Michael Ruse

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This essay considers Charles Darwin's late work, "Cross- and Self-Fertilization of Plants," locating it in the overall context of Darwin's thought and ideas. It is shown how it is part of a long-term interest in the purpose of sexuality, and how it complements Darwin's earlier book on the fertilization of orchids. It is concluded, however, that Darwin had(More)
Moral norms are the rules of morality, those that people actually follow, and those that we feel people ought to follow, even when they don’t. Historically, the social sciences have been primarily concerned with describing the many forms that moral norms take in various cultures, with the emerging implication that moral norms are mere arbitrary products of(More)
The Inter-Organisation Programme for the Sound Management of Chemicals (IOMC) was established in 1995 as a mechanism to co-ordinate the efforts of Inter-governmental Organisations in promoting the sound management of chemicals. The seven participating organisations are the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the International Labour Organisation(More)
  • Michael Ruse
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences…
  • 2009
The Darwinian revolution is generally taken to be one of the key events in the history of Western science. In recent years, however, the very notion of a scientific revolution has come under attack, and in the specific case of Charles Darwin and his Origin of Species there are serious questions about the nature of the change (if there was such) and the(More)
  • Michael Ruse
  • Studies in history and philosophy of biological…
  • 2005
There are two main senses of 'mechanism', both deriving from the metaphor of nature as a machine. One sense refers to contrivance or design, as in 'the plant's mechanism of attracting butterflies'. The other sense refers to cause or law process, as in 'the mechanism of heredity'. In his work on evolution, Charles Darwin showed that organisms are produced by(More)
  • M Ruse
  • Trends in ecology & evolution
  • 1993
The concept of progress is one which makes evolutionists feel very uneasy, yet it is also a concept to which they are forever returning. It is useful to make a distinction between 'comparative progress' which involves competition between groups, and 'absolute progress' which involves the climb up some objective scale. Both kinds of progress have been the(More)
  • M Ruse
  • Trends in ecology & evolution
  • 1989
Evolutionary biology is distinctively forward looking or 'teleological' in its way of thought. In this, it distinguishes itself from the physical sciences. One can ask for the purpose or function of the stegoseaur's fins. One would never ask for the function of a planet. Many, including biologists, worry that such teleology is an unhappy legacy of a(More)