Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Bad Philosophy

The reviews are coming in fast and furious on Jerry Fodor's and Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini's new book What Darwin Got Wrong and/or their précis at New Scientist and it ain't pretty. Perhaps the most devastating review is by Ned Block and Philip Kitcher at Boston Review, entitled "Misunderstanding Darwin."

PZ Myers has two posts: "Fodor and Piattelli-Palmarini get everything wrong" and "Scattered shots against Fodor and Piattelli-Palmarini."

Brian Switek has "Jerry Fodor: Still getting it wrong about evolution" and Bob O'Hara has "Jerry Fodor Fails Evolution 101. Again."

The nine-fingered antipodean philosopher has "Fodor and Piattelli-Palmarini on natural selection."

This isn't likely to get any better.

Yeah, when all you've got for the pig is bright magenta lipstick and a chartreuse Spandex tutu, it's kinda hard to see how it's going to end up praised for its striking beauty.
I wonder why (or if) Fodor and Piattelli-Palmarini didn't get a tame evolutionary biologist or philosopher well versed in evolutionary concepts to review their draft? I wonder if their editor had the draft checked.

If not, why not?

I guess I might be able to tell from a their book's acknowledgement page but this is not shown on the inside-view in Amazon. From what is shown I'll not be spending any of my money to find out.
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