When I was first an undergraduate, studying chemistry many moons ago, I still had some pretension to being an intellectual. That quickly evaporated as I discovered this intellectual stuff was, you know, HARD! But in my first year of study I took a course in philosophy and mostly enjoyed it (though trying to read turgid philosophical prose whilst sat in a warm library was the best sleep-enhancer I have ever found).
I recall a series of lectures on metaphysics from Stephan Körner. These were well-attended, including many students who were not studying philosophy. Professor Körner liked to show how philosophy was important to all areas of knowledge. He would ask members of the audience what their area of study was, then show how philosophy impinged on quantum physics, or history or biology or whatever. One time when he asked this question I stuck my hand in the air and piped up to say that I was a chemistry student. The Professor just grimaced a little and passed on to the next hand, with a comment that there was really nothing to say about chemistry and philosophy!
Biology on the other hand throws up all kinds of philosophical issues. Cambridge University Press have just launched a new series of short textbooks entitled Cambridge Introductions to Philosophy and Biology. The publisher says that the books are:
short and accessible, offering lively and up-to-date discussions, and are designed to be used by a student readership in conjunction with university courses
Interestingly the first advertised titles, coming in March and September, deal with Paleontology and Agro-technology respectively. Later titles will deal with human evolution, genetics and organisms.
It’s interesting to see such a series aimed at science students. I wonder how long it will be before they start another series, on Philosophy and Chemistry?