Darwin and the Emergence of Evolutionary Theories of Mind and Behavior

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Author: Robert J. Richards

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 0226712001

Category: Psychology

Page: 718

View: 9711

With insight and wit, Robert J. Richards focuses on the development of evolutionary theories of mind and behavior from their first distinct appearance in the eighteenth century to their controversial state today. Particularly important in the nineteenth century were Charles Darwin's ideas about instinct, reason, and morality, which Richards considers against the background of Darwin's personality, training, scientific and cultural concerns, and intellectual community. Many critics have argued that the Darwinian revolution stripped nature of moral purpose and ethically neutered the human animal. Richards contends, however, that Darwin, Herbert Spencer, and their disciples attempted to reanimate moral life, believing that the evolutionary process gave heart to unselfish, altruistic behavior. "Richards's book is now the obvious introduction to the history of ideas about mind and behavior in the nineteenth century."—Mark Ridley, Times Literary Supplement "Not since the publication of Michael Ghiselin's The Triumph of the Darwinian Method has there been such an ambitious, challenging, and methodologically self-conscious interpretation of the rise and development and evolutionary theories and Darwin's role therein."—John C. Greene, Science "His book . . . triumphantly achieves the goal of all great scholarship: it not only informs us, but shows us why becoming thus informed is essential to understanding our own issues and projects."—Daniel C. Dennett, Philosophy of Science

Darwin and the Emergence of Evolutionary Theories of Mind and Behavior

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Author: Robert J. Richards

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226712000

Category: Psychology

Page: 718

View: 992

With insight and wit, Robert J. Richards focuses on the development of evolutionary theories of mind and behavior from their first distinct appearance in the eighteenth century to their controversial state today. Particularly important in the nineteenth century were Charles Darwin's ideas about instinct, reason, and morality, which Richards considers against the background of Darwin's personality, training, scientific and cultural concerns, and intellectual community. Many critics have argued that the Darwinian revolution stripped nature of moral purpose and ethically neutered the human animal. Richards contends, however, that Darwin, Herbert Spencer, and their disciples attempted to reanimate moral life, believing that the evolutionary process gave heart to unselfish, altruistic behavior. "Richards's book is now the obvious introduction to the history of ideas about mind and behavior in the nineteenth century."—Mark Ridley, Times Literary Supplement "Not since the publication of Michael Ghiselin's The Triumph of the Darwinian Method has there been such an ambitious, challenging, and methodologically self-conscious interpretation of the rise and development and evolutionary theories and Darwin's role therein."—John C. Greene, Science "His book . . . triumphantly achieves the goal of all great scholarship: it not only informs us, but shows us why becoming thus informed is essential to understanding our own issues and projects."—Daniel C. Dennett, Philosophy of Science

Evolution and Learning

The Baldwin Effect Reconsidered

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Author: Bruce H. Weber,David J. Depew

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 9780262232296

Category: FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS

Page: 341

View: 6878

Essays on the contributions to historical and contemporary evolutionary theory of the Baldwin effect, which postulates the effects of learned behaviors on evolutionary change.

Was Hitler a Darwinian?

Disputed Questions in the History of Evolutionary Theory

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Author: Robert J. Richards

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022605909X

Category: Science

Page: 272

View: 2177

In tracing the history of Darwin’s accomplishment and the trajectory of evolutionary theory during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, most scholars agree that Darwin introduced blind mechanism into biology, thus banishing moral values from the understanding of nature. According to the standard interpretation, the principle of survival of the fittest has rendered human behavior, including moral behavior, ultimately selfish. Few doubt that Darwinian theory, especially as construed by the master’s German disciple, Ernst Haeckel, inspired Hitler and led to Nazi atrocities. In this collection of essays, Robert J. Richards argues that this orthodox view is wrongheaded. A close historical examination reveals that Darwin, in more traditional fashion, constructed nature with a moral spine and provided it with a goal: man as a moral creature. The book takes up many other topics—including the character of Darwin’s chief principles of natural selection and divergence, his dispute with Alfred Russel Wallace over man’s big brain, the role of language in human development, his relationship to Herbert Spencer, how much his views had in common with Haeckel’s, and the general problem of progress in evolution. Moreover, Richards takes a forceful stand on the timely issue of whether Darwin is to blame for Hitler’s atrocities. Was Hitler a Darwinian? is intellectual history at its boldest.

