Darwin's metaphysics of mind

In V. Hoesle & C. Illies (eds.), Darwin and Philosophy. Notre Dame University Press. pp. 166-80 (2005)
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Abstract

Our image of Darwin is hardly that of a German metaphysician. By reason of his intellectual tradition—that of British empiricism—and psychological disposition, he was a man of apparently more stolid character, one who could be excited by beetles and earthworms but not, we assume, by abstruse philosophy. Yet Darwin constructed a theory of evolution whose conceptual grammar expresses and depends on a certain kind of metaphysics. During his youthful period as a romantic adventurer, he sailed to exotic lands and returned to construct a theory that attacked the citadels of orthodoxy. In the long process of theory construction, he explored difficult philosophical questions—for instance, the nature of reason and the mind-body problem. Moreover, he founded that theory..

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Robert Richards
University of Chicago

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