21L.448J Darwin and Design

MIT OCW - 21L.448J Darwin and Design (Fall 2010). Instructor: Professor James Paradis. In the Origin of Species (1859), Charles Darwin gave us a model for understanding how natural objects and systems can evidence design without positing a designer: how purpose and mechanism can exist without intelligent agency. Texts in this course deal with pre- and post-Darwinian treatment of this topic within literature and speculative thought since the eighteenth century. We will give some attention to the modern study of feedback mechanisms in artificial intelligence. Our reading will be in Hume, Voltaire, Malthus, Darwin, Butler, H. G. Wells, and Turing. (from ocw.mit.edu)

Darwin and Design


Lecture 01 - Darwin and Design
Lecture 02 - Alice in Wonderland
Lecture 03 - Genesis, Aristotle, and the Emergence of World Views
Lecture 04 - Voltaire and the Accidental World
Lecture 05 - Hume's Dialogues: Revealed Religion vs. Empirically-Based Religion
Lecture 06 - Philo and the Limits of Analogy
Lecture 07 - William Paley and his Legacy
Lecture 08 - Adam Smith "Wealth of Nations" (1776): The Idea of an Oeconomy
Lecture 09 - Malthus and the Compound Interest World
Lecture 10 - Malthus and the Compound Mind
Lecture 11 - Darwin and the Economy of the Natural World
Lecture 12 - Natural Selection
Lecture 13 - Darwinian Synthesis
Lecture 14 - Darwin's The Descent of Man (1871) and Human Culture
Lecture 15 - Naturalism and Utopia: Samuel Butler's Erewhon
Lecture 16 - Butler and Technological Autonomy
Lecture 17 - Evolution and Cybernetics
Lecture 18 - Alan Turing and the Thinking Machine
Lecture 19
Lecture 20 - Dualism and Personality in Post-Evolutionary Fiction
Lecture 21 - T. H. Huxley and the Two States
Lecture 22 - H.G. Wells "The Time Machine" and the Final Utopia

References
21L.448J Darwin and Design (Fall 2010)
Instructor: James Paradis. Readings. Download Course Materials. Humans are social animals; social demands, both cooperative and competitive, structure our development, our brain and our mind.