David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Biology and Philosophy 8 (1):61-83 (1993)
At one level, this paper is a lament and a warning. I lament biologists borrowing well-known terms and then drastically and awkwardly changing their meanings, and I warn about the mischief this does. Biology''s public image is at stake, as is its general usefulness. At another level, I attempt to clarify the misnamed concepts, beyond what has been achieved in recent philosophical writings. This helps to account for the mischief, and to see how it might be avoidable. But the most important thing about the paper is that, at a third level, it is an argument against physicalism and materialism, especially those variants which deny the autonomy of organisms and the existence of intrinsic goods. Interpreting biology from the point of view of those denials leads to unsatisfactory and even bizarre results.
|Keywords||Fitness altruism selfishness propensities causation genetic determinism intrinsic values|
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References found in this work BETA
Donald T. Campbell (1974). Downward Causation. In F. Ayala & T. Dobzhansky (eds.), Studies in the Philosophy of Biology. University of California Press 179--186.
Alan Gewirth (1978). Reason and Morality. University of Chicago Press.
Susan K. Mills & John H. Beatty (1979). The Propensity Interpretation of Fitness. Philosophy of Science 46 (2):263-286.
Iris Murdoch (1970/1971). The Sovereignty of Good. New York,Schocken Books.
Citations of this work BETA
Margaret Gilbert (1994). Me, You, and Us: Distinguishing “Egoism,” “Altruism,” and “Groupism”. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 17 (4):621.
John Dupré (1994). Some Philosophical Implications of the Rehabilitation of Group Selection. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 17 (4):619.
David Sloan Wilson & Elliott Sober (1994). Group Selection: The Theory Replaces the Bogey Man. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 17 (4):639.
John Alroy & Alexander Levine (1994). Driving Both Ways: Wilson & Sober's Conflicting Criteria for the Identification of Groups as Vehicles of Selection. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 17 (4):608.
James F. Crow (1994). In Praise of Replicators. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 17 (4):616.
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