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Philosophy of Science MattersThe Philosophy of Peter Achinstein$
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Gregory J. Morgan

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199738625

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199738625.001.0001

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The Place of Artificial Selection in Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution through Natural Selection

The Place of Artificial Selection in Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution through Natural Selection

Chapter:
(p.203) 16 The Place of Artificial Selection in Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution through Natural Selection
Source:
Philosophy of Science Matters
Author(s):

Michael Ruse (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199738625.003.0016

How important are metaphors and analogies in science and what form do they take? Peter Achinstein's Concepts of Science is the definitive modern lynchpin of this discussion in modern philosophy of science. Inspired by this work, this chapter look at the use of artificial selection in Charles Darwin's Origin of Species. This chapter argue that it has a three-fold role: heuristic, pedagogical, and justificatory. This chapter locate Darwin's use of artificial selection in the context of the nineteenth-century discussion about causation, and, in particular, what constitutes a true cause, or vera causa. This chapter argue that this all shows what a skilled methodologist Darwin was and how crucial metaphors and models are in science.

Keywords:   analogy in science, metaphor in science, Charles Darwin, Peter Achinstein, artificial selection

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