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Darwinism and Lamarckism before and after Weismann: A Historical, Philosophical, and Methodological Analysis.

Cartieri, Francis J (2009) Darwinism and Lamarckism before and after Weismann: A Historical, Philosophical, and Methodological Analysis. Undergraduate Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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When exploring the relationship between two reputedly competitive scientific concepts that have persisted, with modification, through time, there are three main features to consider. First, there are historical features of an evolving relationship. Just as a causal story can be reconstructed concerning adaptations in a complex system, an analogous story can be supplied for the historical contingencies that have shaped the organization and development of Lamarckian and Darwinian biological thought, and their interactions, over time. Second, there are philosophical and conceptual features to the relationship-- what is shared, what is not, whether two ideas inherently conflict or conditionally conflict, etc. Third, there are methodological features to the relationship—how do the theoretical concepts interact when in realistic operation? What are the benefits and constraints regarding their co-application? This project will explore the historical, philosophical, and methodological characteristics of the infamous Darwinian-Lamarckian dichotomy as characterized through Lakatos' Methodology for Scientific Research Programs, with the hypothesis that, once the respective evolutionary philosophies are generalized and the clutter of stigma removed, there is a large degree of compatibility to be found among them. The justification for this project derives from the recent resurgence of interest in Lamarckian phenomena and the stern, often vehement backlash that has greeted that interest. If biologists and philosophers both resist, or worse dismiss, Lamarckian suggestions on the grounds that they perceive them to undermine and conflict with Darwinian lines of thought, then that resistance may be unconstructive and misguided, should it be the case that, just as it was with Darwin's original conception of evolution, a more flexible, pluralistic view is plausible.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Cartieri, Francis
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairMitchell, Sandrasmitchel@pitt.eduSMITCHEL
Committee MemberDenks,
Committee MemberSchwartz, Jeffreyjhs@pitt.eduJHS
Committee MemberMachamer, Peterpkmach@pitt.eduPKMACH
Date: 19 May 2009
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 21 April 2009
Approval Date: 19 May 2009
Submission Date: 15 May 2009
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > History and Philosophy of Science
David C. Frederick Honors College
Degree: BPhil - Bachelor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Undergraduate Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: evolution of science; history of evolution; Neo-Darwinism; Neo-Lamarckism; philosophy of biology; philosophy of science; pluralism; relative significance; research program; theory choice; theory comparison; theory competition
Other ID:, etd-05152009-110207
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:44
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:43


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