Human Nature After Darwin: A Philosophical Introduction

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Routledge, 5 jul. 2005 - 336 pagina's
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Human Nature After Darwin is an original investigation of the implications of Darwinism for our understanding of ourselves and our situation. It casts new light on current Darwinian controversies, also providing an introduction to philosophical reasoning and a range of philosophical problems.
Janet Radcliffe Richards claims that many current battles about Darwinism are based on mistaken assumptions about the implications of the rival views. Her analysis of these implications provides a much-needed guide to the fundamentals of Darwinism and the so-called Darwin wars, as well as providing a set of philosophical techniques relevant to wide areas of moral and political debate.
The lucid presentation makes the book an ideal introduction to both philosophy and Darwinism as well as a substantive contribution to topics of intense current controversy. It will be of interest to students of philosophy, science and the social sciences, and critical thinking.
 

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Inhoudsopgave

The theory
4
The Darwinian revolution
11
The sceptics
25
Scientific confidence
26
The perpetual threat of overthrow
29
Radical sceptics and rational bets
32
Shifting goalposts
39
Internecine strife
51
Egoism and tautology
175
reductive explanations
177
The end of ethics
184
Particular moralities and morality in general
185
God as necessary for objectivity
188
Evolution as sufficient for nonobjectivity
192
a detour
195
Secular moral enquiry
203

The battle lines
56
Persisting controversy
82
Implications and conditionals
87
The assessment of conditionals
91
Biology as destiny
100
Robots and puppets
101
Setting out the argument
105
Assessing the argument
108
Tu quoque
117
Blameless puppets
126
Real responsibility
131
The challenge from dualism
134
kinds of nonexistence
141
More shifts of level and sleights of hand
147
Selfish genes and moral animals
154
Evolution and altruism
155
Unselfish gene machines?
157
True altruism?
166
Onwards and upwards
212
Ignorance and rationality
213
Natural premises and political conclusions
221
Ethics and the natural order
242
Overview
257
The real differences
259
The implications of materialism
260
The unchanged elements
264
Conclusion
268
Notes
271
Answers to exercises
273
Revision questions
288
Answers to revision questions
299
Suggestions for further reading
304
Bibliography
307
Index
309
Copyright

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Over de auteur (2005)

Janet Radcliffe Richards is Reader in Bioethics and Director of the Centre for Bioethics at University College London. she was formerly lecturer in philosophy at the Open University and is the author of the acclaimed book The Sceptical Feminist.

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