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On Purpose$
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Michael Ruse

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691195957

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691195957.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 21 September 2021

Human Evolution

Human Evolution

(p.153) Chapter Nine Human Evolution
On Purpose

Michael Ruse

Princeton University Press

This chapter analyzes Darwinian evolution through selection. It explores what the Kantian/Darwinian perspective implies for humans. Charles Darwin was absolutely convinced of the fact of human evolution and as soon as he had discovered natural selection was applying it to species, to minds and powers of thought no less. However, in the Origin he was cautious, wanting first to get the main details of his theory laid out for all to see and only at the end pointing to the implications for humankind. This did not stop others from getting on the bandwagon, and although in the Descent Darwin had much to say that was both new and interesting—notably about sexual selection—by then he was entering an already well-plowed field. Naturally, the early parts of Darwin's book were concerned with making the straightforward case for human evolution, showing how it is reasonable to think—especially on the evidence of homologies—that people and the higher apes are close relatives and that humans came jointly from organisms more primitive.

Keywords:   Kantian perspective, Darwinian perspective, Charles Darwin, human evolution, natural selection, sexual selection, homologies, primitive organisms

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