21L.448J / 21W.739J Darwin and Design, Fall 2009
Darwin and Design
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In the Origin of Species (1859), Charles Darwin gave us a model for understanding how natural objects and systems can evidence design without positing a designer: how purpose and mechanism can exist without intelligent agency. Texts in this course deal with pre- and post-Darwinian treatment of this topic within literature and speculative thought since the eighteenth century. We will give some attention to the modern study of feedback mechanisms in artificial intelligence. Our reading will be in Hume, Voltaire, Malthus, Darwin, Butler, H. G. Wells, and Turing.
Origin of Species, Darwin, intelligent agency, literature, speculative thought, eighteenth century, feedback mechanism, artificial intelligence, Hume, Voltaire, Malthus, Butler, Hardy, H.G. Wells, Freud, Evolution, Modern Western philosophy, Philosophy of science, Religion, Science, Life Sciences, Evolution, Philosophy & Social Aspects, History, Intelligent design,individual species, complexity, development, God theory of evolution, science, theological explanation, universe, creatures, faith, and theology, purpose of evolution, Design, models, adaptation