8darwinNotes

8darwinNotes - Commentary on Darwin The Origin of Species I...

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Commentary on Darwin The Origin of Species I believe that the most significant aspect to note about Darwin’s research and its philosophical implications is that they constitute a radical break with Parmenideanism. What I mean by this is that in Darwin we do not find any notion of a metaphysical world view, of a two-value world in which there is a perfect original world, whose perfection consists of immutability (Parmenides’s “Being”), and an inferior world of ceaseless becoming, a “fallen” world from which we must return to the original one. Rather, Darwin’s perspective is that of a decidedly Heraclitean world, a world in which relativity and flux reign. That is to say, the world of Darwin is not one of “essences,” of fixed, necessary forms of Being, which we could grasp by way of fixed, necessary forms of knowing, i.e. concepts. Darwin makes this clear when he writes in The Origin of Species of “infinitely complex relations” (p.108), in contrast to fixed entities and species. Rather than Nature being
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This note was uploaded on 04/08/2008 for the course MAP CONVWEST taught by Professor Ulfers during the Fall '07 term at NYU.

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8darwinNotes - Commentary on Darwin The Origin of Species I...

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