03 Before Darwin

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03 Before Darwin

  1. 1. BeforeDarwin
  2. 2. “In the beginning there was only Chaos,Hesiod the Abyss But then Gaia, the Earth, came into being, ~700 BCE Her broad bosom the ever-firm foundation of all, And Tartaros, dim in the underground depths, And Eros, loveliest of all the Immortals, who Makes their bodies (and men’s bodies) go limp, Mastering their minds and subduing their wills.”
  3. 3. Thales of Miletus ~624 to ~546 BCE“Western philosophy began withThales” (Bertrand Russell, 1945)Natural explanations forobserved events, e.g. earthquakesWhat is the “firstprinciple” (arche) from which allthings are made?Is change real? What causes it?
  4. 4. Anaximander ~610 to ~ 546 BCE Material monism Aperion is in motion and splits into hot (fire) and cold (air & earth) Change occurs due to law-like forces
  5. 5. Anaximander ~610 to ~ 546 BCE “[T]he first animals were produced in moisture, enclosed in thorny barks ... they came out onto the drier part” “Humans were born from other kinds of animals” “[T]here arose from heated water and earth either fish of animals very like fish. In these, humans grew ...”
  6. 6. Shared ValuesCommitment to argument and critical inquiry, togetherwith a view about the nature of justificationCommitment to the idea that the natural world couldbe explained in terms that do not refer to anythingbeyond nature itself
  7. 7. Pythagoras of Samos ~570 to ~495 BCE The kosmos was ordered and not chaotic. Essentialism Non-evolutionary Metempsychosis
  8. 8. Heraclitus ~535 to ~475 BCE “The Riddler” Τα Πάντα ῥεῖ - “Everything flows” The logos (account, word) was the single divine law of the universe that governs all change and we can come to understand it. Logos manifests itself as fire, always changing yet always the same.
  9. 9. Parmenides Born ~515 BCE?The world as it appears is false.Change is impossible, and existence istimeless, uniform, and unchanging.Clear influence on Plato.
  10. 10. Democritus ~460 to ~370 BCE There is no purpose (telos), prime mover or final cause Mechanistic explanation involving indestructible atoms. The universe is composed of nothing but tiny atoms churning which collide together to form larger units.
  11. 11. Epicurus & Lucretius
  12. 12. PlatoEssentialismChange couldn’t happenSoulDemiurge
  13. 13. Aristotelian Cosmology Sphere Change CompositionTerrestrial Mutable Four ElementsCelestial Immutable Quintessence
  14. 14. Medieval Christianity Augustine’s naturae (essences) Aquinas’ demiurge Universities
  15. 15. “The Great Chain of Being” Linear Static Essentialistic
  16. 16. Cabinets of Curiosities
  17. 17. Carl von Linné 1707 -1778
  18. 18. Rene Descartes Dualism Mind/Body “Cogito ergo sum”
  19. 19. Julien Offray de La Mettrie L’homme Machine, 1748 Man as a purely material entity Mind or soul were products of matter (materialism)
  20. 20. HylozoismBelief that matter itself is,in some primitive way, aliveor aware.Extension of ideas ofBaruch Spinoza andGottfried von Leibniz
  21. 21. Denis Diderot 1713 - 1784 Rêve de d’Alembert Matter is alive, primitively aware, and always trying out new combinations No constraints
  22. 22. MaterialismReplace Creator with forces of natureContinual state of fluxNo fixed speciesNo pre-determined path of development
  23. 23. Charles Bonnet Preformationism Possibility for (pre- determined) change over time, i.e. transmutation.
  24. 24. Philosophical Palingesis 1770Females carry within them all future generations in aminiature form.These miniature beings (homunculi) would be able tosurvive even great cataclysms such as the biblical Flood;These catastrophes brought about evolutionary change, andthat after the next disaster, men would become angels,mammals would gain human-like intelligence, and so on.Evolution? Pre-determined and dependent on catastrophes(divine).
  25. 25. Jardin du Roi / Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle
  26. 26. Jardin du Roi / Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle
  27. 27. Jardin du Roi / Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle
  28. 28. Jardin du Roi / Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle
