David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Biology and Philosophy 4 (1):33-56 (1989)
This paper considers a central objection to evolutionary epistemology. The objection is that biological and epistemic development are not analogous, since while biological variation is blind, epistemic variation is not. The generation of hypotheses, unlike the generation of genotypes, is not random. We argue that this objection is misguided and show how the central analogy of evolutionary epistemology can be preserved. The core of our reply is that much epistemic variation is indeed directed by heuristics, but these heuristics are analogous to biological preadaptations which account for the evolution of complex organs. We also argue that many of these heuristics or epistemic preadaptations are not innate but were themselves generatedby a process of blind variation and selective retention.
|Keywords||Evolutionary epistemology heuristics preadaptation variation|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
John Beatty (2006). Chance Variation: Darwin on Orchids. Philosophy of Science 73 (5):629-641.
Michael Bradie (1986). Assessing Evolutionary Epistemology. Biology and Philosophy 1 (4):401-459.
Russell Powell (2010). The Evolutionary Biological Implications of Human Genetic Engineering. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 37 (1):22.
Mark H. Bickhard & Donald T. Campbell (2003). Variations in Variation and Selection: The Ubiquity of the Variation-and-Selective-Retention Ratchet in Emergent Organizational Complexity. [REVIEW] Foundations of Science 8 (3):215-282.
Finn Spicer (2010). Cultural Variations in Folk Epistemic Intuitions. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1 (4):515-529.
Philippe Gagnon (2012). A Look at the Inference Engine Underlying ‘Evolutionary Epistemology’ Accounts of the Production of Heuristics. In Dirk Evers, Antje Jackelén, Michael Fuller & Taede A. Smedes (eds.), Is Religion Natural? Studies in Science and Theology, No. 13. ESSSAT Biennial Yearbook 2011-2012. Martin-Luther-Universität.
Robert Ackermann (1986). Consensus and Dissensus in Science. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1986:99 - 105.
Maria Kronfeldner (2010). Darwinian 'Blind' Hypothesis Formation Revisited. Synthese 175 (2):193--218.
Paul Thagard (1980). Against Evolutionary Epistemology. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1980:187 - 196.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads17 ( #80,594 of 1,008,547 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #64,735 of 1,008,547 )
How can I increase my downloads?