: 9780262521567
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The Philosophy of Science


Using formal logic, Reconstructing the Past seeks to clarify and resolve the methodological issues that arise when biologists try to answer such questions as whether human beings are more closely related to chimps than they are to gorillas. It explores the case for considering the philosophical idea of simplicity/parsimony as a useful principle for evaluating taxonomic theories of evolutionary relationships. Bringing together philosophy, biology, and statistics, Sober builds a general framework for understanding the circumstances in which parsimony makes sense as a tool of phylogenetic inference.Elliott Sober is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and the author of The Nature of Selection.


“"Sober is a philosopher who studies biology, and be brings a rare skill to bear upon the philosophical arguments with which biologists (and others) have tried to justify parsimony." Mark Ridley , Nature”
“" Reconstructing the Past is full of valuable clarifications, methodological insights, and rigorous argumentation. It is an excellent contribution to philosophy of biology and philosophy of science generally." Philip Kitcher , University of California, San Diego”