Philosophical Perspectives on Evolutionary Theory: A Sketch of the History
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Discussion of Darwinian evolutionary theory by philosophers has gone through a number of historical phases, from indifference (in the first hundred years), to criticism (in the 1960s and 70s), to enthusiasm and expansionism (since about 1980). This paper documents these phases and speculates about what, philosophically speaking, underlies them. It concludes with some comments on the present state of the evolutionary debate, where rapid and important changes within evolutionary theory may be passing by unnoticed by philosophers.
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