2017-01Thematic Section
Human Nature after Neo-Darwinism


In the course of the 20th century the so-called Modern Synthesis of Neo-Darwinism has become the dominant paradigm in modern biology. First, it is explained how and why Darwin’s broad definition of evolution, in which the environment plays an important role, was narrowed down by Neo-Darwinism to a radical gene-centric view. Next, the paradigm shift taking place today in ‘postgenomic’ evolutionary biology and genetics is discussed. It is argued that this shift opens the way to a more humane conception of evolution, more in line with Darwin’s view. Finally, I will discuss some of the implications of this paradigm shift for human self-reflection, taking The Music of Life. Biology Beyond Genes of systems biologist Denis Noble as a starting point.


Neo-Darwinism, Dennis Noble, gene-centrism, postgenomics, agency, human self-reflection

How to cite:

de Mul, Jos. “Human Nature after Neo-Darwinism.” Eidos. A Journal for Philosophy of Culture 1, no. 1 (2017): 5–17. https://doi.org/10.26319/EIDOS-001-HUMAN-NATURE.


Jos de Mul
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Campus Woudestein, Burgemeester Oudlaan 50, 3062 PA Rotterdam, The Netherlands



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