The ideal of unification in biology: the case of extended evolutionary synthesis

Susana Gisela Lamas

Abstract


In this article I will analyze whether the so-called Extended Evolutionary Synthesis (EES) represents a synthesis and an extension with respect to its predecessor, Modern Synthesis (MS). It will be argued that the MS proposes an externalist approach to evolution while the EES considers it necessary to overcome the internalism/externalism dichotomy by proposing more integrative approaches. It will be concluded that the EES cannot be considered an extension of MS and that the appeal to that extension is related to sociological aspects and the epistemic value of theoretical unification that was always present in biological evolutionary thinking.


Keywords


evolutionary theory; externalism/internalism; integrative approach; theoretical continuity; epistemic value

References


Bowler, P. (1985). El eclipse del darwinismo: teorías evolucionistas antidarwinistas en las décadas en torno a 1900. Barcelona: Ed. Labor.

Darwin, C. (1859/1964). On the Origin of Species. A Facsimile of the First Edition. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

García Azkonobieta, T. (2005). Evolución, desarrollo y (auto)organización. Un estudio sobre los principios filosóficos de la evo-devo. Tesis doctoral. Donostia-San Sebastián: Universidad del País Vasco.

Ghiselin, M. T. (1969). The Triumph of the Darwinian Method. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Gould, S. J. (2004). The Structure of Evolutionary Theory. Massachusetts y Londres: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press Cambridge.

Huxley, J. (1943). The Modern Synthesis. London: George Allen & Unwin L.T.D.

Kauffman, S. (1993). The origins of order: self-organization and selection in evolution. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Laland, K. N., Uller, T., Feldman, M. W., Sterelny, K., Müller, G. B., Moczek, A., Jablonka, E., Odling-Smee, J. (2015). The extended evolutionary synthesis: its structure, assumptions and predictions. Proc. R. Soc. B., 282(1813). doi: http://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2015.1019

Lamarck, J. B. (1809). Philosophie zoologique. Paris: Dentu.

Mayr, E. (2001). The philosophical foundations of darwinism. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, 145(4): 488-495.

Mayr, E., Provine W.B (1980). The Evolutionary Synthesis: Perspectives on the Unification of Biology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Mayr, E. (1998). This Is Biology: The Science of the Living World. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Müller, G.B. (2017). Why an extended evolutionary synthesis is necessary? Interface Focus 7: 20170015. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsfs.2017.001

Oyama, S. (2000a). Evolution’s Eye: A Systems View of the Biology-Culture Divide. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Oyama, S. (2000b). The Ontogeny of Information: Developmental Systems and Evolution. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Oyama, S., Grifiths, P. E., Gray, R. D. (2001). Cycles of Contingency. Developmental Systems and Evolution. Massachusetts: The MIT Press.

Pigliucci, M. (2007). Do We Need an Extended Evolutionary Synthesis? Evolution, 61(12): 2743-2749. doi: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1558-5646.2007.00246.x

Pigliucci, M., Müller, G. B. (2010). Evolution: The Extended Synthesis. Massachusetts: The MIT Press.

Regner, A. C. (2002). O «jogo do atual e do possível» e as manhas da razão: un estudo de caso. En F. Tula Molina y P. Lorenzano (eds.), Filosofía e historia de la ciencia en el Cono Sur. Quilmes. Argentina: Editorial UNQ.

Ruse, M. (1975). Darwin’s debt to philosophy: An examination of the influence of the philosophical ideas of John. W. Herschel and William Whewell on the development of Charles Darwin’s theory of Evolution. Stud. Hist. Phil. Sci., 6(2): 159-181. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/0039-3681(75)90019-9

Smocovities, V. B. (1996). Unifying Biology. The Evolutionary Synthesis and Evolutionary Biology. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.

Thagard, P. R. (1977). Discussion Darwin and Whewell. Stud. Hist. Phil. Sci., 8(4): 353-356. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/0039-3681(77)90026-7

Whewel, W. (1837). History of the Inductive Sciences. From the Earliest to the Present Times. London: J. W. Parker.

Whewel, W. (1840). Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences. Founded Upon Their History. London: J. W. Parker.




DOI: https://doi.org/10.22370/rhv2019iss14pp275-286

Copyright (c) 2019 Humanities Journal of Valparaiso

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.