Microbes and microbiology are seldom encountered in philosophical accounts of the life sciences. Although microbiology is a well-established science and microbes the basis of life on this planet, neither the organisms nor the science have been seen as philosophically significant. This book will change that. It fills a major gap in the philosophy of biology by examining central philosophical issues in microbiology. Topics are drawn from evolutionary microbiology, microbial ecology, and microbial classification. These discussions are aimed at philosophers and scientists who wish to gain insight into the basic philosophical issues of microbiology.
Maureen O'Malley is a Senior Researcher in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Sydney.
An introduction to philosophy of microbiology; 1. Philosophy in microbiology; microbes in philosophy; 2. Philosophical debates in high-level microbial classification; 3. Philosophical debates in species-level microbial classification; 4. Philosophical issues in microbial evolution; 5. Microbial ecology from a philosophical perspective; 6. Microbes as model biological systems; Conclusion. Further philosophical questions.