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On Fodor on Darwin on Evolution

Research paper by Stevan Harnad

Indexed on: 12 Apr '09Published on: 12 Apr '09Published in: Computer Science - Neural and Evolutionary Computing



Abstract

Jerry Fodor argues that Darwin was wrong about "natural selection" because (1) it is only a tautology rather than a scientific law that can support counterfactuals ("If X had happened, Y would have happened") and because (2) only minds can select. Hence Darwin's analogy with "artificial selection" by animal breeders was misleading and evolutionary explanation is nothing but post-hoc historical narrative. I argue that Darwin was right on all counts.