The Evolution of Darwinism: Selection, Adaptation and Progress in Evolutionary Biology

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Cambridge University Press, Mar 15, 2004 - Philosophy - 342 pages
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No other scientific theory has had as tremendous an impact on our understanding of the world as Darwin's theory as outlined in his Origin of Species, yet from the very beginning the theory has been subject to controversy. The Evolution of Darwinism, first published in 2004, focuses on three issues of debate - the nature of selection, the nature and scope of adaptation, and the question of evolutionary progress. It traces the varying interpretations to which these issues were subjected from the beginning and the fierce contemporary debates that still rage on and explores their implications for the greatest questions of all: Where we come from, who we are and where we might be heading. Written in a clear and non-technical style, this book will be of use as a textbook for students in the philosophy of science who need to become familiar with the background to the debates about evolution.
 

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Contents

Introduction page
1
SELECTION
11
Natural Selection
22
Possibilities and Boundaries
32
The Population Problem
39
Group Selection Under Fire
49
The Group Selection Controversy
61
Gene Selection versus Gene Selectionism
69
Critiquing the Adaptation ist Programme
137
Adaptation ism and Its Limits
143
Adaptationism
151
Explanatory Adaptationism
162
Adaptationism and Its Limits
168
Darwins Evolving View of Progress
176
Progress mThe Descent of Man 1871
192
Simpsons Pluralistic Conception of Progress
203

Assigning Functional Roles
76
For Whose Good Does Natural Selection Work?
88
Biological Perfection and Imperfection in PreDarwinian
94
Wallace on Adaptation
105
Darwin and Others on Biological Perfection
113
Wrights Shifting Balance Theory
124
Adaptation in the Modern Synthesis
130
Is Evolution Progressive?
220
1o Human Physical and Mental Evolution
247
Epilogue
283
Notes
295
References
321
Index
339
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