1. To clarify the theorical differences between the Eighteenth-century transformism, especially Lamarck's theory of biological change, and Darwinian evolutionism.
2. To emphasize the implications of such debates for modern and contemporary ideas on the place of man in nature.
3. To show the interdisplinary relations with contemporary debates in philosophy and literature.
1. To be able to present and explain coherently some relevant conceptual landscapes of the past
2. To identify the links between theoretical options and interest (political, economic) at stake.
3. To acquire a deeper sensitivity toward the nature of scientific culture as a tool indispensable to solve the collective challenges that humanity is facing.
THE POLITICS OF EVOLUTION: theories of species and their social uses
Preface: Scientific ideologies and biopolitics
Variation and stability of the living beings in the Seventeenth century
1. John Ray and the idea of perfect adaptation
2. Robert Hooke and the revolutions of the globe
Variation of the species in the Eighteenth century
3. De Maillet, libertinism, eternalism
4. Linnaeus and the economy of nature
5. Bonnet and the Palingenesis
6. Lamarck, Erasmus Darwin
7. Cuvier and biological fixism
8. The crisis of Natural Theology
9. Human evolution: emotions and intelligence
10. Social darwinism and Marx's reaction
The evolution in the Twenteeth century
11. The New Synthesis
12. Steven J. Gould
Anti-darwinian and anti-evolutionary positions
13. The Intelligent design hypothesis
The lecture consists of two parts. During the first part, the general topic is introduced by the Professor using slides of texts and relevant images. In the second, students are requested to analyse and discuss together a series of materials - historical sources and essays - provided in advance in Pdf format.
PREPARATION OF THE EXAM
Working on Barsanti's textbook, students should devote particolar attention to distinguishing between Lamarcks' and Darwin's views of the evolutionary mechanism. With regard to materials provide in PDF format, students ae requested to choose and study one author per each of the six sections of the programme.
|Barsanti, G.||Una lunga pazienza cieca. Storia dell'evoluzionismo||Einaudi||2005|
During the traditional oral interview the Professor will ask the student to discuss verbally two or more topics of the programme. He will assess the quality of the acquired information, the logic of the argumentation, the originality and autonomy of thought reached by the student.
International students are kindly requested to get in contact with the Professor as soon as possible.