Natural Kinds Pt 2

Natural Kinds: Rosy Dawn, Scholastic Twilight by Ian Hacking. Basically and simply: there are no such things as “natural kinds.” Despite the fact that the concept has an endowed history and has functioned well for certain conceptual purposes (eg. as a mode of clear-cut classifying such as is required by the scholastic tradition), the conceptContinue reading “Natural Kinds Pt 2”

Natural Kinds

The Origins of ‘Natural Kinds’: Keeping ‘Essentialism” at Bay in the Age of Reform Gordon McOuat Intellectual History Review 19(2) 2009: 211-230 Essentialism-here refers to the idea that for any specific thing there is some absolutely necessary element(s) present thus allowing for a percise definition. Natural Kinds-groups of entities that share a set of necessaryContinue reading “Natural Kinds”


Anthropomorphism, primatomorphism, mammalomorphism: understanding cross-species comparisons BRIAN L. KEELEY Biology and Philosophy 19: 521–540, 2004. In this article, the author argues that the “sin” of anthropomorphism is rooted in an outdated theological tradition that equated describing God in terms of human qualities to a blasphemous act that reduced God to mere mortal and elided hisContinue reading “Anthropomorphism”

Universal Darwinism

Dawkins, Richard. “Universal Darwinism.” Philosophy of Biology eds. Hull & Ruse, London: Oxford, 1998 Basic point of this paper is to argue that darwinism is approximately a universal maxim. In other words, it will work well anywhere. Dawkins reviews seven different evolution theories, points out their strengths and weaknesses in order to show that indeedContinue reading “Universal Darwinism”

Evolution–Levels of Selection

Sober, Elliot and David Sloan Wilson. “A Critical Review of Philosophical Work on the Units of Selection Problem.” Philosophy of Science, 62:4 (1994), p. 534-55. As the title suggests, this article reviews the debate over the level of selection in the evolutionary process. More specifically, it reviews the specific questions of evolutionary altruism—a phenomenon inContinue reading “Evolution–Levels of Selection”

Evolution-Level of Selection

Sterelny, Kim and Philip Kitcher. “The Return of the Gene.” The Journal of Philosophy 85:7 (1988), p339-61. This article reviews two versions of natural selection: natural selection as a process of survival and reproduction of individual organisms and the other, proposed by Dawkins natural selection at the genetic level, with replicators and active germ-line replicators.Continue reading “Evolution-Level of Selection”


Six Sayings About Adaptationism Elliot Sober (full reference coming shortly) This article sets out the discussion of adaptationism as a universal evolutionary law analogous to Newtonian physics as a framework for investigating various points of contention within the evolutionary discipline. If the analogy is true, then barring the intrusions of other possible forces, natural selectionContinue reading “Evolution”