David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Among the many vivid metaphors in Darwin’s Dangerous Idea, one stands out. The understanding of how cumulative natural selection gives rise to adaptations is, Dennett says, like a “universal acid”—an idea so powerful and corrosive of conventional wisdom that it dissolves all attempts to contain it within biology. Like most good ideas, this one is very simple: Once replicators (material objects that are faithfully copied) come to exist, some will replicate more rapidly than others, leading to adaptation by natural selection. The great power of the idea is that the resulting adaptations can be understood by asking what leads to efficient, rapid replication. Given that ideas seem to replicate, it is natural that Dawkins (1976, 1982), Dennett (1992), and others have explored the possibility of using this idea to explain cultural evolution.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Only published papers are available at libraries|
Similar books and articles
Richard Martin Pagni (2009). The Origin and Development of the Acidity Function. Foundations of Chemistry 11 (1):43-50.
Tamler Sommers & Alex Rosenberg (2003). Darwin's Nihilistic Idea: Evolution and the Meaninglessness of Life. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 18 (5):653-668.
Alex Rosenberg (2003). Darwin's Nihilistic Idea: Evolution and the Meaninglessness of Life. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 18 (5):653-668.
Joachim L. Dagg (2011). Exploring Mouse Trap History. Evolution Education and Outreach 4 (3):397-414.
Grant Gillett (1999). Dennett, Foucault, and the Selection of Memes. Inquiry 42 (1):3 – 23.
Saadya Sternberg (1999). Dennett's Universal Acid. Philosophia 27 (3-4):617-642.
Karen Neander (1995). Pruning the Tree of Life. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 46 (1):59-80.
Joseph M. Whitmeyer (1998). On the Relationship Between Memes and Genes: A Critique of Dennett. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 13 (2):187-204.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads3 ( #220,749 of 1,011,591 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #64,700 of 1,011,591 )
How can I increase my downloads?