Russian Studies in Philosophy 20 (3):25-59 (1981)
One of the most important philosophical principles in contemporary natural science is the principle of the universality of evolutionary development , which was argued with much force and depth in F. Engels's The Dialectics of Nature. For the more than a century that has passed since Engels's sweeping synthesis of knowledge in the natural sciences, his revelation of the unity of the processes of evolution in inanimate and animate nature, including the inevitably and law-governed appearance of its "highest flower, the thinking mind," where appropriate conditions for that appearance arise, this principle of development has assisted in the achievement of many impressive advances. The general outlines of the evolutionary process of nature, in its infinite diversity, are now emerging in ever sharper relief, although our knowledge of that process still contains many rather serious lacunae. It is significant to note that the progress of natural science leads not only to modifications but often even to radical revisions of many notions about the evolution of nature, including those that seemed unchallengeable
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