This page features a collection of the best resources on the philosophy of biology. Just to be clear, there is no single best resource on the philosophy of biology. The best one will depend on your preferred learning style and the amount of time you want to spend learning about it.
To get started, simply choose one of the links below:
If you want an academic overview of the philosophy of biology:
- Read the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article on the philosophy of biology. However, you should keep in mind that the Stanford Encyclopedia in often quite technical and this article may be difficult for beginners. Here’s a short excerpt that introduces the philosophy of biology:
“Three different kinds of philosophical enquiry fall under the general heading of philosophy of biology. First, general theses in the philosophy of science are addressed in the context of biology. Second, conceptual puzzles within biology itself are subjected to philosophical analysis. Third, appeals to biology are made in discussions of traditional philosophical questions. The first two kinds of philosophical work are typically conducted in the context of a detailed knowledge of actual biology, the third less so.
Philosophy of biology can also be subdivided by the particular areas of biological theory with which it is concerned. Biology is a diverse set of disciplines, ranging from historical sciences such as paleontology to engineering sciences such as biotechnology. Different philosophical issues occur in each field. . . .”
If you’re looking for a more engaging introduction:
If you’d prefer a video introduction:
If you prefer audio and podcasts:
Unfortunately, there’s only so much you can learn by using free online resources. If you want to learn more, check out this list of the best books on philosophy of biology.
For more introductory philosophy resources and reading lists check out this collection of Resources and Reading Lists.