  29. 29. Georges-Louis Leclerc (Comte de Buffon) Spontaneous generation Species as fixed entities with a characteristic “internal mold” Theory of degeneration
  30. 30. Georges Cuvier “Correlation of Parts” Required for viable whole Made evolution impossible “Conditions of Existence” Impose links between parts and environment “Subordination of Characters” Characters related to movement and sensitivity more important
  31. 31. The Problem of Extinction Due to catastrophes: Global or local? Biblical Flood? Not really extinct: In other areas? Transmutated?
  32. 32. Cuvier on Extinction Initial cohabitation of all forms Extinction due to massive alterations of the position of land and sea Unaffected populations would re-colonize areas
  33. 33. Cuvier on Evolution Essentialism Discontinuity between “types” Only superficial character vary Creation by divine will - no scale of perfection Man qualitatively different
  34. 34. Étienne Geoffroy Saint- Hilaire Unity of type has transcendent importance not a pragmatic consequence of limited options Environmental change would affect embryonic growth Saltational transmutation
  35. 35. Jean-Baptiste Antoine de Monet, Le Chevalier de Lamarck Patronage of Buffon Flore Françoise (1779) Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle (1789) Professor of “insects, worms and microscopic animals” (1794) Began to accept transmutation (1800) Philosophie Zoologique (1809) Histoire Naturelle des Animaux sans Vertèbres (1815-’22)
  36. 36. “Lamarckism”Chance in environment bringsChange in “needs” (besoins), bringsChange in behavior, bringsChange in organ usage and development, bringsChange in form over time - Transmutation!
  37. 37. First Law “use and disuse”“In every animals which has not passed the limitof its development, a more frequent andcontinuous use of any organ graduallystrengthens, develops and enlarges that organ,and gives it a power proportional to the lengthof time it has been so used; while thepermanent disuse of any organ imperceptiblyweakens and deteriorates it, and progressivelydiminishes its functional capacity, until it finallydisappears.”
  38. 38. Second Law “inheritance of acquired characteristics”“All the acquisitions or losses wrought by nature onindividuals, through the influence of theenvironment in which their race has long beenplaced, and hence through the influence of thepredominant use or permanent disuse of anyorgan; all these are preserved by reproduction tothe new individuals which arise, provided that theacquired modifications are common to both sexes,or at least to the individuals which produce theyoung”
  39. 39. Not a problem!
  40. 40. Lamarck on Man "[I]f some of the quadrumanous animals...were to lose...the habit of climbing trees and grasping the branches with its feet...and if the individuals of this race were forced for a series of generations to use their feet only for walking... there is no doubt...that these quadrumanous animals would at length be transformed into bimanous”
  41. 41. Why The Change?
  42. 42. Lamarck was ...a believer in the great age of theEartha gradualista strong supporter of theimportance of behavior and theenvironmenta believer in branching evolutionthe first modern evolutionist
  43. 43. Darwin & LamarckLamarck precedes Darwin regarding fact ofevolution (non-static world)Shared belief in use and disuseLamarck’s theory of adaptation is as legitimateas Darwin’s provided his premises are valid.
  44. 44. Erasmus Darwin Lunar Society Botanic Garden 1791 Zoonomia 1794 To “Darwinize”
  45. 45. Erasmus Darwin ORGANIC LIFE beneath the shoreless wavesWas born and nursd in Oceans pearly caves; First forms minute, unseen by spheric glass,Move on the mud, or pierce the watery mass; These, as successive generations bloom,New powers acquire, and larger limbs assume;Whence countless groups of vegetation spring,And breathing realms of fin, and feet, and wing.
  46. 46. Darwin and Robert Grant “I listened in silent astonishment, and as far as I can judge, without any effect on my mind. I had previously read the Zoonomia of my grandfather, in which similar views are maintained, but without producing any effect on me.”
  47. 47. “Frenchified” Views Association of radical materialist views with working-class agitation Change vs Stability

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