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Life Sciences - Evolutionary & Developmental Biology | Stephen J. Gould: The Scientific Legacy

Stephen J. Gould: The Scientific Legacy

Danieli, Gian Antonio, Minelli, Alessandro, Pievani, Telmo (Eds.)

2013, VIII, 208 p. 12 illus.

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  • Wide-ranging appraisal of the scientific and anthropological legacy of Stephen J. Gould, ten years after his death
  • Scientists including Niles Eldredge join forces to offer a balanced view of Gould's intellectual heritage
  • Sections covering evolutionary theory, the genome and development, Gould’s anthropological legacy, and the significance of his thought for the human sciences

Stephen J. Gould’s greatest contribution to science is a revised version of the theory of evolution which offers today a useful framework for understanding progress in many evolutionary fields. His intuitions about the conjunction of evolution and development, the role of ecological factors in speciation, the multi-level interpretation of the units of selection, and the interplay between functional pressures and constraints all represent fruitful lines of experimental research. His opposition to the progressive representations of evolution, the gene-centered view of natural history, or the adaptationist “just-so stories” has also left its mark on current biology.

In May 2012, at the Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti in Venice, an international panel of scientists and philosophers discussed Stephen J. Gould’s legacy, ten years after his death. This book presents a selection of those contributions, chosen for their interest and importance. A broad range of themes are covered: Gould’s contribution to evolutionary theory, including the concept of punctuated equilibria and the importance of his pluralism; the Gouldian view of genome and development; Gould’s legacy in anthropology; and, finally, the significance of his thought for the human sciences.

This book provides a fascinating appraisal of the cultural legacy of one of the world’s greatest popular writers in the life sciences. This is the first time that scientists including some of Gould’s personal friends and co-authors of papers of momentous importance such as Niles Eldredge have come together to strike a balanced view of Gould's intellectual heritage.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Darwinian Pluralism - Evo-Devo - Evolution - Punctuated Equilibria - Spandrels

Related subjects » Anthropology & Archaeology - Biophysics & Biological Physics - Epistemology & Philosophy of Science - Evolutionary & Developmental Biology

Table of contents 

Part I: Evolutionary theory.- Niles Eldredge: Stephen J. Gould in the 1960s and 1970s, and the origin of “Punctuated Equilibria”.- Elisabeth A. Lloyd: Stephen J. Gould and adaptation: San Marco 33 years later.- Telmo Pievani: Kinds of pluralism. Stephen J. Gould and the future of evolutionary theory.- Part II: Genome and development.- T. Ryan Gregory: Molecules and macroevolution: a Gouldian view of the genome.- Alessandro Minelli: Individuals, hierarchies and the levels of selection: a chapter in Stephen J. Gould’s evolutionary theory.- Gerd B. Müller: Beyond spandrels: Stephen J. Gould, EvoDevo, and the extended synthesis.- Marcello Buiatti: Biological complexity and Punctuated Equilibria.- Part III The anthropological legacy.- Ian Tattersall: Stephen J. Gould’s intellectual legacy to anthropology.- Guido Barbujani: Mismeasuring man thirty years later.- Klaus R. Scherer: Affect bursts as evolutionary precursors of speech and music.- Winfried Menninghaus: Darwin's theory of music, rhetoric and poetry.- Part IV: Stephen J. Gould and human sciences.- Andrea Cavazzini: Beyond (and without) the invisible hand. Conceptual shifts between economics and the theory of evolution.- Alberto Gualandi: Stephen J. Gould, between humanism and anti-humanism. Neoteny, exaptation and human science.

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