Darwin Knows Best: Can Evolution Support the Classical Liberal Vision of the Family?

In Stephen Dilley (ed.), Darwinian Evolution and Classical Liberalism: Theories in Tension. Lexington Books. pp. 135-156 (2013)
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In a time when conservatives believe that the traditional family is under increasing fire, some think an appeal to Darwinian science may be the answer. I argue that these conservatives are wrong to maintain that Darwinian theory can serve as the intellectual foundation for the traditional conception of the family. Contra Larry Arnhart and James Q. Wilson, a Darwinian philosophy of nature simply lacks the stability the traditional family requires; it cannot support the traditional conception of human nature and the normativity it was thought to contain. If conservatives are to maintain these traditional ideas, the theoretical foundation must lie elsewhere.

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Logan Paul Gage
Franciscan University of Steubenville


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