Cover: Aristotle to Zoos: A Philosophical Dictionary of Biology, from Harvard University PressCover: Aristotle to Zoos in PAPERBACK

Aristotle to Zoos

A Philosophical Dictionary of Biology

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Product Details

PAPERBACK

$47.00 • £37.95 • €42.50

ISBN 9780674045378

Publication Date: 03/15/1985

Short

320 pages

6 x 9 inches

2 tables, 5 line illustrations

World

In the spirit of Voltaire—and occasionally in the spirit of P. G. Wodehouse—P. B. and J. S. Medawar have crafted for the life sciences a source of reference that is meant for browsing, a book both authoritative and filled with delights. The authors’ breadth of knowledge is encyclopedic— arranged, appropriately enough, from A to Z—but more than that, they illuminate the ideas of biology with wit and intelligence and uncommon good sense. They bridge the chasm in our culture between the technically and the humanistically trained, breaking the code of jargon that limits access to scientific understanding. The Medawars’ special gift is to offer, at the same time, a pleasurable introduction for the layman and a source of new insight for the specialist.

In this book we can find a clear and meaningful definition of interferon, a useful explanation of the immune system, and thoughtful essays on sociobiology, eugenics, and aging. But we also find: “It is a popular fallacy that chewing gum regains its flavor if removed from the mouth and parked, say, under a chair.”

Whether in a serious discussion of cancer or a whimsical reflection on “chicken and egg” imagery in science, the Medawars’ blend of fact, literary allusion, historical anecdote, mythical and folk tradition, and even professional gossip is a rewarding exercise in biology as a humanistic endeavor.

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Jacket: An Inquiry into Modes of Existence: An Anthropology of the Moderns, by Bruno Latour, translated by Catherine Porter, from Harvard University Press

Honoring Latour

In awarding Bruno Latour the 2021 Kyoto Prize for Arts and Philosophy, the Inamori Foundation said he has “revolutionized the conventional view of science” and “his philosophy re-examines ‘modernity’ based on the dualism of nature and society.” Below is an excerpt from An Inquiry into Modes of Existence: An Anthropology of the Moderns. For more than twenty years, scientific and technological controversies have proliferated in number and scope, eventually reaching the climate itself. Since geologists are beginning to use the term “Anthropocene” to designate the era of Earth’s history that follows the Holocene