James’s Evolutionary Argument

William S. Robinson 1
  • 1 Iowa State University,


This paper is a commentary on Joseph Corabi’s “The Misuse and Failure of the Evolutionary Argument”, this Journal, vol. VI, No. 39; pp. 199-227. It defends William James’s formulation of the evolutionary argument against charges such as mishandling of evidence. Although there are ways of attacking James’s argument, it remains formidable, and Corabi’s suggested revision is not an improvement on James’s statement of it.

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  • Corabi, Joseph. 2008. Pleasure’s Role in Evolution: A Response to Robinson. Journal of Consciousness Studies 15:78-86.

  • James, William. 1890. The Principles of Psychology. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

  • Lipton, Peter. 2004. Inference to the Best Explanation. Second edition. London and New York: Routledge.

  • Robinson, William S. 2007. Evolution and Epiphenomenalism. Journal of Consciousness Studies 14:27-42.


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