The following article was a fun if dry read for anyone who likes 8,000 word philosophical discussions.
Okay, I’m not a philosopher but I’m pretty sure there is nothing to criticize in this essay philosophically.
(how I wish for two universes in which I could split test posting such a comment and not posting it to see if, as I anticipate, it pretty much forces a bunch of salty infjs to click a link they otherwise would not have and to persist in reading a dry article till they get to the good parts. That’s the intent.)
Here’s what I loved about it:
Descendants of Deviants
One way to describe what is revolutionary about Darwinism is that it inverts the status of the normal and the abnormal, or more precisely of typical and deviant specimens. On the assumption that species are stable and unchanging, unusual specimens are ‘abnormal’ or even monstrous: their deviance demands an explanation. But given the facts of evolution, nature is a continuum of variable individual things that resemble one another to a greater or lesser extent, depending mostly on the degree to which their lineages are close in ancestry, but also resulting from the inherent variability of all living things. In that perspective, no actual fact is more natural than any other. What requires explanation is not that some individuals are different from typical specimens, but that living things cluster around what seem to be typical specimens.
Language and the birth of Ne
What language does is to enable speakers to differ about propositions. Propositions ground inferences, which can be persuasive without being logically compelling, and on which two people can differ. Thus the invention of language, like other major transitions of evolution, generated an explosion of possibilities. When we can talk about what we want, we can also discuss, generalise, refine, extrapolate, analogise, creating fresh propositions to endorse.