PMID: 107689Jan 1, 1978

Darwin's evolutionary philosophy: the laws of change

Acta Biotheoretica
E S Reed

Abstract

The philosophical or metaphysical architecture of Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection is analyzed and discussed. It is argued that natural selection was for Darwin a paradigmatic case of a natural law of change -- an exemplar of what Ghiselin (1969) has called selective retention laws. These selective retention laws lie at the basis of Darwin's revolutionary world view. In this essay special attention is paid to the consequences for Darwin's concept of species of his selective retention laws. Although Darwin himself explicity supported a variety of nominalism, implicit in the theory of natural selection is a solution to the dispute between nominalism and realism. It is argued that, although implicit, this view plays a very important role in Darwin's theory of natural selection as the means for the origin of species. It is in the context of these selective retention laws and their philosophical implications that Darwin's method is appraised in the light of recent criticisms, and the conclusion drawn that he successfully treated some philosophical problems by approaching them through natural history. Following this an outline of natural selection theory is presented in which all these philosophical issues are highli...Continue Reading

References

Aug 1, 1977·Origins of Life·E Broda
May 1, 1974·Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America·R S SinghR C Lewontin
Sep 1, 1972·Australian Veterinary Journal·K L Hughes
Jan 1, 1974·The British Journal of Ophthalmology·K Takki
Jun 1, 1968·Systematic Zoology
Feb 15, 1972·Experientia·T S Dikshith, K K Datta
Nov 1, 1969·The Biochemical Journal·T M Wood
Jan 1, 1971·TAG. Theoretical and applied genetics. Theoretische und angewandte Genetik·R B Singh, B W Smith

Citations

Jan 1, 1980·Acta Biotheoretica·P Dullemeijer
Jun 1, 1982·Journal of Motor Behavior·E S Reed
Mar 1, 2005·FEBS Letters·Vanessa C StephensonDonald F Weaver

Related Concepts

Biological Evolution
Metaphysics
Study, Methodological
Historical Events, 19th Century

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