From Darwinian Metaphysics Towards Understanding the Evolution of Evolutionary Mechanisms: A Historical and Philosophical Analysis of Gene-Darwinism and Universal Darwinism
"Although Charles Darwin predicted that his theory 'would give zest to ... metaphysics, ' even he would be astonished at the variety of paths his theory has in fact taken. This holds with regard to both gene-Darwinism, a purified Darwinian approach biologizing the social sciences, and process- Darwinism found in the disciplines of psychology, philosophy of science, and economics. Although Darwinism is often linked to highly confirmed biological theories, some of its interpretations seem to profit from tautological claims as well, where scientific reputation cloaks ideological usage. This book discusses central tenets of Darwinism historically as well as systematically, for example the history of different Darwinian paradigms, the units-of-selection debate, and the philosophical problem of induction as basis of metaphysical Darwinism. Crucially the book addresses the Darwinian claim that evolution is governed by an immutable and unrelentingly cruel law of natural selection. Paradoxically, Darwins theory is a static, non-evolutionary theory of evolution. The current book sketches the historical background and provides suggestions that may help to replace this approach by the idea of an evolution of evolutionary mechanisms (see Escher's 'Drawing Hands' on the cover). This view even suggests a tendency to overcome the blindness of the knowledge acquisition of primordial Darwinian processes and allows for some freedom from external environments. This book first develops a radically Darwinian approach, then criticises this approach from within. Even Darwinism has a tendency to transcend itself. Although the book addresses several empirical issues, it does not challenge particular findings. Instead it builds on many insights of Darwinism and provides a proposal for interpreting known empirical evidence in a different light. It should help pave the way for further developing an understanding of nature that transcends Darwinian metaphysics"--Publisher's description.
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actually adaptationism adaptive advocated alleles altruism approach argued argument aspects atomism auto-selection autonomy become behaviour biological biologists Bowler causal Chapter claim concept cultural Darwinian process Dawkins definition discussed E. O. Wilson economics egoistic emphasised entities environment epistemology ethics evolutionary line evolutionary mechanisms evolutionary processes evolutionary synthesis evolutionary theory evolved example exformation existence Extended Phenotype external favour gene-atomism gene-Darwinian gene-Darwinism genetic genome germ-line reductionism group selection Hence human Ibid idea individual selection influenced interaction interpretation Kant kin selection Lamarckism least logical Malthus Mayr metaphysics Moreover mutations natural selection Newtonian non-Darwinian notion ontological organisms paradigm particular partly philosophy population possible principle process-Darwinism proposed radical reductionism reductionist regard replicator role romantic biology selfish genes sense sexual selection single genes sociobiology species strict structure subparadigm survival synergetic synergetic properties tautological teleology term trials unit of selection Universal Darwinism variation whole