Monday, May 08, 2006

Fundamentally Darwinian

(from Dennett's talk celebrating the 30th anniversary of The Selfish Gene, emphasis added)
"And I also thought, on rereading the book, that the late Steve Gould was really right when he called Richard and me Darwinian fundamentalists. And I want to say what a Darwinian fundamentalist is. A Darwinian fundamentalist is one who recognizes that either you shun Darwinian evolution altogether, or you turn the traditional universe upside down and you accept that mind, meaning, and purpose are not the cause but the fairly recent effects of the mechanistic mill of Darwinian algorithms. It is the unexceptioned view that mind, meaning, and purpose are not the original driving engines, but recent effects that marks, I think, the true Darwinian fundamentalist."


Anonymous dave - i've got some time in the mornings these days! said...

so darwinian theory is not the product of mind meaning and purpose? if darwinian evolution deconstructs the egocentrism of humanity i'm all for it, but is it really able to break the chains of the previous metaphysics? does it not rely on those very same philosophical CONCEPTS? I think yes, but this is not bad if it is only acknowledged and understood that the metaphysics of Plato-Kant runs all the way down, is an "unexceptioned" condition of theoretic thought of all natural and human sciences.
what set of philosophical "concepts" makes it possible for such a theory to be articulated/even recognized as true?
being as presence (objectivity), the thing in itself, the subject-object relation, origins, totality, meanig qua meaning, the logical synthesis of logically abstracted phenomena in the "mind"?

where do all the "memes", these evolutionary/cultural products of reproduction compete to occupy and construct (narrate) the (idea of a)self?

these are genuine questions of mine. i think i have a hunch as to where dennett might go with them but i'm not sure.

9:22 AM  

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