Taking Darwin Seriously: A Naturalistic Approach to Philosophy / Edition 2

Taking Darwin Seriously: A Naturalistic Approach to Philosophy / Edition 2

by Michael Ruse
     
 

First published a decade ago, Michael Ruse's Taking Darwin Seriously established itself as one of the most important works on evolutionary naturalism since Darwin's own Origin of Species in 1859. Updated with a new preface and final chapter, this timely volume challenges the threadworn arguments as well as the new claims of creationism seeping into mainstream

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Overview

First published a decade ago, Michael Ruse's Taking Darwin Seriously established itself as one of the most important works on evolutionary naturalism since Darwin's own Origin of Species in 1859. Updated with a new preface and final chapter, this timely volume challenges the threadworn arguments as well as the new claims of creationism seeping into mainstream education, science, and philosophy, and reestablishes solid arguments supporting the science of Charles Darwin.

Applying evolutionary biology to traditional philosophical problems, this volume establishes a naturalistic approach to our understanding of life's major problems. Ruse argues thoughtfully that to understand the problems of knowledge (epistemology) and of moral thought and behavior (ethics), we must know that we are the end-products of the natural process of evolution rather than the special creation of a supernatural god. At the same time, he warns evolutionists who would fashion an atheistic secular religion from their science.

Written in an easy style to interest the professional and the general reader, this book is a pillar of philosophy intended as a direct challenge to all those who would push creationism as a credible alternative to scientific evolution in public schools, universities, and as a general theory of public consumption.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781573922425
Publisher:
Prometheus Books
Publication date:
08/28/1998
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
323
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.74(d)

Table of Contents

Preface to the Second Edition
Preface
1The Biological Background1
The fact of evolution1
The path of evolution4
The theory of evolution: natural selection16
The theory of evolution: modern genetics18
Good science?20
2Evolutionary Epistemology29
Evolution as analogy31
Herbert Spencer and the law of progress37
Stephen Toulmin's Darwinian model45
The analogy considered: the fact of evolution46
The analogy considered: the path of evolution49
The analogy considered: the cause of evolution53
Donald Campbell's Darwinian variations58
Karl Popper and the revision of Darwinism61
3Evolutionary Ethics67
Moral issues68
Evolution and ethics71
Herbert Spencer and the moral value of progress73
Spencerian problems75
William Graham Sumner and Social Darwinism78
Thomas Henry Huxley and his stand against nature82
Hume's law and the naturalistic fallacy86
Is the natural innately good?90
Edward O. Wilson and the foundations of morality93
The evolution of the moral sense99
4Human Evolution103
The fact of human evolution104
The path of human evolution109
The cause of human evolution115
The problem of culture123
The biology of language126
Ape language134
Is culture independent of biology?140
Epigenetic rules143
5Darwinian Epistemology148
The nature of science149
Scientific reasoning155
The case for a biological backing160
The case for (continued)164
The case against168
The rivals to science174
Philosophical precursor: Kant?178
Philosophical precursor: Hume?182
Common-sense realism184
Metaphysical scepticism192
Konrad Lorenz and the biological a priori196
The ultimate foundations199
6Darwinian Ethics207
Substantive ethics208
Meta-ethics213
The evolution of morality217
The empirical evidence: social animals223
The empirical evidence: chimpanzees227
The empirical evidence: humans230
Substantive ethics reconsidered: utilitarianism235
My family and other animals238
To give and not to count the cost242
Substantive ethics reconsidered: Kantianism244
Moral disagreements247
Darwinian meta-ethics250
Objectifying morality252
Stepping around Hume's law256
Freedom of choice258
Possible precursor: Kant?262
Possible precursor: Hume?266
Looking forward269
Darwin's New Critics on Trial280
References298
Index316

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