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Debate Darwin Autumn 2011

Phillip Sloan

Phillip Sloan is a Professor in the Program of Liberal Studies and a Professor in the Program in History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Notre Dame.



Phillip R. Sloan, "From Natural Law to Evolutionary Ethics in French Natural History," in Biology and the Foundation of Ethics, Jane Maienschein and Michael Ruse, eds. (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1999), 52-83.

Phillip R. Sloan, Whewell's "Philosophy of Discovery and the Archetype of the Vertebrate Skeleton: The Role of German Philosophy of Science in Richard Owen's Biology," Annals of Science, 60 (2003): 39-61.

Phillip R. Sloan, "'It Might be Called Reverence'," in Darwinism and Philosophy, Vittorio Hösle and Christian Illies, eds. (Notre Dame: Notre Dame University Press, 2005), 143-165.

Phillip R. Sloan, "Kant on the history of nature: The ambiguous
heritage of the critical philosophy
for natural history," Stud. Hist. Phil. Biol. & Biomed. Sci. 37 (2006): 627–648.

Erwin W. Strauss, "Upright Posture," in Phenomenological Psychology, (New York: Garland, 1980), 137-165.

Joachim Fischer, "Exploring the Core Identity of Philosophical
Anthropology through the Works of Max Scheler, Helmuth Plessner, and Arnold Gehlen," Iris, I, (1 April 2009): 153-170.

ManuscriptGO Manuscript Project


Natural Historical Realism and the Epistemology of Darwin's Descent

Turning the Zoological Gaze onto Human Beings

In this inaugural address, Phillip Sloan from the University of Notre Dame discusses natural historical realism and epistemology in one of Darwin's most controversial books, The Descent of Man. In previous publications, Sloan has also discussed The Descent of Man with respect to ethics and divinity. In this lecture, Sloan takes on the meaning of natural historical realism and how Darwin applied his understanding of nature's struggle for existence to the case of humans.

PHILLIP SLOAN - Sept. 30, 2011 from Debating Darwin on Vimeo

This lecture is one in an ongoing series. It will be held at Noon, Room 224, Social Sciences Research Building, The University of Chicago, 1126 E. 59th St.

For further information contact Beth Calderon (bethcalderon@uchicago.edu)


The Debating Darwin workshops are a series of lectures given by the most acclaimed historians and philosophers of science. These workshops, headed by Robert J. Richards of the University of Chicago and Michael Ruse of Florida State University are co-sponsored by the Fishbein Center for History of Science, the Office of the President, and the Templeton Foundation.


Sept. 30 - PHILLIP SLOAN (Notre Dame): Natural Historical Realism and the Epistemology of Darwin's Descent: Turning the Zoological Gaze onto Human Beings

Oct. 14 - JAMES LENNOX (Pittsburgh): Accentuate the Negative: A Solution to a Puzzle about the Structure of Darwin's Origin

Oct. 28 - ROBERT J. RICHARDS (Chicago) AND MICHAEL RUSE (Florida State): Debating Darwin

Nov. 11 - GREGORY RADICK (Leeds): Lessons of the Galapagos

Lectures will occur at noon in the Social Sciences Research Building (1126 E. 59th St.), room 224


Cambridge Companion to the Origin of Species eds., Michael Ruse and Robert J Richards, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008).

Darwinian Heresieseds. Robert J. Richards, Abigail Lustig and Michael Ruse (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004).

Reflections on the Origin of Species, Michael Ruse, with David Reznick, (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008).

Darwin and the Emergence of Evolutionary Theories of Mind and Behavior Robert J. Richards (University of Chicago Press, 1987).

Darwinism and its Discontents Michael Ruse (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006).

The Romantic Conception of Life: Science and Philosophy in the Age of Goethe Robert J. Richards (University of Chicago Press, 2002).

The Evolution/Creation Struggle Michael, Ruse (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2005).

The Tragic Sense of Life: Ernst Haeckel and the Struggle over Evolutionary Thought Robert J. Richards (University of Chicago Press, 2008) .

Debating Design: Darwin to DNA Michael Ruse (edited with William Dembski), (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004).