Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Although not yet a widely accepted term, Biophilosophy is an appropriate label for several streams in contemporary philosophy that deal with the impact of biological sciences on philosophy. Generally, these authors could be seen as following an empiristic tradition, favoring naturalistic and physicalistic theories over their counterparts. Scientific ideas are handled as philosophical ones and the consequences are explored. Thus, it is often difficult to delineate genuine biophilosophical works from popular scientific accounts of biological research.
Key ideas in biology such as the darwinian theory on evolution, the reduction of all life processes to biochemical reactions as well as the incorporation of psychology into a broader neuroscience are seen as means to radically change the way humans think of themselves. Progress in these biological fields of research increasingly touches questions that traditionally belonged to philosophy such as:
- "What is life?"
- "What makes humans uniquely human?";
- "What is the basis of moral thinking?";
- "What are the factors we use for aesthetical judgements?";
- "Where do language and logic stem from?";
- "What is the material basis of consciousness?"
Furthermore, progress in life sciences urges modern societies to rethink traditional values concerning all aspects of human life. The possibility of genetic modification of human stem cells, for example, has led to an ongoing controversy on how certain biological techniques could infringe upon ethical consensus (see Bioethics).
Philosophers using biological ideas as a basis of their work
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