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.
Table of Contents
List of Contributors
The Nature of Selection
1 The nature of selection: An overview
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
4 Fitness maximization
5 Does biology need teleology?
Evolution and Information
6 Evolution and information: An overview
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?
10 Acquiring knowledge on species-specific biorealities: The applied evolutionary epistemological approach
Nathalie Gontier and Michael Bradie
11 Human Nature: An overview
12 The reality of species: Real phenomena not theoretical objects
13 Modern essentialism for species and its animadversions
14 What is human nature (if it is anything at all?)
15 The right to ignore: An epistemic defense of the nature/culture divide
Evolution and Mind
16 Evolution and mind: An overview
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
20 The prospects for teleosemantics: Can biological functions fix mental content?
Evolution and Ethics
21 Evolution and ethics: An overview
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
24 The evolution of morality and the prospects for moral realism
25 Moral cheesecake, evolved psychology, and the debunking impulse
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).