Human Nature after Darwin: A Philosophical Introduction

By Janet Radcliffe Richards | Go to book overview

Answers to revision questions
Chapter 1
1 (a), (b) and (d) changed. The others remained intact.
2 Skyhooks come down from above to lift what cannot rise by its own efforts; cranes lift while remaining rooted to the ground. Traditional explanations were of the skyhook form, and explained the lower/less powerful in terms of the higher/more powerful. Minds are traditionally more powerful than matter, and this gave rise to the traditional Mind First view. Darwinian explanation reverses this, and explains the higher and more complex in terms of the lower and simpler.
3 He means that explanations of a Darwinian (cranes-only) kind are potentially relevant to a huge range of phenomena; and because they reverse the traditional order of explanation, they have profound effects on our understanding of everything about ourselves and the world.
4 A teleological explanation is one that explains in terms of ends, or purposes, rather than mechanical causes; e.g. She slammed the door to demonstrate her anger (teleological); The door slammed because she gave it a sudden push (non-teleological).
5 Teleological: (b), (e), (g), (h), (j), (k).

6

(a)

Males with large tails were attractive to peahens, so they left more offspring than smaller-tailed males. The genes for large tails in males passed (along with the genes for preferring large tails in females) into the offspring, and tails gradually increased in size.

(b)

Among ancestral giraffes, the ones who could reach higher leaves had an advantage over the others when there was a shortage of food. The animals with these genes were more successful in reproduction than the short-necked animals (perhaps just because they survived, perhaps because females liked the look of well-fed males), and the genes for long necks spread through the population.

7

(a)

Monist (idealist)

(b)

Monist (materialist)

(c)

Monist (materialist)

(d)

Dualist

(e)

Dualist

(f)

Monist (idealist)

Chapter 2
1 Radical scepticism: (a), (c), (d).
2 (e)
Chapter 3
1 (c)
2 (a) (ii); (b) (iii); (c) (i); (d) (ii); (e) (i); (f) (iii); (g) (ii); (h) (ii).
3 (c)
4 (b)
5 (c)
6 (a)
7 (d)

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