Do Philosophers ever take Evolution into account?

… when they dream up the questions and resolutions?

 

So I been trying to get a better handle on the roots of dualism, going back to Descartes, and Anselm. Listening to a number of philosophers and professors of philosophy I’ve haven’t heard anyone actually taking Evolution into account.

Every once in a blue moon, the word Evolution pops up, but I’ve yet to hear anyone actually integrating it into the lessons they are espousing.

 

So I toss it out, hoping someone can point me to

a philosopher who’s spent some time thinking about Earth’s Evolution; and how that process created us humans; and what that has to tell us about our human selves, and our human condition in general?

 

And if such a person doesn’t exist, what good is philosophy beyond an insular just-so mind game for people in love with their own intellect?

a philosopher who’s spent some time thinking about Earth’s Evolution; and how that process created us humans; and what that has to tell us about our human selves, and our human condition in general?
Exactly! Almost all philosophical questions are about what humans are doing to the earth and to themselves. Very few are concerned with the concept that humans are a product of the earth's evolution, and may no necessarily be destined to "rule" the earth. We may well be at an evolutionary dead end, by outsmarting ourselves and trying to cheat the earth of its implacable processes.

It is pure hubris to speak of man destroying the earth. The earth has been through much worse than man during it’s 4.7 billion years. Think of it!

As far as philosophers, George Carlin is one of the few who considered the question of the Holocene Extinction. (6th extinction event)

He observed; “The earth is not going anywhere, man is! Man may well be at an evolutionary cul-de-sac, a dead-end!”

Thanks, very well said.

@write4u:

Almost all philosophical questions are about what humans are doing to the earth and to themselves.

Very few are concerned with the concept that humans are a product of the earth’s evolution, and may not necessarily be destined to “rule” the earth.

We may well be at an evolutionary dead end, by outsmarting ourselves and trying to cheat the earth of its implacable processes.


 

 

It is pure hubris to speak of man destroying the earth. The earth has been through much worse than man during it’s 4.7 billion years. Think of it!
Not that often!

Sure we can’t destroy Earth, or life processes, but we sure can and are destroying this fantastical biosphere we were born into.

 

 

Sure we can’t destroy Earth, or life processes, but we sure can and are destroying this fantastical biosphere we were born into.
I went to college at Indiana University. I had a minor interest in geology but didn't pursue it. Lately I started thinking about the glacial extent that is very near there. I took a trip last year and researched until I found a spot where you are driving along in the flat Indiana farming country then a hill appears. That's where the glacier stopped after pushing all that earth in front of it. It's just south of Beanblossom. Along the hill, you can peak into people's backyard and see it dropping off. Everything north of there was pretty much dead just 15,000 years or so ago.

Okay. The hill was a moraine. Everything under the glaciers were pretty much dead. There was a lot of land without glaciers, doing its thing and waiting for glaciers to retreat, whereupon the existing biosphere was primed for major expansion, as condition improved.

I’m curious, how does that relate to the Earth that we were born into and the biosphere that we are destroying just as fast as our ignorant, but masterful, ingenuity will allow us?

source

Here’s another example where appreciating Deep Time is so critical for truly appreciating the facts at hand.

How are we priming the biosphere for recovery during the coming over-heated reality we people are creating for Earth. Oh yeah, someone will be happy to point out the Carboniferous, lots of heat, lots of moisture, lots of oxygen, but a world humanity could not have existed in - so I won’t be impressed.

We’re in the process of setting up a major disruption of its chemistry and biology of our oceans, the likes of which Earth hasn’t experienced, probably since Chicxulub hit the bullseye some 65 million years ago. Take joy, Earth has the ability to heal itself.

 

After Dino-Killing Asteroid Impact, Life Re-Emerged Quickly By Nola Taylor Redd
It only took about 30,000 years for life rebound. What an amazing planet we were gifted with. Too bad we're self-centered spoiled brats who never learned to appreciate what we had. Destruction is so much more fun, then sustaining and nurturing, I'm told.
Sure we can’t destroy Earth, or life processes, but we sure can and are destroying this fantastical biosphere we were born into.
That's why Carlin posited that; "the Earth isn't going anywhere, man is! Pack your bags folks!"

I don’t share your enthusiasm for Carlin and his love of embracing cynicism and hopelessness.

Thanks to his popularity he did more than his share to de-incentive young people and encourage them to embrace hopelessness and disconnect from political involvement and Earth for that matter.

Had we remained a little more engaged in striving to understand the reality of our global biosphere, or Earth’s evolution and why it matters, perhaps we could have adjusted our avarice, not much, but enough to slow down our self-destruction, and to give learning a chance.

Instead, we’ve learned to laugh off our horrors and go on as if there’s nothing we can or should do. So the ruthless ME FIRSTers have had a free ride.

He never pretended to be a teacher. He was very effective in identifying individual and societal quirks. His delivery was merely the canvas on which he painted his “mindscape”.

In answer to the OP question, this is the best that I know of.

https://www.authorhouse.com/BookStore/BookDetails/245608-Sense-and-Goodness-Without-God

There’s also “The Good Book” by AC Grayling which I have, but have yet to sit down and read.

Citi, do you know Herbert Spencer?

He developed an evolutionary theory that tries to expose the universe’s metaphysical progress with an optimistic future. He believed that we cannot know the ultimate reality of the universe, as it is a mystery, and both religion and science are trying to unravel that mystery. As religions, through their dogmas, formulate theories a priori to make the mysteries of the universe intelligible, and science, however much progresses and formulates broader and more enlightening laws and generalities, increasingly deepens the inexplicability of what is inexplicable . In this respect, religion and science come together and seek similar goals, but with different processes.
The scientist finds himself surrounded by perpetual changes that he will never be able to discover the beginning and the end, and thus realize that nothing can be known in its ultimate essence. There will always be an explanation to explain and the ultimate reality cannot be known.

