Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Not by DesignRetiring Darwin's Watchmaker$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

John Reiss

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780520258938

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520258938.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use (for details see www.california.universitypressscholarship.com/page/535/privacy-policy-and-legal-notice).date: 21 July 2019

Darwin, Natural Theology, and the Principle of Natural Selection

Darwin, Natural Theology, and the Principle of Natural Selection

Chapter:
6 Darwin, Natural Theology, and the Principle of Natural Selection
Source:
Not by Design
Author(s):

John O. Reiss

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520258938.003.0006

This chapter discusses Cuvier's influence in Britain, in particular the way in which his views were perceived in the intellectual environment that provided the intellectual background to Darwin's theorizing. It first examines the implicit assumption underlying the use of the concept of “adaptedness” in natural theology, and then examines the role played by the principle of conditions for existence in Darwin's theory. The chapter also argues that by separating the concept of adaptedness from its empirical base in existence, and then basing his evolutionary theory on this disembodied adaptedness, Darwin introduced a teleological determinism. This teleology is expressed in two related conceptions: (1) that evolution is a process going from a less-adapted to a better-adapted state and (2) that natural selection is a deterministic force, or agent, which directs the evolutionary process toward this better-adapted state.

Keywords:   Cuvier, Darwin, adaptedness, natural theology, conditions for existence, teleological determinism, evolution, natural selection

California Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.