“Just-so” stories about “inner cognitive africa”: Some doubts about Sorensen's evolutionary epistemology of thought experiments [Book Review]

Biology and Philosophy 12 (2):207-224 (1997)
Roy Sorensen advances an evolutionary explanation of our capacity for thought experiments which doubles as a naturalized epistemological justification. I argue Sorensens explanation fails to satisfy key elements of environmental-selectionist explanations and so fails to carry epistemic force. I then argue that even if Sorensen succeeds in showing the adaptive utility of our capacity, he still fails to establish its reliability and hence epistemic utility. I conclude Sorensens account comes to little more than a just-so story.
Keywords evolution  epistemology  evolutionary epistemology  naturalized epistemology  thought experiments  modality  utility  fitness  adaptation  reliability  possible worlds
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DOI 10.1023/A:1017986908266
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Marco Buzzoni (forthcoming). Causality, Teleology, and Thought Experiments in Biology. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie:1-21.

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