A comparison between evolutionary and genetic epistemology or: Jean Piaget's contribution to a post-Darwinian epistemology [Book Review]

The viewpoint of Evolutionary Epistemology (EE) and of Genetic Epistemology (GE) on classical epistemological questions is strikingly different: EE starts with Evolutionary Biology, the subject of which is population's dynamics. GE, however, starts with Developmental Psychology and thus focusses the development of individuals. By EE knowledge is seen as portraying or copying process, and truth is interpreted as a product of adaptation, whereas for GE knowledge is due to a construction process in which the production of true insights is only one possibility among others: Like falsity, error and deception, true knowledge goes back to a free relationship to reality. The difference between scientific and common knowledge is hard to be checked by EE, since both result ultimately from human hereditary structures. The study of how scientific knowledge emerges from everyday cognition is rather the task of GE
Keywords The impact of Darwinian theory on the scientific world view  mechanisms of evolution and of psychogenesis  relation between adaptation and truth  human cognitive capacities in general  the EE's and GE's interpretation of scientific knowledge  the EE's and GE's viewpoint on analytic and synthetic, a priori and a posteriori  genesis of mathematical knowledge
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    Paul Thagard (1980). Against Evolutionary Epistemology. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1980:187 - 196.
    Thomas Kesselring (1992). Führt die evolutionäre Erkenntnistheorie in einen Relativismus? Kritische Erörterungen zu: Eve-Marie Engels: 'Erkenntnis als Anpassung?'. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 23 (2):265 - 288.
    Jean Piaget (1970). Genetic Epistemology. New York,Columbia University Press.

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