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Darwinism and meaning

Biological Theory 5 (4):296-311 (2010)

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  1. The Myth of Sisyphus.Albert Camus - 1957 - Philosophical Review 66 (1):104-107.
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  • The Denial of Death.Ernest Becker - 1973 - New York: Free Press.
    Drawing from religion and the human sciences, particularly psychology after Freud, the author attempts to demonstrate that the fear of death is man's central ...
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  • The Science of Good and Evil: Why People Cheat, Gossip, Care, Share, and Follow the Golden Rule.Michael Shermer - 2004 - Times Books.
    In his third and final investigation into the science of belief, bestselling author Michael Shermer tackles the evolution of morality and ethics A century and a half after Darwin first proposed an “evolutionary ethics,” science has begun to tackle the roots of morality. Just as evolutionary biologists study why we are hungry (to motivate us to eat) or why sex is enjoyable (to motivate us to procreate), they are now searching for the roots of human nature. In The Science of (...)
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  • The Absurd.Thomas Nagel - 1971 - Journal of Philosophy 68 (20):716-727.
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  • How the Mind Works.Steven Pinker - 1997 - Norton.
    A provocative assessment of human thought and behavior, reissued with a new afterword, explores a range of conundrums from the ability of the mind to perceive three dimensions to the nature of consciousness, in an account that draws on ...
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  • The Fundamental Constraint on the Evolution of Culture.Grant Ramsey - 2007 - Biology and Philosophy 22 (3):401-414.
    This paper argues that there is a general constraint on the evolution of culture. This constraint – what I am calling the Fundamental Constraint – must be satisfied in order for a cultural system to be adaptive. The Fundamental Constraint is this: for culture to be adaptive there must be a positive correlation between the fitness of cultural variants and their fitness impact on the organisms adopting those variants. Two ways of satisfying the Fundamental Constraint are introduced, structural solutions and (...)
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  • Evolutionary Theory and the Ultimate-Proximate Distinction in the Human Behavioral Sciences.T. C. Scott-Phillips, T. E. Dickins & S. A. West - unknown
    To properly understand behavior, we must obtain both ultimate and proximate explanations. Put briefly, ultimate explanations are concerned with why a behavior exists, and proximate explanations are concerned with how it works. These two types of explanation are complementary and the distinction is critical to evolutionary explanation. We are concerned that they have become conflated in some areas of the evolutionary literature on human behavior. This article brings attention to these issues. We focus on three specific areas: the evolution of (...)
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  • Religion Explained: The Evolutionary Origins of Religious Thought.Pascal Boyer - 2001 - Basic Books.
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  • In Gods We Trust: The Evolutionary Landscape of Religion.Scott Atran - 2002 - Oup Usa.
    This ambitious, interdisciplinary book seeks to explain the origins of religion using our knowledge of the evolution of cognition. A cognitive anthropologist and psychologist, Scott Atran argues that religion is a by-product of human evolution just as the cognitive intervention, cultural selection, and historical survival of religion is an accommodation of certain existential and moral elements that have evolved in the human condition.
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  • The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection.Charles Darwin - 1859 - Franklin Library.
    ORIGIN OF SPECIES. INTRODUCTION. When on board HMS 'Beagle,' as naturalist, I was ranch struck with certain facts in the distribution of the organic beings ...
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  • The Future of Man.Pierre Teilhard de Chardin - 1964 - New York: Image Books/Doubleday.
    The Future of Man is a magnificent introduction to the thoughts and writings of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, one of the few figures in the history of the Catholic Church to achieve renown as both a scientist and a theologian. Trained as a paleontologist and ordained as a Jesuit priest, Teilhard de Chardin devoted himself to establishing the intimate, interdependent connection between science—particularly the theory of evolution—and the basic tenets of the Christian faith. At the center of his philosophy was (...)
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  • Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life.David L. Hull - 1997 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 48 (3):435-438.
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  • Darwin’s Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life.David L. Hull - 1995 - Ethics 107 (1):170-174.
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  • Critique of Religion and Philosophy.Neal W. Klausner - 1958 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 19 (4):547-549.
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  • Evolution, Morality and the Meaning of Life. Jeffrie G. Murphy.Peter S. Wenz - 1983 - Ethics 94 (1):140-142.
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  • Theory and Data in the Evolutionary Approach to Human Behavior.Stephen C. Stearns - 2006 - Biological Theory 1 (1):38-40.
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  • Universal Darwinism and Evolutionary Social Science.Richard R. Nelson - 2007 - Biology and Philosophy 22 (1):73-94.
    Save for Anthropologists, few social scientists have been among the participants in the discussions about the appropriate structure of a ‘Universal Darwinism’. Yet evolutionary theorizing about cultural, social, and economic phenomena has a long tradition, going back well before Darwin. And over the past quarter century significant literatures have grown up concerned with the processes of change operating on science, technology, business organization and practice, and economic change more broadly, that are explicitly evolutionary in theoretical orientation. In each of these (...)
