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Internalist vs externalist evolutionary biology: do we need a New Synthesis?


The theory of evolution is fragmented by two different views of life: the externalist and the internalist perspective. From the formulation of the theory of natural selection by Darwin, in 1859, externalist view has dominated in evolutionary thought. In the last decades, internalist perspective has recovered vigour in the light of recent empirical advances in molecular genetics. An alternative theory is emerging. The major aim of this project is to contribute to the development of a common conceptual framework that will eventually facilitate a true integration of these century-old perspectives. We will reach the philosophy of science to analyse the conceptual framework of these evolutionary theories. Furthermore, in an effort to show the importance of the philosophy for science, the second principal goal consists to finding out exactly what is implied by the contrast between the two perspectives, as far as empirical claims are concerned.

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Oxford Road
M13 9PL Manchester
United Kingdom

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Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Liz Fay (Ms.)
EU contribution
€ 230 110,92