Philosophy of Science 50 (1):112-129 (1983)
When natural selection theory was presented, much active philosophical debate, in which Darwin himself participated, centered on its hypothetical nature, its explanatory power, and Darwin's methodology. Upon first examination, Darwin's support of his theory seems to consist of a set of claims pertaining to various aspects of explanatory success. I analyze the support of his method and theory given in the Origin of Species and private correspondence, and conclude that an interpretation focusing on the explanatory strengths of natural selection theory accurately reflects neither Darwin's own self-consciously held views, nor the nature of his support. Darwin's methodological and philosophical arguments were at once consistently empiricist and more sophisticated than such interpretations credit to him
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