David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Biology and Philosophy 22 (3):351-368 (2007)
Psychological evidence suggests that laypeople understand the world around them in terms of intuitive ontologies which describe broad categories of objects in the world, such as ‘person’, ‘artefact’ and ‘animal’. However, because intuitive ontologies are the result of natural selection, they only need to be adaptive; this does not guarantee that the knowledge they provide is a genuine reflection of causal mechanisms in the world. As a result, science has parted ways with intuitive ontologies. Nevertheless, since the brain is evolved to understand objects in the world according to these categories, we can expect that they continue to play a role in scientific understanding. Taking the case of human evolution, we explore relationships between intuitive ontological and scientific understanding. We show that intuitive ontologies not only shape intuitions on human evolution, but also guide the direction and topics of interest in its research programmes. Elucidating the relationships between intuitive ontologies and science may help us gain a clearer insight into scientific understanding.
|Keywords||Philosophy Evolutionary Biology Philosophy of Biology|
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Citations of this work BETA
Helen de Cruz & Johan de Smedt (2012). Evolved Cognitive Biases and the Epistemic Status of Scientific Beliefs. Philosophical Studies 157 (3):411-429.
Helen De Cruz (2014). Cognitive Science of Religion and the Study of Theological Concepts. Topoi 33 (2):487-497.
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Andreas De Block & Bart Du Laing (2007). Paving the Way for an Evolutionary Social Constructivism. Biological Theory 2 (4):337-348.
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