An Urchin in the Storm: Essays about Books and Ideas

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Author: Stephen Jay Gould

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393340902

Category: Science

Page: 256

View: 4403

"What pleasure to see the dishonest, the inept, and the misguided deftly given their due, while praise is lavished on the deserving—for reasons well and truly stated."—Kirkus Reviews Ranging as far as the fox and as deep as the hedgehog (the urchin of his title), Stephen Jay Gould expands on geology, biological determinism, "cardboard Darwinism," and evolutionary theory in this sparkling collection.

Evolution, Explanation, Ethics and Aesthetics

Towards a Philosophy of Biology

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Author: Francisco J. Ayala

Publisher: Academic Press

ISBN: 0128037318

Category: Science

Page: 420

View: 7863

Evolution, Explanation, Ethics and Aesthetics: Towards a Philosophy of Biology focuses on the dominant biological topic of evolution. It deals with the prevailing philosophical themes of how to explain the adaptation of organisms, the interplay of chance and necessity, and the recurrent topics of emergence, reductionism, and progress. In addition, the extensively treated topic of how to explain human nature as a result of natural processes and the encompassed issues of the foundations of morality and the brain-to-mind transformation is discussed. The philosophy of biology is a rapidly expanding field, not more than half a century old at most, and to a large extent is replacing the interest in the philosophy of physics that prevailed in the first two-thirds of the twentieth century. Few texts available have the benefit of being written by an eminent biologist who happens to be also a philosopher, as in this work. This book is a useful resource for seminar courses and college courses on the philosophy of biology. Researchers, academics, and students in evolutionary biology, behavior, genetics, and biodiversity will also be interested in this work, as will those in human biology and issues such as ethics, religion, and the human mind, along with professional philosophers of science and those concerned with such issues as whether evolution is compatible with religion and/or where morality comes from. Presents the unique perspective of a distinguished biologist with extensive experience in the field who has published much about the subject in a wide variety of journals and edited volumes Covers the philosophical issues related to evolution and biology in an approachable and readable style Includes the most up-to-date treatment of this burgeoning, exciting field within biology Provides the ideal guide for researchers, academics, and students in evolutionary biology, behavior, genetics, and biodiversity

The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind

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Author: Julian Jaynes

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 0547527543

Category: Science

Page: 512

View: 4428

At the heart of this classic, seminal book is Julian Jaynes's still-controversial thesis that human consciousness did not begin far back in animal evolution but instead is a learned process that came about only three thousand years ago and is still developing. The implications of this revolutionary scientific paradigm extend into virtually every aspect of our psychology, our history and culture, our religion -- and indeed our future.

Carl Jung, Darwin of the Mind

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Author: Thomas T. Lawson

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 0429897472

Category: Psychology

Page: 236

View: 6236

Carl Jung, Darwin of the Mind is a review and an explanation of Jung's thought set in an evolutionary context. Jung explored the human psyche throughout his long life. His writings, of astonishing scope and depth, elaborate on imagery that can be found in rituals, myths and fables worldwide as well as in the dreams, visions and fantasies of his patients and himself. Jung pursued common threads of meaning to the point of becoming deeply versed in the esoterica of Eastern mysticism, Gnosticism, and alchemy. Taken collectively, Jung's works develop a coherent theory about how the psyche is constructed, including an idea of how consciousness emerged as a part of it. The author demonstrates that Jung's concept of a collective unconscious structured by archetypes meshes well with accepted views of evolution and can be squared with the most rigorous science of today. So taken, Jung's work is of unrivaled explanatory power and opens new vistas for understanding who we are and how we function.

