Re: [xmca] Copernicus, Darwin and Bohr

From: Mike Cole <lchcmike who-is-at>
Date: Sat Jun 23 2007 - 15:50:23 PDT

Whoa, what an interesting thread has grown out of the discussion here!
Harkening back to David and Katherine's article, David K's comments bring
up in a different form the question of development than one of my earlier
inquiries concerning how necessary the invocation of mythic and theoretical
cultures in the article is. One the one hand, the complexity of the tools
action (including thinkingaction) has enormously increased over the past
thousand years. But what is the germ cell of this change (and might it not
toolforthought?) and are the elaborations on that germ cell sufficient to
that we have reached the point where all actants, biological and not, are

I, too, would like to understand better the actualist/semiotist

And, in reading on the Darwin/Malthus issue in David K and Eirik's notes,
I am
wondering about the interplay of Darwinism and Lamarckism that seems to me
to be somewhere in acceptance or rejection natural selection.


On 6/23/07, Eirik Knutsson <> wrote:
> David K.,
> You mentioned Graham's book. Graham stresses that the advent of Darwinism
> to
> Russia coincided with the era of great reforms promoted after the Crimean
> war -
> a time when Russian intellectuals were ready for unorthodox ideas:
> "Darwinism
> supplied both opposition to religious creationism and, at least
> implicitly,
> support for social and political change" (p. 57). Radical thinkers of the
> 1860s
> looked to the natural sciences for the ultimate solution of all problems
> and
> enthusiastically received Darwinism as the corollary in biology of
> Newton's
> laws in physics.
> "It was not difficult to turn Darwinism into a message of anthropological
> materialism, even atheism, and the more radical members of the Russian
> intelligentsia exploited this possibility. [...] Science was regarded by
> many
> Russian intellectuals as a natural ally of political change and as a
> natural
> enemy of tyranny and religious orthodoxy. Darwinism was the latest and
> most
> exciting weapon in this struggle" (ibid).
> The anti-Malthusian criticism within the Russian intellectual community
> also
> used strong objections to Darwin. According to Daniel P. Todes ("Darwin
> without
> Malthus: The Struggle for Existence in Russian Evolutionary Thought",
> Oxford &
> NYC: OUP, 1989), the arguments of the early pre-Darwinian opposition to
> Malthus
> were invoked against Darwinian Malthusianism.
> Radicals hoping to build a socialist society saw Malthusianism as a
> reactionary current in bourgeois political economy. Monarchists hoping to
> preserve the communal virtues of tsarist Russia, saw it as an expression
> of
> the "British national type," while religous thinkers in the Orthodox
> church
> claimed that Malthus was a heretic who blasphemously accused God of
> implanting
> a contradiction within the natural order.
> E.K.
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Received on Sat Jun 23 15:52 PDT 2007

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