The German Naturphilosophs saw repeated patterns in nature and linked this belief with one of the unity of the
organic world. An early evolutionist was the Frenchman Jean Baptiste de Lamarck who gave the first full
treatment in Philosophie Zoologique (1809) and whose mechanism was inheritance of acquired characteristics.
Darwinism is the view that biological species evolve primarily by a mechanism of chance variation and natural selection.
Charles Darwin (1809-1882) was the first to set out this mechanism in sufficient detail and provide empirical grounding.
Darwin preferred "descent with modification" but the theory was eventually called "evolution". (Audi 1999, 204)
(Honderich 2005, 274)
Ludwig Wittgenstein "argued that evolution has no implications at all for philosophy." Darwin himself disagreed,
since the natural evolutionary origins of man "has to make a difference in our thinking about knowledge (epistemology) as
well as our thinking about morality (ethics)." The American Pragmatists, such as William James (1842-1910) thought
evolution meant one of the basic starting points to understand human nature and how it functions. (Honderich 2005,275)
(Arrington 2001, 327)
Today evolution has affected antropology (Ferraris 1993, 361), psychology (Audi 1999, 295), ethics (Bunnin 2003,
338-339) (Honderich 2005, 275-276), and epistemology (Audi 1999,294) (Bunnin 2003, 336-338) (Honderich 2005, 275-276).
The theory of evolution is a child of the Enlightment. (Honderich 2005,274) In France, Britain and Germany, people
moved from belief in social and cultural progress to an analogous belief in upward development in the world of life,
which latter development was then taken as confirmation of their social beliefs.
Genetics has put the theory of evolution on a positive plain of research, with the follwing modifications of the theory
1. Separate the idea of evolution from the idea of progress.
2. Demand the mechanism of evolution show both adaptation and its lack.
3. Eliminate prejudice in the life, growth, and death of species.
4. Use the notion of possibility for alternatives: order or disorder, goal or chance.
5. Do not ignore or obscure specific characteristics of vital phenomenon.