Becoming Human

Evolution and Human Uniqueness

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Author: Ian Tattersall

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 9780156006538

Category: Science

Page: 258

View: 4937

Explores the evolution of humankind--who we are, where we came from, and where we are going

The Formation of Vegetable Mould, Through the Action of Worms, with Observations on Their Habits

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Author: Charles Darwin

Publisher: Read Books Ltd

ISBN: 1473374839

Category: Science

Page: 222

View: 6723

Many of the earliest books, particularly those dating back to the 1900s and before, are now extremely scarce and increasingly expensive. We are republishing these classic works in affordable, high quality, modern editions, using the original text and artwork.

Genetics and the Origin of Species

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Author: Theodosius Dobzhansky,Theodosius Grigorievich Dobzhansky

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 9780231054751

Category: Science

Page: 364

View: 8138

Featuring an introduction by Stephen Jay Gould, "Genetics and the Origin of Species" presents the first edition of Dobzhansky's groundbreaking and now classic inquiry into what has emerged as the most important single area of scientific inquiry in the twentieth century: biological theory of evolution. Genetics and the Origin of Species went through three editions (1937, 1941, and 1951) in which the importance accorded natural selection changed radically.

Mind and Cosmos

Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False

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Author: Thomas Nagel

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199919755

Category: Philosophy

Page: 130

View: 368

The modern materialist approach to life has conspicuously failed to explain such central mind-related features of our world as consciousness, intentionality, meaning, and value. This failure to account for something so integral to nature as mind, argues philosopher Thomas Nagel, is a major problem, threatening to unravel the entire naturalistic world picture, extending to biology, evolutionary theory, and cosmology. Since minds are features of biological systems that have developed through evolution, the standard materialist version of evolutionary biology is fundamentally incomplete. And the cosmological history that led to the origin of life and the coming into existence of the conditions for evolution cannot be a merely materialist history, either. An adequate conception of nature would have to explain the appearance in the universe of materially irreducible conscious minds, as such. Nagel's skepticism is not based on religious belief or on a belief in any definite alternative. InMind and Cosmos, he does suggest that if the materialist account is wrong, then principles of a different kind may also be at work in the history of nature, principles of the growth of order that are in their logical form teleological rather than mechanistic. In spite of the great achievements of the physical sciences, reductive materialism is a world view ripe for displacement. Nagel shows that to recognize its limits is the first step in looking for alternatives, or at least in being open to their possibility.

African Exodus

The Origins of Modern Humanity

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Author: Chris Stringer,Robin McKie

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

ISBN: 1627797491

Category: History

Page: 304

View: 1423

A Choice Outstanding Academic Book A Library Journal Best Sci-Tech Book A New York Times Notable Book Once in a generation a book such as African Exodus emerges to transform the way we see ourselves. This landmark book, which argues that our genes betray the secret of a single racial stock shared by all of modern humanity, has set off one of the most bitter debates in contemporary science. "We emerged out of Africa," the authors cont, "less than 100,000 years ago and replaced all other human populations." Employing persuasive fossil and genetic evidence (the proof is in the blood, not just the bones) and an exceptionally readable style, Stringer and McKie challenge long-held beliefs that suggest we evolved separately as different races with genetic roots reaching back two million years.

