Article ID: CBB888084712

From Human Science to Biology: The Second Synthesis of Ronald Fisher (2016)


Scholars have paid great attention to the neo-Darwinism of Ronald Fisher. He was one of the founding fathers of the modern synthesis and, not surprisingly, his writings and life have been widely scrutinized. However, less attention has been paid to his interests in the human sciences. In assessing Fisher’s uses of the human sciences in his seminal book the Genetical Theory of Natural Selection and elsewhere, the article shows how Fisher’s evolutionary thought was essentially eclectic when applied to the human context. In order to understand how evolution works among humans, Fisher made himself also a sociologist and historian. More than a eugenically minded Darwinist, Fisher was also a sophisticated scholar combining many disciplines without the ambition to reduce, simplistically, the human sciences to biology.

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Authors & Contributors
Morrison, Margaret C.
Milam, Erika Lorraine
Bernardi, Massimo
Menegon, Michele
Bellati, Adriana
Owen, Robin E.
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Science as Culture
Science and Education
PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association
Journal of the History of Biology
British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick
Oxford University Press
Johns Hopkins University Press
Basic Books
Controversies and disputes
Fisher, Ronald Aylmer
Wilson, Edward Osborne
Mayr, Ernst
Haldane, John Burdon Sanderson
Darwin, Charles Robert
Huxley, Julian Sorell
Time Periods
20th century
19th century
21st century
Great Britain
United States

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