Darwin-L Message Log 1:112 (September 1993)

Academic Discussion on the History and Theory of the Historical Sciences

This is one message from the Archives of Darwin-L (1993–1997), a professional discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences.

Note: Additional publications on evolution and the historical sciences by the Darwin-L list owner are available on SSRN.

<1:112>From LUKEMATT@macc.wisc.edu  Mon Sep 13 10:09:47 1993

Date: Mon, 13 Sep 93 10:09 CDT
From: J. Luke Matthews <LUKEMATT@macc.wisc.edu>
Subject: Re: Evolution in linguistics?
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

Anax -- true enough, i agree with you that so much of what we have inherited
from the late 19 century and early part of this century regarding 'evolution',
is more-or-less metaphysical. That is, nature, society, and jellyfish are
talked about as if we were all striving, yearning towards some platonic ideal.
In "standard" Darwinian theory, I believe that one place that the metaphysic
may be lurking is in the idea of adaptation. Think about the funny ways in
which we talk about niches for example...we define niches by the organisms that
reside in them , yet we talk about animals, plants, etc...adapting to them.

		Yours, fighting metaphysics wherever it's found,

		J. Luke Matthews

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