Schelling, Hegel, and Evolutionary Progress

Perspectives on Science 20 (1):105-128 (2012)
This article presents Schelling’s claim that nature has an evolutionary process and Hegel’s response that nature is the development of the concept. It then examines whether evolution is progressive. While many evolutionary biologists explicitly repudiate the suggestion that there is progress in evolution, they often implicitly presuppose this. Moreover, such a notion seems required insofar as the shape of life’s history consists in a directional trend. This article argues that, insofar as a notion of progress is indeed conceptually ineliminatable from evolutionary biology or needed to articulate the shape of life’s history, progress should be viewed as constitutive. The section on “Why Schelling and ..
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