Darwin, nós temos um problema: uma breve história das histórias da carochinha em ciência evolucionária - explanação de narrativa implausível

sábado, agosto 13, 2022

A Brief (Hi)Story of Just-So Stories in Evolutionary Science

Michal Hubálek

First Published August 6, 2020 


Volume: 51 issue: 5, page(s): 447-468

Article first published online: August 6, 2020; Issue published: September 1, 2021

Michal Hubálek 1

1 University of Hradec Králové, Hradec Králové, Czech Republic

Corresponding Author:

Michal Hubálek, Department of Philosophy and Social Sciences, University of Hradec Králové, Hradec Králové, EU 500 03, Czech Republic. Email: hubalek.michal.42@gmail.com


In this essay, I examine the usage of the term “just-so story.” I attempt to show that just-so storytelling can be seen as an epistemic concept that, in various ways, tackles the epistemological and methodological problems relating to evolutionary explanations qua historical/narrative explanations. I identify two main, yet mutually exclusive, strategies of employing the concept of a just-so story: a negative strategy and a positive strategy. Subsequently, I argue that these strategies do not satisfactorily capture the core of the “original” meaning advanced by Stephen Jay Gould and Richard Lewontin at the end of the 1970s. I revisit the foundation(s) of their anti-adaptationist critique in order to reframe it as a critique of distinctive methodological manners and epistemic maxims related to historical inquiry. Last but not least, I suggest that contemporary evolutionary thinkers have two conceptually different options: they can either adhere to the “original” meaning of the term “just-so story” or accept that “just-so story” is a term equivalent to “implausible narrative explanation.”

Keywords just-so story, narrative explanation, adaptationism, Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Lewontin

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