P.S.: I have a tendency towards liberal and rationalist ideas, it may not be what they seek as a source of information.

I do not agree with all of Spencer’s ideas, as they are dangerous weapons of sovereignty.

No, Spencer was well before my day. From what I’ve heard about him, I don’t think we’d have much to do with each other. I’m a community, cooperation sort of fella. Spencer with his “survival of the fittest” and all that egocentric anthropomorphic perspective, we would not have been a good fit. Wallace is the guy I think I could have gotten along with, out of that crowd

@elainegerente. In this respect, religion and science come together and seek similar goals, but with different processes.
Only superficially. Sure both are about helping humans understand the world around us. But religion, if you think about it, is all about our interior lives, our soul and struggles, arriving at an understanding (or not) with our inevitable death, puzzling about what happens after death, and so on.

Where as science is about this material world, atoms, molecules, natural forces and all they produce. … Oh heck, how about if I simply share this:

============================================

https://confrontingsciencecontrarians.blogspot.com/2018/09/key-to-gould-nonoverlapping-magisteria.html

 

… In the years since I’ve kept learning more about Earth’s amazing evolution and geophysics and also the scientific process itself. A process that’s basically a set of rules for gathering and assessing our observations in an honest, open and disciplined manner that all who understand science can trust.
Recently it occurred to me that what Stephen Gould was missing was a much more fundamental divide that is crying out for recognition.

Specifically, the Magisteria of Physical Reality vs the Magisteria of our Human Mindscape.

In this perspective we acknowledge that Earth and her physical processes and the pageant of evolution are the fundamental timeless touchstones of reality. Part of Earth’s physical reality is that we humans were created by Earth out of her processes.

Science shows us that we belong to the mammalian branch of Earth’s animal kingdom. Yet, it’s undeniable that something quite unique happened about six million years ago when certain apes took a wild improbable evolutionary turn.

By and by besides the marvel of our two hands, we developed two feet and legs that could stand tall or run for hours and a brain that learned rapidly. During that evolutionary process something extraordinary fantastical was born, the Human Mindscape.

On the outside hominids learned to make tools, hunt, fish, and select plants, plus they mastered fire for cooking and better living.

On the inside our brains were benefiting from the new super nourishment while human curiosity and adventures started filling and stretching our mindscapes with experiences and knowledge beyond anything the “natural” physical Earth ever knew.

While the human mind and spirit are ineffable mysteries, they are also of tremendous consequence and real-world physical power. They drove our growing ability to study and manipulate our world, to communicate and record our experiences and to formulate explanations for a world full of mysteries, threats and wonders.

People learned to think and gossip and paint pictures upon the canvas of cave walls, or even better, upon the canvas of each other’s imaginations. We’ve been adding to our brain’s awareness and complexity ever since.

Of course, while all this was going on the human mind was also wondering about the ‘Why’ of the world it observed and the difficult, fragile, short lives we were allotted. In seeking answers to unknowable questions it seems inevitable that Gods would inhabit our mindscape. I suspect inspired by buried memories of being coddled within mom’s protective loving bosom those first couple years of life.

No doubt these “Gods” enabled further successes, though not through super-natural interventions, but rather through their ability to form, conform, reform and transform the mindscapes of the masses of people beginning to congregate. Thus, combining pragmatic civil societal needs with universally felt, but keenly personal questions, fears, and dreams.

After the middle ages tribal stories, accepted ancient doctrines and religious “truths” were no longer enough to satisfy our mindscape’s growing desire for ever more understanding and power over the Earth. The human brain took another tremendous leap forward in awareness with the Intellectual Enlightenment and the birth of serious disciplined scientific study.

Science’s success was dazzling in its ability to learn about, control and manipulate Earth’s physical resources and to transform entire environments.

Science was so successful that today most people believe we are the masters of our world and most have fallen into the hubristic trap of believing our ever fertile mindscape is “reality.” Which brings me back to Gould’s magisterium and his missing key.

The missing key is appreciating the fundamental “Magisteria of Physical Reality,” and recognizing both science and religion are products of the “Magisteria of Our Mindscape.”

Science seeks to objectively learn about our physical world, but we should still recognize all our understanding is embedded within and constrained by our mindscape.

Religion is all about the human mindscape itself, with its wonderful struggles, fears, spiritual undercurrents, needs and stories we create to give our live’s meaning and make it worth living, or at least bearable.

What’s the point?
Religions, Science, political beliefs, heaven, hell, even God they are all products of the human mindscape, generations of imaginings built upon previous generations of imaginings, all the way down.

That’s not to say they are the same thing, they are not!
Though I think they’re both equally valid human endeavors,
but fundamentally qualitatively different.
Religion deals with the inside of our minds, hearts and souls,
Science does its best to objectively understand the physical world beyond all that. …

He was very effective in identifying individual and societal quirks. His delivery was merely the canvas on which he painted his “mindscape”.
Yeah, and he was so charismatic that he was able to paint his hopelessness into the mindscapes of who-knows how many frivolous young people who became old people.

I hear his echo in every fool who thinks they are too good, idealistic, pure or cynical to stoop down to paying attention to politics, elections and voting. It’s exactly what the deep pockets wanted.

We are reaping what we’ve sown. The die is cast and all that.

He never pretended to be a teacher.
That's hideous. Come on W4u, you're better than that. Of course Carlin was a teacher, of course he wanted to influence the thinking of others. Of course, he knew others were studying him and aping his ideas. To pretend innocence . . .

Do you want to teach, do I want to teach? What’s the point of learning without sharing?