When is it selectively advantageous to have true beliefs? Sandwiching the better safe than sorry argument
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophical Studies 105 (2):161-189 (2001)
Several philosophers have argued that natural selection will favor reliable belief formation; others have been more skeptical. These traditional approaches to the evolution of rationality have been either too sketchy or else have assumed that phenotypic plasticity can be equated with having a mind. Here I develop a new model to explore the functional utility of belief and desire formation mechanisms, and defend the claim that natural selection favors reliable inference methods in a broad, but not universal, range of circumstances.
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