Microbiology is a broad-ranging area of research that has developed out of 400 years of observation, analysis and theorizing about microscopic life forms. The study of microbes has not yet received a great deal of attention from philosophy of biology, but there are many reasons why it should. In this chapter, we outline the value of thinking philosophically about microbes and microbiology via a discussion of concepts of life, biological individuals and levels of selection. These discussions will show how taking a philosophical perspective on microbiological studies can enrich not only microbiology but also biology in general and its philosophy. We conclude by drawing out some of the implications of philosophical perspectives on microbiology for educational strategies in the teaching of biology.
|Title of host publication||The Philosophy of biology|
|Subtitle of host publication||a companion for educators|
|Place of Publication||Dordrecht|
|Publisher||Springer, Springer Nature|
|Number of pages||22|
|Publication status||Published - 2013|
Duncan, M. J., Bourrat, P., DeBerardinis, J., & O'Malley, M. A. (2013). Small things, big consequences: microbiological perspectives on biology. In K. Kampourakis (Ed.), The Philosophy of biology: a companion for educators (pp. 373-394). Dordrecht: Springer, Springer Nature. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6537-5_18