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The Varieties of Darwinism: Explanation, Logic, and Worldview

Desmond, Hugh and Ariew, André and Huneman, Philippe and Reydon, Thomas (2023) The Varieties of Darwinism: Explanation, Logic, and Worldview. [Preprint]

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Ever since its inception, the theory of evolution has been reified into an “-ism”: Darwinism. While biologists today tend to shy away from the term in their research, the term is still actively used in the broader academic and societal contexts. What exactly is Darwinism, and how precisely are its various uses and abuses related to the scientific theory of evolution? Some call for limiting the meaning of the term “Darwinism” to its scientific context; others call for its abolition; yet others claim the term refers to a myth-like story. In this paper we propose a conceptually grounded overview of the term. We show how the scientific dimension of Darwinism feeds into, and is influenced by, guises of Darwinism as a methodology and as an ethically and politically charged “worldview”. The full meaning of Darwinism, as well as how this meaning has changed over time, can only be understood through the complex interaction between these three dimensions.

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Item Type: Preprint
Desmond, Hughhugh.desmond@uantwerpen.be0000-0002-4822-923X
Ariew, André
Huneman, Philippe
Reydon, Thomas
Keywords: Darwinism - Natural Selection - Evolutionary Theory - Thick Concepts - Science-based policy - Naturalistic Fallacy
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Theory
Depositing User: Prof. Dr. Hugh Desmond
Date Deposited: 12 May 2023 12:25
Last Modified: 12 May 2023 12:25
Item ID: 22097
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Theory
Date: 4 March 2023

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