The Romantic Conception of Life

Science and Philosophy in the Age of Goethe

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Author: Robert J. Richards

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 0226712184

Category: Science

Page: 606

View: 2359

"All art should become science and all science art; poetry and philosophy should be made one." Friedrich Schlegel's words perfectly capture the project of the German Romantics, who believed that the aesthetic approaches of art and literature could reveal patterns and meaning in nature that couldn't be uncovered through rationalistic philosophy and science alone. In this wide-ranging work, Robert J. Richards shows how the Romantic conception of the world influenced (and was influenced by) both the lives of the people who held it and the development of nineteenth-century science. Integrating Romantic literature, science, and philosophy with an intimate knowledge of the individuals involved—from Goethe and the brothers Schlegel to Humboldt and Friedrich and Caroline Schelling—Richards demonstrates how their tempestuous lives shaped their ideas as profoundly as their intellectual and cultural heritage. He focuses especially on how Romantic concepts of the self, as well as aesthetic and moral considerations—all tempered by personal relationships—altered scientific representations of nature. Although historians have long considered Romanticism at best a minor tributary to scientific thought, Richards moves it to the center of the main currents of nineteenth-century biology, culminating in the conception of nature that underlies Darwin's evolutionary theory. Uniting the personal and poetic aspects of philosophy and science in a way that the German Romantics themselves would have honored, The Romantic Conception of Life alters how we look at Romanticism and nineteenth-century biology.

The Meaning of Evolution

The Morphological Construction and Ideological Reconstruction of Darwin's Theory

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Author: Robert J. Richards

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226712055

Category: Science

Page: 222

View: 6620

Did Darwin see evolution as progressive, directed toward producing ever more advanced forms of life? Most contemporary scholars say no. In this challenge to prevailing views, Robert J. Richards says yes—and argues that current perspectives on Darwin and his theory are both ideologically motivated and scientifically unsound. This provocative new reading of Darwin goes directly to the origins of evolutionary theory. Unlike most contemporary biologists or historians and philosophers of science, Richards holds that Darwin did concern himself with the idea of progress, or telos, as he constructed his theory. Richards maintains that Darwin drew on the traditional embryological meanings of the terms "evolution" and "descent with modification." In the 1600s and 1700s, "evolution" referred to the embryological theory of preformation, the idea that the embryo exists as a miniature adult of its own species that simply grows, or evolves, during gestation. By the early 1800s, however, the idea of preformation had become the concept of evolutionary recapitulation, the idea that during its development an embryo passes through a series of stages, each the adult form of an ancestor species. Richards demonstrates that, for Darwin, embryological recapitulation provided a graphic model of how species evolve. If an embryo could be seen as successively taking the structures and forms of its ancestral species, then one could see the evolution of life itself as a succession of species, each transformed from its ancestor. Richards works with the Origin and other published and archival material to show that these embryological models were much on Darwin's mind as he considered the evidence for descent with modification. Why do so many modern researchers find these embryological roots of Darwin's theory so problematic? Richards argues that the current tendency to see evolution as a process that is not progressive and not teleological imposes perspectives on Darwin that incorrectly deny the clearly progressive heart of his embryological models and his evolutionary theory.

What Darwin Got Wrong

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Author: Jerry Fodor,Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini

Publisher: Profile Books

ISBN: 1847651909

Category: Science

Page: 262

View: 3020

Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piatelli-Palmarini, a distinguished philosopher and scientist working in tandem, reveal major flaws at the heart of Darwinian evolutionary theory. They do not deny Darwin's status as an outstanding scientist but question the inferences he drew from his observations. Combining the results of cutting-edge work in experimental biology with crystal-clear philosophical argument they mount a devastating critique of the central tenets of Darwin's account of the origin of species. The logic underlying natural selection is the survival of the fittest under changing environmental pressure. This logic, they argue, is mistaken. They back up the claim with evidence of what actually happens in nature. This is a rare achievement - the short book that is likely to make a great deal of difference to a very large subject. What Darwin Got Wrong will be controversial. The authors' arguments will reverberate through the scientific world. At the very least they will transform the debate about evolution.

Culture and the Evolutionary Process

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Author: Robert Boyd,Peter J. Richerson

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226069333

Category: Science

Page: 331

View: 4281

How do biological, psychological, sociological, and cultural factors combine to change societies over the long run? Boyd and Richerson explore how genetic and cultural factors interact, under the influence of evolutionary forces, to produce the diversity we see in human cultures. Using methods developed by population biologists, they propose a theory of cultural evolution that is an original and fair-minded alternative to the sociobiology debate.

