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Richard Startup
Swansea University
  1.  42
    The Theory of the Selfish Gene Applied to the Human Population.Richard Startup - 2021 - Advances in Anthropology 11 (3):179-200.
    In a study drawing from both evolutionary biology and the social sciences, evidence and argument is assembled in support of the comprehensive appli- cation of selfish gene theory to the human population. With a focus on genes giving rise to characteristically-human cooperation (“cooperative genes”) in- volving language and theory of mind, one may situate a whole range of pat- terned behaviour—including celibacy and even slavery—otherwise seeming to present insuperable difficulties. Crucially, the behaviour which tends to propa- gate the cooperative genes (...)
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  2. Structuring a Philosophical Approach.Richard Startup - 2019 - Open Journal of Philosophy 9 (4):452-469.
    A framework is developed for understanding what is “taken for granted” both in philosophy and in life generally, which may serve to orient philosophical inquiry and make it more effective. The framework takes in language and its development, as well as mathematics, logic, and the empirical sphere with particular reference to the exigencies of life. It is evaluated through consideration of seven philosophical issues concerned with such topics as solipsism, sense data as the route to knowledge, the possible reduction of (...)
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  3.  87
    The Confusion of the Symbol and That Which Is Symbolised: Religion, the Nation State, Politics and Society.Richard Startup - 2022 - Open Journal of Philosophy 12 (1):54-68.
    The extent of confusion between symbols and that which is symbolised is examined across five institutional spheres. Religion is the institution most marked by confusion of this type; indeed in some respects the symbolic mes- sage of religion may be the extent of the substantive reality. On the other hand, the very existence of the nation state may be judged to depend upon the exercise of the human imagination; hence providing a source of instability which may lead to the excesses (...)
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  4. Religion: Its Origins, Social Role and Sources of Variation.Richard Startup - 2020 - Open Journal of Philosophy 10 (3):346-367.
    Religion emerged among early humans because both purposive and non-purposive explanations were being employed but understanding was lacking of their precise scope and limits. Given also a context of very limited human power, the resultant foregrounding of agency and purposive explanation expressed itself in religion’s marked tendency towards anthropomorphism and its key role in legitimizing behaviour. The inevitability of death also structures the religious outlook; with ancestors sometimes assigned a role in relation to the living. Subjective elements such as the (...)
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  5. Free Will and Determinism: Resolving the Tension.Richard Startup - 2021 - Open Journal of Philosophy 11 (4):482-498.
    Progress may be made in resolving the tension between free will and determinism by analysis of the necessary conditions of freedom. It is of the essence that these conditions include causal and deterministic regularities. Furthermore, the human expression of free will is informed by understanding some of those regularities, and increments in that understanding have served to enhance freedom. When the possible character of a deterministic system based on physical theory is considered, it is judged that, far from implying the (...)
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  6. Some Remarks on Wittgenstein’s Philosophy of Mathematics.Richard Startup - 2020 - Open Journal of Philosophy 10 (1):45-65.
    Drawing mainly from the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus and his middle period writings, strategic issues and problems arising from Wittgenstein’s philosophy of mathematics are discussed. Topics have been so chosen as to assist mediation between the perspective of philosophers and that of mathematicians on their developing discipline. There is consideration of rules within arithmetic and geometry and Wittgenstein’s distinctive approach to number systems whether elementary or transfinite. Examples are presented to illuminate the relation between the meaning of an arithmetical generalisation or theorem (...)
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