David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Biology and Philosophy 2 (1):65-91 (1987)
Nietzsche was a philosopher, not a biologist, Nevertheless his philosophical thought was deeply influenced by ideas emerging from the evolutionary biology of the nineteenth century. His relationship to the Darwinism of his time is difficult to disentangle. It is argued that he was in a sense an unwitting Darwinist. It follows that his philosophical thought is of considerable interest to those concerned to develop an evolutionary biology of mankind. His approach can be likened to that of an extraterrestrial sociobiologist studying clever beasts... in some out of the way corner of the universe ... It is shown how be uses this viewpoint to account for the origin of the central psychobiology of humankind: for dualistic philosophies, such as that of Descartes (which Ryle famously called the official doctrine), for human notions of truth and falsehood, being and becoming, and for other fundamental concepts of Western philosophy and science. All these, he argues, are no more and no less than the necessary adaptations of a zoological species, Homo sapiens, in its struggle for life in a Darwinian world. It is concluded that Nietzsche was the first philosopher to accept and use in their full depth the philosophical implications of nineteeth-century evolutionism, implications which are still resisted to this day. It is also argued that this interpretation of Nietzsche's aphoristic writings provides them with an organic consistency.
|Keywords||Nietzsche Darwin evolution epistemology sociobiology|
|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
Ludwig Wittgenstein (1922/1999). Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. Dover Publications.
Edward O. Wilson, Arthur L. Caplan, Daniel G. Freedman & Michael Ruse (1982). On Human Nature. Ethics 92 (2):327-340.
Edward O. Wilson (2000). Sociobiology: The New Synthesis. Journal of the History of Biology 33 (3):577-584.
Citations of this work BETA
Alfred I. Tauber (1994). A Typology of Nietzsche's Biology. Biology and Philosophy 9 (1):25-44.
Similar books and articles
Wim J. Steen (1986). Methodological Problems in Evolutionary Biology VI. The Force of Evolutionary Epistemology. Acta Biotheoretica 35 (3).
Charles H. Pence (2011). Nietzsche’s Aesthetic Critique of Darwin. History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 33 (2):165-190.
Patrick Forber (2007). Nietzsche Was No Darwinian. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 75 (2):369–382.
David N. Stamos (1996). Popper, Falsifiability, and Evolutionary Biology. Biology and Philosophy 11 (2):161-191.
J. Dupre (1996). Reviewof Sober's "From a Biological Point of View: Essays in Evolutionary Philosophy". Philosophical Explorations.
John Richardson (2004/2008). Nietzsche's New Darwinism. Oxford University Press.
Michel Morange (2010). How Evolutionary Biology Presently Pervades Cell and Molecular Biology. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 41 (1):113 - 120.
Michael Ruse (1977). Karl Popper's Philosophy of Biology. Philosophy of Science 44 (4):638-661.
Gregory Moore (2002). Nietzsche, Biology, and Metaphor. Cambridge University Press.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads35 ( #112,332 of 1,793,270 )
Recent downloads (6 months)7 ( #118,939 of 1,793,270 )
How can I increase my downloads?