David Hull Through Two Decades

  • Michael Ruse
Part of the Nijhoff International Philosophy Series book series (NIPS, volume 32)


I first met David Hull in the fall of 1968, at the first meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association, in Pittsburgh. I had just returned from England, writing a thesis on the philosophy of biology, and so (thanks to a major paper on taxonomy in the British Journal for the Philosophy of Science (Hull 1965)) I knew who Hull was and was eager to meet him. We became good friends — part of a small group that included Kenneth Schaffner and William Wim satt — and we remain good friends today. Like everyone else (a point to which I will return in a moment) Hull and I have had an extensive correspondence and I have received lots of friendly (but critical) advice. We have often worked on the same problems, for instance the philosophical underpinnings to Darwinism and (recently) the implications of an evolutionary perspective for the development of knowledge. The one big exception has been the sociobiological controversy, where I rushed in and he feared to tread, a not entirely inappropriate metaphor which I will explain shortly. (I do not, of course, imply that we have put equal effort into problems. I am a mere dilettante compared to his professionalism when it comes to taxonomy.)1


Scientific Theory Biological Theory Theory Reduction Scientific Change Mendelian Genetic 
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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Ruse
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of History and PhilosophyUniversity of GuelphGuelphCanada

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