David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Biology and Philosophy 13 (3):427-442 (1998)
Building on work by Popper, Schweber, Nozick, Sober, and others in a still-growing literature, I explore here the conceptual kinship (not the hackneyed ideological association) between Adam Smith''s ''invisible hand'' and Darwinian natural selection. I review the historical ties, and examine Ullman-Margalit''s ''constraints'' on invisible-hand accounts, which I later re-apply to natural selection, bringing home the close relationship. These theories share a ''parent'' principle, itself neither biological no politico-economic, that collective order and well-being can emerge parsimoniously from the dispersed (inter)action of individuals. The invisible hand operates on ''memes'' the way natural selection operates on genes. Like Darwin''s concept, it brings together traditional opposites, ''nature'' and ''selection,'' forming a saltation-mitigating transition between biological instinct and full-blown conscious design. Herschel''s criterion of confirmation, which Darwin long strove to satisfy, is itself an invisible hand-like meme – a ''Midas effect'' revealing and rewarding the fittest theories, Darwin''s and Smith''s emphatically among them.
|Keywords||invisible hand natural selection economics conscious design distributive-collective Herschel criterion evolutionary epistemology|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Toni Vogel Carey (2011). The 'Sub-Rational' in Scottish Moral Science. Journal of Scottish Philosophy 9 (2):225-238.
Similar books and articles
Andy Denis (2005). The Invisible Hand of God in Adam Smith. Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology 23 (A):1-32.
John D. Bishop (1995). Adam Smith's Invisible Hand Argument. Journal of Business Ethics 14 (3):165 - 180.
K. Brad Wray (2000). Invisible Hands and the Success of Science. Philosophy of Science 67 (1):163-175.
David L. Hull (1997). What's Wrong with Invisible-Hand Explanations? Philosophy of Science 64 (4):126.
Craig Smith (2006). Adam Smith's Political Philosophy: The Invisible Hand and Spontaneous Order. Routledge.
Paul Oslington (2012). God and the Market: Adam Smith's Invisible Hand. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 108 (4):429 - 438.
Geoffrey Brennan & Philip Pettit (1993). Hands Invisible and Intangible. Synthese 94 (2):191 - 225.
Samir Okasha (2001). Why Won't the Group Selection Controversy Go Away? British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 52 (1):25-50.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads25 ( #68,165 of 1,099,003 )
Recent downloads (6 months)7 ( #33,832 of 1,099,003 )
How can I increase my downloads?