Images of development: Environmental causes in ontogeny

SUNY Press, Albany, (1998).

This book is a slightly modified edition of a thesis published in 1995. Research for the thesis was done in the department. The book analyses an "orthodox" view of development with genetics at centre stage, and several views that militate against orthodoxy. An in-depth analysis of developmental biology that also takes evolutionary thinking into account is intertwined with philosophical analyses. This results in an integrative approach of philosophy of biology. Regarding different views of development, Van der Weele does not take sides. Instead she shows that the value of any particular view depends on contextual factors. She does show that current research exhibits a biased emphasis on genetic causal factors in development. The impact of the environment is undervalued. The last chapter of the book puts this in an ethical perspective. Bias in research has serious implications in this case since it promotes negligence of harms due to environmental detoriation.