1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of Evolution and Philosophy

Edited By Richard Joyce Copyright 2018
    464 Pages
    by Routledge

    464 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    In recent years, the relation between contemporary academic philosophy and evolutionary theory has become ever more active, multifaceted, and productive. The connection is a bustling two-way street. In one direction, philosophers of biology make significant contributions to theoretical discussions about the nature of evolution (such as "What is a species?"; "What is reproductive fitness?"; "Does selection operate primarily on genes?"; and "What is an evolutionary function?"). In the other direction, a broader group of philosophers appeal to Darwinian selection in an attempt to illuminate traditional philosophical puzzles (such as "How could a brain-state have representational content?"; "Are moral judgments justified?"; "Why do we enjoy fiction?"; and "Are humans invariably selfish?"). In grappling with these questions, this interdisciplinary collection includes cutting-edge examples from both directions of traffic. The thirty contributions, written exclusively for this volume, are divided into six sections: The Nature of Selection; Evolution and Information; Human Nature; Evolution and Mind; Evolution and Ethics; and Evolution, Aesthetics, and Art. Many of the contributing philosophers and psychologists are international leaders in their fields.


    List of Contributors


    PART I

    The Nature of Selection

    1 The nature of selection: An overview

    Tim Lewens

    2 Multilevel selection and units of selection up and down the biological hierarchy

    Elisabeth A. Lloyd

    3 Adaptation, multilevel selection, and organismality: A clash of perspectives

    Ellen Clarke

    4 Fitness maximization

    Jonathan Birch

    5 Does biology need teleology?

    Karen Neander


    Evolution and Information

    6 Evolution and information: An overview

    Ulrich Stegmann

    7 The construction of learned information through selection processes

    Nir Fresco, Eva Jablonka, and Simona Ginsburg

    8 Genetic, epigenetic, and exogenetic information

    Karola Stotz and Paul Griffiths

    9 Language: From how-possibly to how-probably?

    Kim Sterelny

    10 Acquiring knowledge on species-specific biorealities: The applied evolutionary epistemological approach

    Nathalie Gontier and Michael Bradie


    Human Nature

    11 Human Nature: An overview

    Stephen Downes

    12 The reality of species: Real phenomena not theoretical objects

    John Wilkins

    13 Modern essentialism for species and its animadversions

    Joseph LaPorte

    14 What is human nature (if it is anything at all?)

    Louise Barrett

    15 The right to ignore: An epistemic defense of the nature/culture divide

    Maria Kronfeldner


    Evolution and Mind

    16 Evolution and mind: An overview

    Valerie Hardcastle

    17 Routes to the convergent evolution of cognition

    Edward Legg, Ljerka Ostojić, and Nicola Clayton

    18 Is consciousness an adaptation?

    Kari Theurer and Thomas Polger

    19 Plasticity and modularity

    Edouard Machery

    20 The prospects for teleosemantics: Can biological functions fix mental content?

    Justine Kingsbury

    PART V

    Evolution and Ethics

    21 Evolution and ethics: An overview

    Catherine Wilson

    22 The evolution of moral intuitions and their feeling of rightness

    Christine Clavien and Chloë FitzGerald

    23 Are we losing it? Darwin’s moral sense and the importance of early experience

    Darcia Narvaez

    24 The evolution of morality and the prospects for moral realism

    Ben Fraser

    25 Moral cheesecake, evolved psychology, and the debunking impulse

    Daniel Kelly


    Evolution, Aesthetics, and Art

    26 Evolution, aest


    Richard Joyce is Professor of Philosophy at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. He is author of The Myth of Morality (2001), The Evolution of Morality (2006), and Essays in Moral Skepticism (2016), as well as many articles on metaethics and moral psychology. He has co-edited A World Without Values (2010) and Cooperation and its Evolution (2013).

    "The Routledge Handbook of Evolution and Philosophy is a superb introduction to the field. Particularly impressive are the breadth of topics and the incredibly encouraging range of authors, young and old, male and female, and from so many countries and cultures. This is a book that will last."

    --Michael Ruse, Florida State University