The phylogeny fallacy and the ontogeny fallacy

Biology and Philosophy 28 (4):593-612 (2013)

Authors
Adam Hochman
Macquarie University
Abstract
In 1990 Robert Lickliter and Thomas Berry identified the phylogeny fallacy, an empirically untenable dichotomy between proximate and evolutionary causation, which locates proximate causes in the decoding of ‘ genetic programs’, and evolutionary causes in the historical events that shaped these programs. More recently, Lickliter and Hunter Honeycutt argued that Evolutionary Psychologists commit this fallacy, and they proposed an alternative research program for evolutionary psychology. For these authors the phylogeny fallacy is the proximate/evolutionary distinction itself, which they argue constitutes a misunderstanding of development, and its role in the evolutionary process. In this article I argue that the phylogeny fallacy should be relocated to an error of reasoning that this causal framework sustains: the conflation of proximate and evolutionary explanation. Having identified this empirically neutral form of the phylogeny fallacy, I identify its mirror image, the ontogeny fallacy. Through the lens of these fallacies I attempt to solve several outstanding problems in the debate that ensued from Lickliter and Honeycutt’s provocative article
Keywords Phylogeny fallacy  Ontogeny fallacy  Evolutionary psychology  DST  Genetic program  Biology  Developmental biology  Ultimate/Proximate distinction  Ernst Mayr
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1007/s10539-012-9325-3
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive
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

The Modularity of Mind.Jerry Fodor - 1983 - Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
The Modularity of Mind.Robert Cummins & Jerry Fodor - 1985 - Philosophical Review 94 (1):101.

View all 20 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Naturalistic Fallacy.Julia Tanner - 2006 - Richmond Journal of Philosophy 13.
When is a Fallacy Not a Fallacy?Joel Marks - 1988 - Metaphilosophy 19 (3‐4):307-312.
The Speech Act Fallacy Fallacy.Thomas Hurka - 1982 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 12 (3):509-526.
Is the Genetic Fallacy a Fallacy?Jon Pashman - 1970 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 8 (1):57-62.
The Fodorian Fallacy.François Recanati - 2002 - Analysis 62 (4):285-89.
A Fallacy in the Intentional Fallacy.James Downey - 2007 - Philosophy and Literature 31 (1):149-152.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2012-05-18

Total views
479 ( #10,302 of 2,285,432 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
69 ( #11,019 of 2,285,432 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature