Wittgenstein and darwin an essay on evolution and language

History[ edit ] In his book The Selfish Genethe evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins used the term meme to describe a unit of human cultural transmission analogous to the genearguing that replication also happens in culturealbeit in a different sense. Bella Hiscock outlined a similar hypothesis in[5] which Dawkins referenced. Cultural evolution itself is a much older topic, with a history that dates back at least as far as Darwin 's era. Dawkins proposed that the meme is a unit of information residing in the brain and is the mutating replicator in human cultural evolution.

Wittgenstein and darwin an essay on evolution and language

They had many other profound disagreements, but they were united in one respect at least. They both rejected the metaphysics of Idealism. Metaphysically speaking, Russell was mainly concerned to counter idealist notions and to defend a science-friendly and empirical view of the world.

And Wittgenstein, like many of his contemporaries, saw no role for metaphysics as a discipline in its own right. Early in his life Russell had accepted the general framework of Hegelian metaphysics that dominated English philosophy at the time. But he soon came to see problems with this point of view and felt a sense of excitement and liberation when he finally extricated himself from this way of seeing the world.

He talks in his intellectual autobiography about his early rejection of the doctrine of internal relations which was a key feature of Anglo-Hegelian idealism.

Wittgenstein and darwin an essay on evolution and language

Very roughly, this doctrine constituted a form of Coherentism or Holism according to which everything is related to everything else and nothing can be satisfactorily understood except in terms of the totality of these relations i. This kind of Idealism fell out of favor, but gained renewed intellectual respectability when Willard Van Orman Quine proposed a form of Holism which was ironically partly inspired by the writings of Pierre Duhem, an historian of science who was not only a deeply religious man but also an orthodox and militant Catholic.

Traditional Battles Between Christianity & Science - Bad News About Christianity

Wittgenstein, by contrast to Russell and Quinewas not well-read in Western philosophy. The Tractatus was an attempt to give definitive expression to the scientific project and by so doing to reveal its limits.

The particular understanding of language, logic and mathematics which was at the heart of the Tractatus Wittgenstein gradually came to see not so much as false but rather as unnecessarily narrow.

One of the factors which led him to see this was hearing, inthree lectures by L. Wittgenstein had to face the fact that there were various ways of conceptualizing the basis of logic and mathematics, and he started to develop a philosophy of logic and mathematics which tried to explain these practices in terms of the sorts of common agreements which make social life possible.

But most of his later work was focused not on mathematics or logic but on ordinary language and the ordinary social conventions which sustain it. Friedrich Nietzsche had noted that each natural language is, as it were, pregnant with a metaphysics, the metaphysics of one language being different from the metaphysics of another.

Metaphysics as he saw it was largely a projection of the structure of a particular language on to the world. This general way of seeing metaphysics as a function of language can be applied not just to natural languages but also to more formal, constructed languages or logical systems such as those which were developed from the late 19th century onward.

The crucial point is that metaphysics is seen as a kind of gratuitous by-product of a language and its use — or misuse. As such it is not something that can be studied in itself as the natural or social worlds may be studied.

It is this aspect of it which appealed to Schlick and the Vienna Circle. At no time did Wittgenstein write anything resembling traditional metaphysics or ethics, for that matter. But Wittgenstein also came to see the standard scientific view of the world as logically flawed and as incorporating metaphysical assumptions.

But in the Tractatus Wittgenstein was already moving away from this kind of approach, explicitly calling the law of identity into question. Probably on account of his religious commitments which are often downplayed by philosophershe was also rather less interested in scientific questions or in articulating a scientific view of the world than his erstwhile empiricist colleagues.

Wittgenstein certainly disappointed his old mentor, Bertrand Russell, by moving away from dealing with the sorts of science-and-logic-related questions which Russell himself was concerned with as a philosopher and focusing instead on an informal approach to language and other matters.

Wittgenstein saw language as something that has the potential to lead us astray, and much of his later work is designed to highlight the pitfalls of language especially as deployed by philosophers. Metaphysical questions can usefully be approached in this way: And often apparent problems can be dissolved.In later medieval thought the earth was a disk - flat and round - so it was theoretically possible to find the edge of the world and break through to the first heaven.

Charles Darwin and the Theory of Evolution Charles Darwin is widely known as the father of evolutionary biology. It is believed that no one has influenced our knowledge of life on Earth as much as he has. Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. or any similar topic specifically for you. Do Not Waste ESSAY SAMPLE written strictly according to.

This free Science essay on Essay: Evolution and Charles Darwin is perfect for Science students to use as an example. The Diary of a Young Girl is a book based on the writings from a diary written by Anne Frank while she was in hiding for two years with her family during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands.

Wittgenstein saw language as something that has the potential to lead us astray, and much of his later work is designed to highlight the pitfalls of language (especially as deployed by philosophers).

As I see it, whenever we are seriously examining human behavior what we have learned since Darwin about human evolution and the brain . Author’s Bio. More than a year into the Obama presidency, I, as neither Republican nor Democrat, am struck by how much he resembles not Jimmy Carter, as conservatives like to say, or FDR, as liberals prefer, but his immediate predecessor, not just in similarly pursuing certain unfortunate policies in ballooning our national indebtedness and doomed military activities.

Darwin's Theory of Evolution - Sample Essays