Biology and Philosophy 14 (4):561-584 (1999)

Authors
Trevor Hussey
Oxford University (DPhil)
Abstract
This paper is concerned with the debate in evolutionary epistemology about the nature of the evolutionary process at work in the development of science: whether it is Darwinian or Lamarckian. It is claimed that if we are to make progress through the many arguments that have grown up around this issue, we must return to an examination of the concepts of change and evolution, and examine the basic kinds of mechanism capable of bringing evolution about. This examination results in two kinds of processes being identified, dubbed direct and indirect, and these are claimed to exhaust all possibilities. These ideas are then applied to a selection of the debates within evolutionary epistemology. It is shown that while arguments about the pattern and rate of evolutionary change are necessarily inconclusive, those concerning the origin of novel variations and the mode of inheritance can be resolved by means of the distinctions made here. It is claimed that the process of selection in the evolution of science can also be clarified. The conclusion is that the main process producing the evolution of science is a direct or Lamarckian one although, if realism is correct, an indirect or Darwinian process plays a vital role.
Keywords change  evolution  evolutionary epistemology  selection
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DOI 10.1023/A:1006568200814
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References found in this work BETA

Objective Knowledge.K. R. Popper - 1972 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 4 (2):388-398.
Logic Matters.Peter Thomas Geach - 1972 - Berkeley, CA, USA: Blackwell.
Darwin and the Emergence of Evolutionary Theories of Mind and Behavior.Daniel C. Dennett - 1989 - Journal of the History of Biology 22 (2):361-367.

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Citations of this work BETA

Evolution and Nursing.Trevor Hussey - 2002 - Nursing Philosophy 3 (3):240-251.
Thinking About Change. Hussey - 2002 - Nursing Philosophy 3 (2):104-113.

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