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  • Foresight in Cultural Evolution.Alex Mesoudi - 2008 - Biology and Philosophy 23 (2):243-255.
    Critics of Darwinian cultural evolution frequently assert that whereas biological evolution is blind and undirected, cultural change is directed or guided by people who possess foresight, thereby invalidating any Darwinian analysis of culture. Here I show this argument to be erroneous and unsupported in several respects. First, critics commonly conflate human foresight with supernatural clairvoyance, resulting in the premature rejection of Darwinian cultural evolution on false logical grounds. Second, the presence of foresight is perfectly consistent with Darwinian evolution, and is (...)
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  • A General Model for the Adaptive Function of Self-Knowledge in Animals and Humans.Sue Taylor Parker - 1997 - Consciousness and Cognition 6 (1):75-86.
    This article offers a general definition of self-knowledge that embraces all forms and levels of self-knowledge in animals and humans. It is hypothesized that various levels of self-knowledge constitute an ordinal scale such that each species in a lineage displays the forms of self-knowledge found in related species as well as new forms it and its sister species may have evolved. Likewise, it is hypothesized that these various forms of levels of self-knowledge develop in the sequence in which they evolved. (...)
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  • The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind.Gustave Le Bon - 1899 - International Journal of Ethics 9 (4):521-523.
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  • The Role of Primordial Emotions in the Evolutionary Origin of Consciousness.D. A. Denton, M. J. McKinley, M. Farrell & G. F. Egan - 2009 - Consciousness and Cognition 18 (2):500-514.
    Primordial emotions are the subjective element of the instincts which are the genetically programmed behaviour patterns which contrive homeostasis. They include thirst, hunger for air, hunger for food, pain and hunger for specific minerals etc.There are two constituents of a primordial emotion—the specific sensation which when severe may be imperious, and the compelling intention for gratification by a consummatory act. They may dominate the stream of consciousness, and can have plenipotentiary power over behaviour.It is hypothesized that early in animal evolution (...)
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  • The Bright Side of Being Blue: Depression as an Adaptation for Analyzing Complex Problems.Paul W. Andrews & J. Anderson Thomson - 2009 - Psychological Review 116 (3):620-654.
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  • Critique of Religion and Philosophy.Walter Kaufmann - 1958 - Les Etudes Philosophiques 14 (3):376-376.
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  • Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life.Daniel C. Dennett - 1995 - American Journal of Theology and Philosophy 17 (2):235-240.
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  • The Possibility of Meaning in Human Evolution.Barbara Forrest - 2000 - Zygon 35 (4):861-880.
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  • The Meaning of Life.Terry Eagleton - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
    The phrase "the meaning of life" for many seems a quaint notion fit for satirical mauling by Monty Python or Douglas Adams. But in this spirited, stimulating, and quirky enquiry, famed critic Terry Eagleton takes a serious if often amusing look at the question and offers his own surprising answer. Eagleton first examines how centuries of thinkers and writers--from Marx and Schopenhauer to Shakespeare, Sartre, and Beckett--have responded to the ultimate question of meaning. He suggests, however, that it is only (...)
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  • Book Review:Critique of Religion and Philosophy. Walter Kaufmann. [REVIEW]Arnulf Zweig - 1958 - Ethics 69 (4):294-.
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  • Darwin and the Meaning in Life.Alan Holland - 2009 - Environmental Values 18 (4):503 - 518.
    It has often been thought, and has recently been argued, that one of the most profound impacts of Darwin's theory of evolution is the threat that it poses to the very possibility of living a meaningful, and therefore worthwhile, life. Three attempts to ground the possibility of a meaningful life are considered. The first two are compatible with an exclusively Darwinian worldview. One is based on the belief that Darwinian evolution is, in some sense, progressive; the other is based on (...)
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  • Philosophical Explanations.Robert Nozick - 1982 - Critica 14 (41):87-93.
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  • Philosophical Explanations.Robert Nozick - 1984 - Ethics 94 (2):326-327.
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  • Becoming William James.Howard M. Feinstein - 1985 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 21 (3):449-455.
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  • The Future of Man.Pierre Teilhard de Chardin - 1964 - Harper & Row.
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  • Evolution and the Big Questions: Sex, Race, Religion, and Other Matters.David N. Stamos - 2008 - Wiley-Blackwell.
    This provocative text considers whether evolutionary explanations can be used to clarify some of life’s biggest questions. Examines topics of race, sex, gender, the nature of language, religion, ethics, knowledge, consciousness and ultimately, the meaning of life Each chapter presents a main topic, together with discussion of related ideas and arguments from various perspectives Addresses questions such as: Did evolution make men and women fundamentally different? Is the concept of race merely a social construction? Is morality, including universal human rights, (...)
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  • Evolution and the Meaning of Life.William Grey - 1987 - Zygon 22 (4):479-496.
