A Darwinian Pilgrim's Middle Progress

Authors

  • Michael Ruse Florida State University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/jch.37783

Keywords:

Thomas Kuhn, root metaphor, free will, New Atheism, neo-creationism

Abstract

Part two of three in an autobiographical series which retraces the most significant events, collaborations, and research results of Michael Ruse’s 55-year-long career in the history and philosophy of science. In this article, Ruse’s first forays into philosophy are intertwined with his growing interest in the history of science. The main topics summarized in this second installment are considered thematically as they developed: “design” as a Kuhnian paradigm in the history of evolutionary biology (from the early 1970s onwards); the involvement in the McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education 1981 legal case which saw the rise of neo-creationism as organized pressure group; the exploration of the science-religion relationship (mid-1980s to 1990s); the problem of free will and the critical confrontation with the New Atheism (early 2000s); the question of accommodationism and the identification of “organism” as the root metaphor of evolutionary biology (2010s).

Author Biography

Michael Ruse, Florida State University

Michael Ruse is Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor and Director of the History and Philosophy of Science Program at Florida State University in Tallahasee. His teaching career (so far) spans 55 years. A philosopher of science Ruse specializes in the philosophy of biology and the relationship between science and religion. His focus includes the creation–evolution controversy, and the demarcation problem within science.

References

Barnes, J., ed. 1984. The Complete Works of Aristotle. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Boyle, R. [1688]1966. “A Disquisition about the Final Causes of Natural Things”. In The Works of Robert Boyle, ed. T. Birch, 5: 392–444. Hildesheim: Georg Olms. https://doi.org/10.1093/oseo/instance.00249967

Braithwaite, R. 1953. Scientific Explanation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Coyne, J. 2002. “Intergalactic Jesus: Darwinian Christians”. London Review of Books 24(9): 23–24. https://www.lrb.co.uk/v24/n09/jerry-coyne/intergalactic-jesus (accessed 12 November 2018).

Darwin, C. R. 1860. Letter to Asa Gray, 22 May. Darwin Correspondence Project, letter no. 2814. http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-2814 (accessed 12 November 2018).

Dawkins, R. 1983. “Universal Darwinism”. In Evolution from Molecules to Men, ed D. S. Bendall, 403–25. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Dawkins, R. 2006. The God Delusion. New York: Houghton, Mifflin, Harcourt.

Dembski, W. A., and M. Ruse, eds. 2004. Debating Design: Darwin to DNA. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Dennett, D. C. 1984. Elbow Room: The Varieties of Free Will Worth Wanting. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Gould, S. J. 1999. Rocks of Ages: Science and Religion in the Fullness of Life. New York: Ballantine.

Heidegger, M. 1959. An Introduction to Metaphysics. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Kant, I. [1781] 1998. Critique of Pure Reason. Translated and Edited by P. Guyer and A. W. Wood. Cambridge: Cambridge Press.

Kuhn, T. S. 1962. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Kuhn, T. S. 1993. “Metaphor in Science”. In Metaphor and Thought, 2nd edn, ed. Andrew Ortony, 533–42. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/cbo9781139173865.024

Leibniz, G. W. F. [1714] 1989. Philosophical Essays. Edited by R. Ariew and D. Garber. Indianapolis: Hackett.

Malthus, T. R. [1826] 1914. An Essay on the Principle of Population (Sixth Edition). London: Everyman.

Mayhew, R. J. 2014. Malthus: The Life and Legacies of an Untimely Prophet. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. https://doi.org/10.4159/harvard.9780674419407

McGinn, C. 2000. The Mysterious Flame: Conscious Minds in a Material World. New York: Basic Books.

Nagel, E. 1961. The Structure of Science, Problems in the Logic of Scientific Explanation. New York: Harcourt, Brace and World.

Numbers, R. L. 2006. The Creationists: From Scientific Creationism to Intelligent Design. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Overton, W. R. [1982] 1988. “United States District Court Opinion: McLean versus Arkansas”. In But is it Science? The Philosophical Question in the Creation/Evolution Controversy, ed. M. Ruse, 307–31. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus.

Paley, W. [1802] 1819. Natural Theology (Collected Works: IV). London: Rivington.

Richards, R. J., and M. Ruse. 2016. Debating Darwin. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Ruse, M. 1973. The Philosophy of Biology. London: Hutchinson.

Ruse, M. 1979. The Darwinian Revolution: Science Red in Tooth and Claw. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. https://doi.org/10.1086/ahr/85.4.860-a

Ruse, M. 1982. Darwinism Defended: A Guide to the Evolution Controversies. Reading, MA: Benjamin/Cummings Pub. Co.

Ruse, M. 1984. “A Philosopher’s Day in Court”. In Science and Creationism, ed. A. Montagu, 311–42. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Ruse, M. 1986. Taking Darwin Seriously: A Naturalistic Approach to Philosophy. Oxford: Blackwell.

Ruse, M. 1999. Mystery of Mysteries: Is Evolution a Social Construction? Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Ruse, M. 2001. Can a Darwinian be a Christian? The Relationship between Science and Religion. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Ruse, M. 2008. Evolution and Religion: A Dialogue. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield.

Ruse, M. 2010. Science and Spirituality: Making Room for Faith in the Age of Science. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Ruse, M. 2013. The Gaia Hypothesis: Science on a Pagan Planet. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9809.12170

Ruse, M. 2015. Atheism: What Everyone Needs to Know. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Ruse, M. 2016. Evolution and Religion: A Dialogue. Second Edition. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield.

Ruse, M. 2019. The Darwinian Revolution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Ruse, M., ed. 1988. But is it Science? The Philosophical Question in the Creation/Evolution Controversy. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus.

Weinberg, S. 1977. The First Three Minutes: A Modern View of the Origin of the Universe. New York: Basic Books.

Published

2019-10-14

How to Cite

Ruse, M. (2019). A Darwinian Pilgrim’s Middle Progress. Journal of Cognitive Historiography, 4(2), 165-179. https://doi.org/10.1558/jch.37783

Issue

Section

Articles