Misleading Quests for Purpose in Life

Teleological Why-Questions, Science, and Societal and Animal Abuses

Authors: Diogo, Rui

  • Integrates information from diverse scientific fields in order to argue against the widely accepted idea that wonder in the purpose of life constitutes one of the noblest human qualities
  • Addresses the broader public, developing links between biological and philosophical thinking and the mundane, from religious ideas to conspiracy theories, from romantic love to the notion of "meant to be"
  • Discusses themes such as racism, colonialism, and eugenics in a unique perspective that takes into account both the history and philosophy of sciences and biology, as well as less discussed subjects such in the fields of comparative anatomy and evolutionary biology
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eBook  
  • ISBN 978-3-319-70401-2
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format:
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
Hardcover ca. $29.99
price for USA in USD
  • Due: February 12, 2020
  • ISBN 978-3-319-70400-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
About this book

Our tendency to wonder "why" life is as it is and what its "purpose" is—often considered to be among the most noble features of human evolution and humanity—is in reality profoundly linked with some of the darker moments in our history, including animal abuse, colonialism, and the rise of racism and the eugenetics that culminated in the Second World War. In order to try to avoid the continuation of such dark events and pave the way for a more rational, accurate, and less-biased understanding about life and our day-to-day, we must reframe our questioning. Once we grasp that there is no ultimate purpose or master plan for the existence of inanimate objects or biological organisms and the way they live, “why” questions lose importance. Instead, investigations into natural events such as the occurrence of earthquakes and wonders such as the flying of birds should be framed with "how" questions: how did the earthquake occur and how did the current behavior of organisms evolve?
Integrating information from diverse scientific fields, this book argues against the widely accepted idea that wonder in the purpose of life constitutes one of the noblest human qualities. As such, its arguments are intended for biologists, historians and philosophers of science alike. Students, teachers, and researchers of any scientific field, as well as all those who are fascinated by questions about their daily inner-lives and their "cosmic purpose" will be intrigued by unique discussions into themes like racism, colonialism, and eugenics.

About the authors

Rui Diogo is a Fellow of the American Association of Anatomists, and an Associate Professor at the Howard University College of Medicine and a Resource Faculty at the Center for the Advanced Study of Hominid Paleobiology of George Washington University (US). He is the author or co-author of numerous publications, and the co-editor of the books Catfishes and Gonorynchiformes and ostariophysan interrelationships. He is the sole author or first author of the books Morphological evolution, aptations, homoplasies, constraints and evolutionary trends; The origin of higher cladesMuscles of vertebratesPhotographic and descriptive musculoskeletal atlas of GorillaPhotographic and descriptive musculoskeletal atlas of gibbons and siamangs (Hylobates);Photographic and descriptive musculoskeletal atlas of orangutans; Photographic and descriptive musculoskeletal atlas of a baby gorillaPhotographic and descriptive musculoskeletal atlas of chimpanzeesComparative anatomy and phylogeny of primate muscles and human evolution; Learning and understanding human anatomy and pathology: an evolutionary and developmental guide for medical students; and the new book being now published by Springer, Evolution Driven by Organismal Behavior.

Buy this book

eBook  
  • ISBN 978-3-319-70401-2
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format:
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
Hardcover ca. $29.99
price for USA in USD
  • Due: February 12, 2020
  • ISBN 978-3-319-70400-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Misleading Quests for Purpose in Life
Book Subtitle
Teleological Why-Questions, Science, and Societal and Animal Abuses
Authors
Copyright
2019
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-70401-2
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-70400-5
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
X, 190
Number of Illustrations
15 b/w illustrations, 15 illustrations in colour
Topics