Modus Darwin Reconsidered

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Modus Darwin' is the name given by Elliott Sober to a form of argument that he attributes to Darwin in the Origin of Species, and to subsequent evolutionary biologists who have reasoned in the same way. In short, the argument form goes: Similarity, ergo common ancestry. In this article, I review and critique Sober's analysis of Darwin's reasoning. I argue that modus Darwin has serious limitations that make the argument form unsuitable for supporting Darwin's conclusions, and that Darwin did not reason in this way.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-213
Number of pages21
JournalBritish Journal for the Philosophy of Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History
  • Philosophy
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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