The nature of philosophy and the philosophy of nature

Biology and Philosophy 30 (4):587-596 (2015)

Tim Lewens
Cambridge University
Peter Godfrey-Smith’s introduction to the philosophy of biology is excellent. This review questions one implication of his book, namely that Darwin’s case for the efficacy of natural selection was hampered by his ignorance of the particulate nature of inheritance. I suggest, instead, that Darwin was handicapped by an inability to effectively engage in quantitative population thinking. I also question Godfrey-Smith’s understanding of the role that Malthusian struggle plays in linking natural selection to the origination of new adaptive traits, and I raise problems for his defence of apparently unproblematic conceptions of human nature. Finally, I highlight the welcome conception of a ‘philosophy of nature’ developed by Godfrey-Smith
Keywords William Bateson  R. A. Fisher  Peter Godfrey-Smith  Human nature  Natural selection
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DOI 10.1007/s10539-015-9485-z
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References found in this work BETA

Human Nature: The Very Idea.Tim Lewens - 2012 - Philosophy and Technology 25 (4):459-474.
Organisms and Artifacts: Design in Nature and Elsewhere.Tim Lewens - 2006 - Philosophical Quarterly 56 (225):624-625.
Pruning the Tree of Life.Karen Neander - 1995 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 46 (1):59-80.

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