desmond elliott 2017 Harry Potter House Eds
Search our site
Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber Read the opening extract of the brand new Kathleen Barber book before its publication on 27/12/2017

Darwin's Philosophical Legacy The Good and the Not-So-Good by Gerard M. Verschuuren

Darwin's Philosophical Legacy The Good and the Not-So-Good


Darwin's Philosophical Legacy The Good and the Not-So-Good by Gerard M. Verschuuren

There is hardly any university, college, or even high school left where they do not teach Darwinism-and rightly so. Yet, most of these places do more preaching than teaching. They teach more than they should, and at the same time, they teach less than they should. This book wants to evaluate Darwin's legacy from a philosophical viewpoint by trying to analyze the strong points as well as the weak points of what came to be known as neo-Darwinism.


This is an interesting and controversial take on Darwinism and its philosophical implications and legacy. Clearly written, it will undoubtedly promote lively discussion even by those who do not agree with the author's conclusions. Recommended, especially for those who want to learn more about the issues. -- Michael Ruse, Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor of Philosophy, Florida State University Gerard M. Verschuuren provides a first-rate analysis of Darwin's philosophical legacy, especially in terms of a balanced assessment of Darwin's argument and the assumptions underlying it. In contrast to authors who paint Darwin in black or white colors, i.e. either all right or all wrong, Verschuuren paints a portraiture of Darwin that includes the full spectrum of colors-both pleasing to the eye and not. The outcome is a very vibrant and clear book, which gives the reader a fair sense of the impact Darwin's notion of evolution has had upon understanding ourselves and our place in nature. Overall, Verschuuren provides a novel and credible exploration of Darwin's legacy from a philosophical perspective. -- James Marcum, Baylor University In Darwin's Philosophical Legacy, Gerard Verschuuren develops a point-counterpoint dialectic that is didactically effective to explain some fundamental tenets of the theory of evolution and their abuse by theories such as racism, Social Darwinism, Intelligent Design, and the like. Fascinating book. Read Darwin's Philosophical Legacy, you'll learn and enjoy it. -- Francisco J. Ayala, University of California, Irvine Charles Darwin's formulation of evolution by natural selection may indeed be the best idea that anyone has ever had. At the core of the biological sciences, evolution is the thread that links anatomy to molecular biology, ecology to biochemistry, and paleontology to development. But it is also an idea whose philosophical impact has transcended biology to influence both the social sciences and the humanities. As Gerard Verschuuren makes clear, this influence has not always been for the better. Serious ideas have serious consequences, and readers interested in evolution's powerful philosophical legacies will find this provocative new work a must-read. -- Kenneth R. Miller, Brown University Darwin's philosophical legacy can be found in both the scientific explanatory power of his evolutionary theories and the intense controversies that those theories have created. This binary nature is discussed in the current literature, which is replete with arguments that make attempts to either debunk the legacy's core or elevate that core to a place of prominence. The uniqueness of this latest work is that it takes a balanced approach to understanding the impact of Darwinian theory on contemporary science. Human geneticist Verschuuren accomplishes this with paired chapters that he uses to examine the 'good

parts of Darwin

's legacy. Though most works in the genre focus on either the physical or metaphysical components of Darwin's theory, Verschuuren has made an ambitious attempt to bridge the two in a modest number of pages. The result is that no single topic is covered in great depth, but the text's point-counterpoint nature is sufficient to spark further discussion. Readers need background knowledge on both evolutionary theory and epistemology to fully appreciate Verschuuren's arguments. Those familiar with critiques of neo-Darwinian theory will recognize the topics used in organizing the chapters (e.g., reductionism, randomness, purpose, designer, gradualism). Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. CHOICE'

About the Author

Gerard M. Verschuuren is a human geneticist who also earned a doctorate in the philosophy of science. He studied and worked at universities in Europe and the United States. He has written numerous books, articles, and text books in Dutch, and he was the lead author of a series of biology textbooks for colleges and universities in the Netherlands.

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

5th December 2013


Gerard M. Verschuuren

More books by Gerard M. Verschuuren
Author 'Like for Like'


Lexington Books


136 pages


Philosophy of science



You'll always find what you never knew you were looking for and you're always spoilt for choice.

Helen Jones

Lovereading recommends, honestly reviews and promotes books-what more can I say?!

Rachel Bridgeman

Discover new authors and enjoy old favourites; oodles of literary gems to uncover at Lovereading with candid reviews from real reviewers.

Emily Wright

It has enriched my leisure time by introducing me to a world of books which I would not have previously considered.

Val Rowe

Ever purchased a book, read a few pages & thought I'm not going to enjoy this? Honest book reviews mean you'll never have that problem again

Jill Peters

My favourite thing about is the 'like for like' page this has really introduced me to some good reads! That and lots of honest reviews.

Sam Lewis

They are bright, breezy and eager to offer a great book, then genuinely listen/respect the review one writes.

Maggie Crane

Insightful reader reviews and unbiased recommendations. I don't know how I chose books before Lovereading! An essential for all book lovers.

Sarah Harper