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  • Religious Metaphors: Mediators Between Biological and Cultural Evolution That Generate Transcendent Meaning.Earl R. MacCormac - 1983 - Zygon 18 (1):45-65.
    . Humans can be described as existing somewhere on a descriptive continuum between the poles expressed by the metaphors “humans are machines” and “humans are animals.” Arguments for these metaphors are examined, and the metaphors are rejected as absolute descriptions of humans. After a brief examination of the nature of metaphor, all metaphors are discovered to mediate between biological and cultural evolution. Contrary to the reductionist program of sociobiologists, religious metaphors that generate transcendent meaning offer a legitimate description of humans.
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  • Ethics and Values in Biological and Cultural Evolution.Theodosius Dobzhansky - 1973 - Zygon 8 (3-4):261-281.
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  • The Faith Instinct: How Religion Evolved and Why It Endures.Nicholas Wade - 2009 - Penguin Press.
    The nature of religion -- The moral instinct -- The evolution of religious behavior -- Music, dance, and trance -- Ancestral religion -- The transformation -- The tree of religion -- Morality, trade, and trust -- The ecology of religion -- Religion and warfare -- Religion and nation -- The future of religion.
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  • The Biology of Ultimate Concern.Theodosius Grigorievich Dobzhansky - 1967 - Collins.
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  • Science: The Glorious Entertainment.Jacques Barzun - 1964 - Science and Society 28 (4):475-478.
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  • Evolution and the Big Questions: Sex, Race, Religion, and Other Matters.David N. Stamos - 2011 - Wiley-Blackwell.
    This provocative text considers whether evolutionary explanations can be used to clarify some of life’s biggest questions. Examines topics of race, sex, gender, the nature of language, religion, ethics, knowledge, consciousness and ultimately, the meaning of life Each chapter presents a main topic, together with discussion of related ideas and arguments from various perspectives Addresses questions such as: Did evolution make men and women fundamentally different? Is the concept of race merely a social construction? Is morality, including universal human rights, (...)
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  • On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection.Charles Darwin - 1963 - New York: Heritage Press.
    ... Difficulty of distinguishing between Varieties and Species — Origin of Domestic ... and Origin— Principle of Selection anciently followed, its Effects— ...
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  • Law's Meaning of Life: Philosophy, Religion, Darwin, and the Legal Person.Ngaire Naffine - 2009 - Hart.
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  • Evolution, Morality, and the Meaning of Life.Jeffrie G. Murphy - 1982 - Rowman & Littlefield.
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  • Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion, and the Appetite for Wonder.Richard Dawkins - 1998 - Houghton Mifflin.
    Did Newton "unweave the rainbow" by reducing it to its prismatic colors, as Keats contended? Did he, in other words, diminish beauty? Far from it, says Dawkins--Newton's unweaving is the key too much of modern astronomy and to the breathtaking poetry of modern cosmology. Mysteries don't lose their poetry because they are solved: the solution often is more beautiful than the puzzle, uncovering deeper mystery. (The Keats who spoke of "unweaving the rainbow" was a very young man, Dawkins reminds us.) (...)
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  • Lethal Consumption: Death-Denying Materialism.Sheldon Solomon, Jeff Greenberg & Thomas A. Pyszczynski - 2004 - In Tim Kasser & Allen D. Kanner (eds.), Psychology and Consumer Culture: The Struggle for a Good Life in a Materialistic World. American Psychological Association. pp. 127--146.
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  • Morality: An Evolutionary Account.Dennis Krebs - 2008 - Perspectives on Psychological Science 3 (3):149-172.
    Refinements in Darwin’s theory of the origin of a moral sense create a framework equipped to organize and integrate contemporary theory and research on morality. Morality originated in deferential, cooperative, and altruistic ‘‘social instincts,’’ or decision-making strategies, that enabled early humans to maximize their gains from social living and resolve their conflicts of interest in adaptive ways. Moral judgments, moral norms, and conscience originated from strategic interactions among members of groups who experienced confluences and conflicts of interest. Moral argumentation buttressed (...)
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  • Natural Selections: Selfish Altruists, Honest Liars, and Other Realities of Evolution.David P. Barash - 2008 - Bellevue Literary Press.
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  • The Ancestor's Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution.Richard Dawkins - 2004 - Houghton Mifflin.
    The renowned biologist and thinker Richard Dawkins presents his most expansive work yet: a comprehensive look at evolution, ranging from the latest developments in the field to his own provocative views. Loosely based on the form of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, Dawkins's Tale takes us modern humans back through four billion years of life on our planet. As the pilgrimage progresses, we join with other organisms at the forty "rendezvous points" where we find a common ancestor. The band of pilgrims swells (...)
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  • Magic, Miracles, and Religion: A Scientist's Perspective.Ilkka Pyysiänen - 2005 - Antonianum 80 (3):569 - 574.
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