The Evolutionary Origin of Human Behavior

How Play and Evolution Carried Us from Our Reptile Predecessors to the Storytellers We Are

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Author: Keith C. M. Glegg

Publisher: iUniverse

ISBN: 144011806X

Category: Science

Page: 264

View: 9612

Up until now, there has been no explanation of how the outer layers of human behavior helped drive the evolution of ancient reptiles into modern-day humans. How did behavioral phenomena such as play, learning by copying, language, REM sleep, and storytelling influence the development of humanity as a whole? The development of play was particularly important in the evolutionary process, as it provided the bridge between the instinctive brains of reptiles to the powerful brains of birds and mammals. Play, however, is just one factor that can help explain evolution and the development of human behavior. In this book, you'll consider a gamut of issues, including Evolutionary stages The paradox of animals that feed on animals The importance and repercussions of copy-learning Primitive games The emergence of sleep The scientific community needs to think in new ways to accurately look at human evolutionary history. Take that leap, and consider new explanations of old behavior as you read The Evolutionary Origin of Human Behavior: How Play and Evolution Carried Us from Our Reptile Predecessors to the Storytellers We Are.

The Meme Machine

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Author: Susan Blackmore

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191574619

Category: Science

Page: 288

View: 7131

Humans are extraordinary creatures, with the unique ability among animals to imitate and so copy from one another ideas, habits, skills, behaviours, inventions, songs, and stories. These are all memes, a term first coined by Richard Dawkins in 1976 in his book The Selfish Gene. Memes, like genes, are replicators, and this enthralling book is an investigation of whether this link between genes and memes can lead to important discoveries about the nature of the inner self. Confronting the deepest questions about our inner selves, with all our emotions, memories, beliefs, and decisions, Susan Blackmore makes a compelling case for the theory that the inner self is merely an illusion created by the memes for the sake of replication.

The Evolution of Everything

How New Ideas Emerge

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Author: Matt Ridley

Publisher: HarperCollins

ISBN: 0062296027

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 368

View: 2438

The New York Times bestselling author of The Rational Optimist and Genome returns with a fascinating argument for evolution that definitively dispels a dangerous, widespread myth: that we can command and control our world. Human society evolves. Change in technology, language, morality, and society is incremental, inexorable, gradual, and spontaneous. It follows a narrative, going from one stage to the next; it creeps rather than jumps; it has its own spontaneous momentum rather than being driven from outside; it has no goal or end in mind; and it largely happens by trial and error—a version of natural selection. Much of the human world is the result of human action but not of human design: it emerges from the interactions of millions, not from the plans of a few. Drawing on fascinating evidence from science, economics, history, politics, and philosophy, Matt Ridley demolishes conventional assumptions that the great events and trends of our day are dictated by those on high, whether in government, business, academia, or organized religion. On the contrary, our most important achievements develop from the bottom up. Just as skeins of geese form Vs in the sky without meaning to and ter-mites build mud cathedrals without architects, so brains take shape without brain-makers, learning happens without teaching, and morality changes for no reason other than the prevailing fashion. Although we neglect, defy, and ignore them, bottom-up trends shape the world. The Industrial Revolution, cell phones, the rise of Asia, and the Internet were never planned; they happened. Languages emerged and evolved by a form of natural selection, as did common law. Torture, racism, slavery, and pedophilia—all once widely regarded as acceptable—are now seen as immoral despite the decline of religion in recent decades. In this wide-ranging and erudite book, Ridley brilliantly makes the case for evolution, rather than design, as the force that has shaped much of our culture, our technology, our minds, and that even now is shaping our future. As compelling as it is controversial, as authoritative as it is ambitious, Ridley’s deeply thought-provoking book will change the way we think about the world and how it works.