Darwin's Legacy: What Evolution Means Today / Edition 1

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Overview


The theory of evolution has fundamentally changed our view of the universe and our place in it. By providing a radically new vision of the origin of human beings, it challenged long-held assumptions about our own significance and undermined the major arguments for the existence of God. But almost 150 years after the publication of Darwin's Origin of Species these implications are still not properly understood, and in some sectors of society they are actively resisted.
The last decade has also seen the rise of a new field, evolutionary psychology, which takes the theory of evolution to provide insight into aspects of human culture and behaviour as diverse as language, morality, sexuality, and art.
This book shows that although there are particular aspects of the theory of evolution which remain controversial, and issues still to be settled, there can no longer be any doubt that the basis of the theory is true. It examines the consequences for our view of human nature, religion, and non-human animals. John Dupré then investigates the appropriation of evolutionary biology by psychologists, and argues that their claims are largely spurious: despite its status as one of the most important scientific ideas of all time, the theory of evolution has very little to tell us about the details of human nature and human behavior.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Dupré's account of how he believes evolutionary theory has inflicted a 'fatal injury' to 'the pretensions of religion' provides a wonderful counterpoint to Creationist dogma... Dupré's wonderfully succinct explanation of evolutionary theory is a good enough reason in itself to buy this book; however, with the forces of the religious right keen to mount an offensive on these shores, it's the eloquent and uncompromising argument that may prove indispensable."--The Independent

"John Dupré has been one of the philosophers in the forefront of this rethinking of science. He has helped us to rethink what science is, in the light of biology and of evolution. More recently, however, he has turned from defending the biological sciences from those who would disparage them, to attacking them."--Neil Levy, Metapsychology Online Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199284214
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 10/1/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 7.70 (w) x 5.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

John A. Dupré is Professor of Philosophy of Science & Director of the ESRC Centre for Genomics in Society at the University of Exeter. He lectures extensively in the U.K., North America, and Europe. His main area of research is the philosophy of science with special interest in the philosophy of biology, the role of values in science, and the nature of biological species. His books include Human Nature and the Limits of Science (OUP).

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Table of Contents

1. What is the theory of evolution?
2. Is the theory of evolution true?
3. Evolution and origins
4. Humans and animals
5. Human behaviour
6. Sex and Race

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