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Jerry Fodor shows why Dawkins is wrong in saying “We must believe Darwinism”

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Here at “Does Darwinism depend on evidence?”, Richard Dawkins’ has said we must, because it is the only plausible theory of evolution.

But Fodor responds that being a materialist atheist like himself,  his co-author Massimo Piatelli-Palmarini, and Dawkins has nothing to do with needing to believe Darwinism.

Fodor and Piatelli-Palmarini respond in What Darwin Got Wrong (London: Profile Books, 2010), that physicalism (the basic assumption they share with Dawkins, that everything is ultimately physical = bottom up, not top down) requires no such thing:

Physicalism per se can’t vindicate adaptationism [Darwinism] … Arguably, what determines which trait was selected-for is which laws governed the selection: given the laws, the counterfactuals follow; given the counterfactuals, you can distinguish a trait that isselected-for from a trait that isn’t. But physicalism isn’t committed to any particular inventory of laws; it says only that every causal intervention falls under some physical law or other. It follows from physicalism that if there is such a process as natural selection, it falls under physical laws (inter alia). But that says nothing at all about whether there is such a process. S the next time someone tells you that adaptationism is required by the ‘scientific world view’, we recommend that you bite his or her ankle. (p. 130)

Maybe I am just too much of a literalist, but does it occur to anyone else that the statement... "X has made a rational choice to believe in physicalism." Is a statement which can not possibly be true. JDH

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