Article ID: CBB001252312

When Science Studies Religion: Six Philosophy Lessons for Science Classes (2013)


Pigliucci, Massimo (Author)

Science and Education
Volume: 22, no. 1
Issue: 1
Pages: 49-67

Publication Date: 2013
Edition Details: Part of special issue “Philosophical Considerations in the Teaching of Biology, Part I - Philosophy of Biology and Biological Explanation”
Language: English

It is an unfortunate fact of academic life that there is a sharp divide between science and philosophy, with scientists often being openly dismissive of philosophy, and philosophers being equally contemptuous of the naiveté of scientists when it comes to the philosophical underpinnings of their own discipline. In this paper I explore the possibility of reducing the distance between the two sides by introducing science students to some interesting philosophical aspects of research in evolutionary biology, using biological theories of the origin of religion as an example. I show that philosophy is both a discipline in its own right as well as one that has interesting implications for the understanding and practice of science. While the goal is certainly not to turn science students into philosophers, the idea is that both disciplines cannot but benefit from a mutual dialogue that starts as soon as possible, in the classroom.


Description Focuses on the philosophical aspects of research in evolutionary biology.

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Authors & Contributors
Niaz, Mansoor
Weaver, John A.
Appelbaum, Peter M.
Morris, Marla
Ruiz, Constantino
Jiménez, Roque
Science and Education
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly
History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
Transversal: International Journal for the Historiography of Science
Peter Lang
University of Pittsburgh
University of Chicago Press
Philosophy of science
Evolutionary developmental biology
Science education and teaching
Explanation; hypotheses; theories
Natural science
Darwin, Charles Robert
Dewey, John
Forel, August Henri
Ostwald, Wilhelm
Rheinberger, Hans-Jörg
Sokal, Robert R.
Time Periods
19th century
21st century
20th century
20th century, early
20th century, late
United States

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