The Metaphysics of Evolution

  title={The Metaphysics of Evolution},
  author={David L. Hull},
  journal={The British Journal for the History of Science},
  pages={309 - 337}
  • D. Hull
  • Published 1 December 1967
  • Philosophy
  • The British Journal for the History of Science
Extreme variation in the meaning of the term “species” throughout the history of biology has often frustrated attempts of historians, philosophers and biologists to communicate with one another about the transition in biological thinking from the static species concept to the modern notion of evolving species. The most important change which has underlain all the other fluctuations in the meaning of the word “species” is the change from it denoting such metaphysical entities as essences, Forms… 
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Patterned Process in Biological Evolution
Evolutionary theory has influenced the development of metaphysics by making logical room for a non-essentialist conception of biological species and an explanation for the process of speciation that does not resort to the metaphysics of formal and final causation.
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Different answers to what it is that makes a scientific explanation “historical” are introduced and it is argued that they enable and demand a joint and mutually stimulated discussion, by philosophers of history and by scientists of biology.
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  • Philosophy
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  • 2019
We argue that Charles Darwin’s methodological commitments in the Origin of Species which appeal to vera causa, uniformitarianism, gradualism, actualism, and extrapolationism constitute a conceptual
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This phenetic school of taxonomy had its origins in a series of papers in which several workers attempted to quantify the processes and procedures used by taxonomists to classify organisms, of special interest was the process of weighting.
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The principles on which Linnaeus based his taxonomy are shown to be, at least in intention, primarily Aristotelian; it is suggested that the principles of Logical Division may still be a powerful source of unwarranted bias in modern classifications.
By a ponderous application of symbolic logic, Gregg sought to show that the issue raised by Burma and Mayr is not a genuine taxonomic problem or, at least, that if it does relate to a taxonomic .problem it does so in the wrong words.
  • D. Hull
  • Biology
    Evolution; international journal of organic evolution
  • 1967
After a considerable period of uncritical acceptance, the principles and procedures of evolutionary taxonomy have been subjected to careful scrutiny and, none too surprisingly, have been found not
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