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John C Greene

Science, ideology, and world view

Science, ideology, and world view : essays in the history of evolutionary ideas is a collection of essays by John C Greene, in which he argues that to understand the development of a theory such as evolution, it is vital to know about the ideas which were around when it was developed. I found first essay on objectives and methods rather hard going - possibly aimed at specialists - but after that the book became easier to follow. Greene's next essay argues that the Kuhnian view of paradigm shift doesn't fit the development of Darwinism, which was very much based on what was 'in the air'.

In the later essays Greene examines the idea of 'Social Darwinism', looking at the ideas of Herbert Spencer and others and asks whether Darwin was a Social Darwinist. His conclusion was that he was, but that his social ideas weren't derived from Darwinism, rather an evolutionary explanation was invented for preconcieved ideas. The idea of society evolving towards an ideal was rather upset by the World Wars, but in the last essay Greene shows how this viewpoint has continued to be popular. Overall I felt the book gives a useful warning of the ever present tendency to derive an 'ought' from an 'is'.

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Paperback 168 pages  
ISBN: 0520042182
Salesrank: 4921551
Published: 1981 Univ of California Pr
Marketplace:New from $53.35:Used from $5.10
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Amazon.co.uk info
Paperback 168 pages  
ISBN: 0520042182
Salesrank: 2759547
Weight:0.6 lbs
Published: 1992 University of California Press
Marketplace:New from £97.56:Used from £0.76
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Amazon.ca info
Paperback 168 pages  
ISBN: 0520042182
Salesrank:
Weight:0.6 lbs
Published: 1981 Univ of California Pr
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 121.21:Used from CDN$ 2.71
Buy from Amazon.ca