David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Biology and Philosophy 11 (2):161-191 (1996)
First, a brief history is provided of Popper's views on the status of evolutionary biology as a science. The views of some prominent biologists are then canvassed on the matter of falsifiability and its relation to evolutionary biology. Following that, I argue that Popper's programme of falsifiability does indeed exclude evolutionary biology from within the circumference of genuine science, that Popper's programme is fundamentally incoherent, and that the correction of this incoherence results in a greatly expanded and much more realistic concept of what is empirical, resulting in the inclusion of evolutionary biology. Finally, this expanded concept of empirical is applied to two particular problems in evolutionary biology — viz., the species problem and the debate over the theory of punctuated equilibria — and it is argued that both of them are still mainly metaphysical.
|Keywords||Popper falsifiability evolutionary biology species problem punctuated equilibria|
|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
Charles Darwin (2008). On the Origin of Species. Oxford University Press.
Karl R. Popper (1972). Objective Knowledge. Oxford,Clarendon Press.
K. R. Popper (1966). Conjectures and Refutations. Les Etudes Philosophiques 21 (3):431-434.
Citations of this work BETA
Alfonso Arroyo-Santos, Mark E. Olson & Francisco Vergara-Silva (2015). Practice Oriented Controversies and Borrowed Epistemic Support in Current Evolutionary Biology. The Case of Phylogeography. Perspectives on Science 23 (3):310-334.
Elena Aronova (2007). Karl Popper and Lamarckism. Biological Theory 2 (1):37-51.
Similar books and articles
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.
Wim J. van der Steen (1999). Methodological Problems in Evolutionary Biology. XII. Against Evolutionary Ethics. Acta Biotheoretica 47 (1):41-57.
William S. Cooper (2001). The Evolution of Reason: Logic as a Branch of Biology. Cambridge University Press.
Tom Settle (1996). Six Things Popper Would Like Biologists Not to Ignore: In Memoriam, Karl Raimund Popper, 1902–1994. Biology and Philosophy 11 (2):141-159.
H. C. Plotkin (1987). Evolutionary Epistemology as Science. Biology and Philosophy 2 (3):295-313.
David N. Stamos (2007). Popper, Laws, and the Exclusion of Biology From Genuine Science. Acta Biotheoretica 55 (4):357-375.
Michael Ruse (1977). Karl Popper's Philosophy of Biology. Philosophy of Science 44 (4):638-661.
David L. Hull (1999). The Use and Abuse of Sir Karl Popper. Biology and Philosophy 14 (4):481-504.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads91 ( #36,224 of 1,726,249 )
Recent downloads (6 months)5 ( #147,227 of 1,726,249 )
How can I increase my downloads?