Darwinism in contemporary moral philosophy and social theory

Philosophical Darwinism is a species of naturalism. Among philosophers, naturalism is widely treated as the view that contemporary scientific theory is the source of solutions to philosophical problems. Thus, naturalists look to the theory of natural selection as the primary source in coming to solve philosophical problems raised by human affairs. For it combines more strongly than any other theory relevance to human affairs and scientific warrant. Other theories, especially in physics and chemistry, are more strongly confirmed, especially because their more precise predictions can be tested in real time. But these theories have little to tell us about human conduct and institutions. On the other hand, actual and possible theories, in the social and behavioral sciences, may in the future have more tell us about humanity than Darwinian theory, but these theories do not as yet have anything like the degree of confirmation of Darwin’s theory. Since Darwinism has important consequences for human affairs, the naturalist must look to Darwin’s theory, above all others, in the search for philosophical understanding.
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