Methodological and contextual factors in the dawkins/gould dispute over evolutionary progress

Abstract
Biologists Richard Dawkins and Stephen Jay Gould have recently extended their decades-old disagreements about evolution to the issue of the nature and reality of evolutionary progress. According to Gould, 'progress' is a noxious notion that deserves to be expunged from evolutionary biology. In Dawkins' view, on the other hand, progress is one of the most important, pervasive and inevitable aspects of evolution. Simple appeals to 'the evidence' are clearly insufficient to resolve this disagreement, since it is precisely the interpretation of the evidence that is in dispute. Scientific controversies in general, and the Dawkins/Gould dispute over evolutionary progress in particular, are worth examining in some detail because doing so sheds light on the interconnected roles of methodological and contextual factors in the formation, articulation and defense of scientific claims. My aim in this paper is to clarify the structure of the Dawkins/Gould dispute by analyzing it in terms of a tri-level model of scientific controversies, involving 'top-level' substantive disagreements, 'middle-level' methodological differences, and 'bottom-level' differences in historical and social factors. This simple three-tiered model is sufficiently abstract to have more general applicability to other scientific controversies.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 11,802
External links
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

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

27 ( #67,600 of 1,099,740 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #126,683 of 1,099,740 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.