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

Susana Gisela Lamas


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.


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


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