Swenson, R., 1997. "Evolutionary Theory Developing: The
Problem(s) With Darwin's Dangerous Idea," Ecological Psychology,
9(1), 47-96, 1997.
Daniel Dennett's book, Darwin's Dangerous Idea, is presented
as an historical account and explication of evolutionary theory,
and a demonstration of how Darwin's "dangerous idea"
provides an explanation of the psychological or epistemic dimension
of the world (or of "mind" in nature). Its real agenda
is to present Dennett's own theory of the origin of "mind"
in nature, a kind of computer age, neo-Pythagoreanism, which
seeks to legitimize the claims of Artificial Intelligence by
locating the source of all agency, meaning, or "mind",
in an otherwise "dead" world of physics in algorithms.
This approach continues the dominant tradition in modern science
of radically separating the psychological and physical into two
incommensurable parts, and it is this, the paradigmatic dualism
at its core, and the erroneous and outdated empirical assumptions
on which it is based, that are the book's undoing. By correcting
these assumptions a principled basis is provided for grounding
a commensurable theory that dissolves the anomalies inherent
in such Cartesian accounts.