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Engels against Dawkins? Gould, Levins, Lewontin and the reminiscences of engelsian dialectics in biology

Grant number: 19/20402-2
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2020
Effective date (End): February 28, 2022
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Political Science - Political Theory
Principal Investigator:Marcos Tadeu Del Roio
Grantee:Mikhael Lemos Paiva
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia e Ciências (FFC). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Marília. Marília , SP, Brazil


The following project proposes an research aiming to measure the possible correlations and divergences between Engels' Philosophy and the theoretical-methodological conceptions of the so called "dialectical biologists", i..e, Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Levins and Lewontin. Initially describing the controversial Engelsian ontology - that sees dialectics in nature -, we assess its considerable influence on the on the philosophical formulations inside Marxism and the Contemporary Natural Sciences, in areas that vary between evolutionary genetics to Emergentism. Synthesizing soon after the project tied to this proposal - made during the graduation, in Brazil and abroad - we enter the area that, according to our preliminary data gathering, has the greatest Engelsian influence inside the Natural Sciences: Biology. Wishing to validate our hypothesis, viz., that the renowned biologists Gould, Levins and Lewontin are philosophical Engelsians, we put forward a study that aims to relate the main works and theories of these scientists with the notions of Friedrich Engels: the last coadunated, fundamentally, in his controversial "Dialecitcs of Nature". With the deepening on a theme until now practically unexplored, together with the systematical analysis of material, it will be possible at least to accurately map the ascendency of Engelsianism inside Biology, inferring how dialectics relates to system theory, punctuational evolutionary models, the reductionism/holism dilemma, and other crucial points of debate contained not only in the Philosophy of Biology, but also in the Philosophy of Science in general. (AU)