Robert N. Brandon

Robert Brandon is Professor of Philosophy and Biology at Duke University and the coeditor of Genes, Organisms, Populations: Controversies over the Units of Selection (MIT Press, 1984).

  • Integrating Evolution and Development

    Integrating Evolution and Development

    From Theory to Practice

    Roger Sansom and Robert N. Brandon

    Scholars argue for the importance of the developmental synthesis, or evo-devo, discussing the history and potential of this growing field of study and presenting specific case studies.

    The twentieth century's conceptual separation of the process of evolution (changes in a population as its members reproduce and die) from the process of development (changes in an organism over the course of its life) allowed scientists to study evolution without bogging down in the “messy details” of development. Advances in genetics produced the modern synthesis, which cast the gene as the unit of natural selection. The modern synthesis, however, has had its dissenters (among them Stephen Jay Gould), and there is now growing interest in the developmental synthesis (also known as evo-devo), which integrates the study of evolution and development. This collection offers a history of the developmental synthesis, argues for its significance, and provides specific case studies of its applications ranging from evolutionary psychology to the evolution of culture. Widespread interest in the developmental synthesis is a relatively new phenomenon. Scientists don't yet know whether revisions to evolutionary theory resulting from the findings of evo-devo will be modest, with the developmental synthesis seen as a supplement to evolutionary theory, or a more far-reaching fundamental theoretical rethinking of evolution itself. The chapters in Integrating Evolution and Development not only make a case for the importance of the developmental synthesis, they also make significant contributions to this fast-growing field of study.

    Contributors Werner Callebaut, James R. Griesemer, Paul E. Griffiths, Manfred D. Laubichler, Jane Maienschein, Gerd B. Müller, Stuart A. Newman, H. Frederik Nijhout, Roger Sansom, Gerhard Schlosser, William C. Wimsatt

    • Hardcover $15.75 £12.99
    • Paperback $8.75 £6.99
  • Genes, Organisms, Populations

    Genes, Organisms, Populations

    Controversies Over the Units of Selection

    Robert N. Brandon and Richard Burian

    This anthology collects some of the most important papers on what is believed to be the major force in evolution, natural selection. An issue of great consequence in the philosophy of biology concerns the levels at which, and the units upon which selection acts. In recent years, biologists and philosophers have published a large number of papers bearing on this subject. The papers selected for inclusion in this book are divided into three main sections covering the history of the subject, explaining its conceptual foundations, and focusing on kin and group selection and higher levels of selection.One of the book's interesting features is that it draws together material from the biological and philosophical literatures. The philosophical literature, having thoroughly absorbed the biological material, now offers conceptual tools suitable for the reworking of the biological arguments. Although a full symbiosis has yet to develop, this anthology offers a unique resource for students in both biology and philosophy.

    A Bradford Book.

    • Hardcover $37.50 £30.00
    • Paperback $40.00 £32.00


  • The Environment

    The Environment

    Philosophy, Science, and Ethics

    William P. Kabasenche, Michael O'Rourke, and Matthew H. Slater

    Original essays by leading scholars consider the environment from biological and ethical perspectives.

    Philosophical reflections on the environment began with early philosophers' invocation of a cosmology that mixed natural and supernatural phenomena. Today, the central philosophical problem posed by the environment involves not what it can teach us about ourselves and our place in the cosmic order but rather how we can understand its workings in order to make better decisions about our own conduct regarding it. The resulting inquiry spans different areas of contemporary philosophy, many of which are represented by the fifteen original essays in this volume.

    The contributors first consider conceptual problems generated by rapid advances in biology and ecology, examining such topics as ecological communities, adaptation, and scientific consensus. The contributors then turn to epistemic and axiological issues, first considering philosophical aspects of environmental decision making and then assessing particular environmental policies (largely relating to climate change), including reparations, remediation, and nuclear power, from a normative perspective.

    Contributors Katie McShane, Robert Brandon, Rachel Bryant, Michael Trestman, Brian Steverson, Denis Walsh, Lorraine Code, Jay Odenbaugh, Joseph Cannon, Mariam Thalos, Chrisoula Andreou, Clare Palmer, Ben Hale, Kristin Shrader-Frechette, Andrew Light

    • Hardcover $19.75 £15.99