Search results for 'Evolutionary Epistemolgy' (try it on Scholar)

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  1. Darrell P. Rowbottom (2010). Evolutionary Epistemology and the Aim of Science. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (2):209-225.
    Both Popper and van Fraassen have used evolutionary analogies to defend their views on the aim of science, although these are diametrically opposed. By employing Price's equation in an illustrative capacity, this paper considers which view is better supported. It shows that even if our observations and experimental results are reliable, an evolutionary analogy fails to demonstrate why conjecture and refutation should result in: (1) the isolation of true theories; (2) successive generations of theories of increasing truth-likeness; (3) (...)
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  2. Katia Vavova (2015). Evolutionary Debunking of Moral Realism. Philosophy Compass 10 (2):104-116.
    Evolutionary debunking arguments move from a premise about the influence of evolutionary forces on our moral beliefs to a skeptical conclusion about those beliefs. My primary aim is to clarify this empirically grounded epistemological challenge. I begin by distinguishing among importantly different sorts of epistemological attacks. I then demonstrate that instances of each appear in the literature under the ‘evolutionary debunking’ title. Distinguishing them clears up some confusions and helps us better understand the structure (...)
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  3.  99
    David J. Buller (2005). Adapting Minds: Evolutionary Psychology and the Persistent Quest for Human Nature. MIT Press.
    In the carefully argued central chapters of Adapting Minds, Buller scrutinizes several of evolutionary psychology's most highly publicized "...
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  4. Katia Vavova (2014). Debunking Evolutionary Debunking. Oxford Studies in Metaethics 9:76-101.
    Evolutionary debunking arguments start with a premise about the influence of evolutionary forces on our evaluative beliefs, and conclude that we are not justified in those beliefs. The value realist holds that there are attitude-independent evaluative truths. But the debunker argues that we have no reason to think that the evolutionary forces that shaped human evaluative attitudes would track those truths. Worse yet, we seem to have a good reason to think that they (...)
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  5. Christine Clavien (forthcoming). Evolution, Society, and Ethics: Social Darwinism Versus Evolutionary Ethics. In Thomas Heams (ed.), Handbook of Evolutionary Biology (provis. Title). Springer
    Evolutionary ethics (EE) is a branch of philosophy that arouses both fascination and deep suspicion. It claims that Darwinian mechanisms and evolutionary data on animal sociality are relevant to ethical reflection. This field of study is often misunderstood and rarely fails to conjure up images of Social Darwinism as a vector for nasty ideologies and policies. However, it is worth resisting the temptation to reduce EE to Social Darwinism and developing an objective analysis of whether (...)
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  6.  77
    Stephen M. Downes (2014). Evolutionary Psychology, Adaptation and Design. In P. Huneman & M. Silberstein (eds.), Handbook of Evolutionary Thinking in the Sciences. Springer 659-673.
    I argue that Evolutionary Psychologists’ notion of adaptationism is closest to what Peter Godfrey-Smith (2001) calls explanatory adaptationism and as a result, is not a good organizing principle for research in the biology of human behavior. I also argue that adopting an alternate notion of adaptationism presents much more explanatory resources to the biology of human behavior. I proceed by introducing Evolutionary Psychology and giving some examples of alternative approaches to the biological explanation of human behavior. Next I (...)
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  7. Massimo Pigliucci (2009). An Extended Synthesis for Evolutionary Biology. Annals of the New York Academy of Science 1168:218-228.
    Evolutionary theory is undergoing an intense period of discussion and reevaluation. This, contrary to the misleading claims of creationists and other pseudoscientists, is no harbinger of a crisis but rather the opposite: the field is expanding dramatically in terms of both empirical discoveries and new ideas. In this essay I briefly trace the conceptual history of evolutionary theory from Darwinism to neo-Darwinism, and from the Modern Synthesis to what I refer to as the Extended Synthesis, a more inclusive (...)
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  8.  48
    Elliott Sober (1994). From a Biological Point of View: Essays in Evolutionary Philosophy. Cambridge University Press.
    Elliott Sober is one of the leading philosophers of science and is a former winner of the Lakatos Prize, the major award in the field. This new collection of essays will appeal to a readership that extends well beyond the frontiers of the philosophy of science. Sober shows how ideas in evolutionary biology bear in significant ways on traditional problems in philosophy of mind and language, epistemology, and metaphysics. Amongst the topics addressed are psychological egoism, solipsism, and the interpretation (...)
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  9. Massimo Pigliucci (2007). Do We Need an Extended Evolutionary Synthesis? Evolution 61 (12):2743-2749.
    The Modern Synthesis (MS) is the current paradigm in evolutionary biology. It was actually built by expanding on the conceptual foundations laid out by its predecessors, Darwinism and neo-Darwinism. For sometime now there has been talk of a new Extended Evolutionary Synthesis (EES), and this article begins to outline why we may need such an extension, and how it may come about. As philosopher Karl Popper has noticed, the current evolutionary theory is a theory of genes, and (...)
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  10. Erik J. Wielenberg (2010). On the Evolutionary Debunking of Morality. Ethics 120 (3):441-464.
    Evolutionary debunkers of morality hold this thesis: If S’s moral belief that P can be given an evolutionary explanation, then S’s moral belief that P is not knowledge. In this paper, I debunk a variety of arguments for this thesis. I first sketch a possible evolutionary explanation for some human moral beliefs. Next, I explain how, given a reliabilist approach to warrant, my account implies that humans possess moral knowledge. Finally, I examine the (...) arguments of Michael Ruse, Sharon Street, and Richard Joyce. I draw on the account of moral knowledge sketched earlier to illustrate how these arguments fail. -/- . (shrink)
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  11. Massimo Pigliucci (2008). What, If Anything, is an Evolutionary Novelty? Philosophy of Science 75 (5):887-898.
    The idea of phenotypic novelty appears throughout the evolutionary literature. Novelties have been defined so broadly as to make the term meaningless and so narrowly as to apply only to a limited number of spectacular structures. Here I examine some of the available definitions of phenotypic novelty and argue that the modern synthesis is ill equipped at explaining novelties. I then discuss three frameworks that may help biologists get a better insight of how novelties arise during evolution but warn (...)
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  12.  97
    Tomas Bogardus (forthcoming). Only All Naturalists Should Worry About Only One Evolutionary Debunking Argument. Ethics.
    Do the facts of evolution generate an epistemic challenge to moral realism? Some think so, and many “evolutionary debunking arguments” have been discussed in the recent literature. But they are all murky right where it counts most: exactly which epistemic principle is meant to take us from evolutionary considerations to the skeptical conclusion? Here, I will identify several distinct species of evolutionary debunking argument in the literature, each one of which relies on a distinct (...)
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  13. Elizabeth Cashdan & Stephen M. Downes (2012). Evolutionary Perspectives on Human Aggression. Human Nature 23 (1):1-4.
    The papers in this volume present varying approaches to human aggression, each from an evolutionary perspective. The evolutionary studies of aggression collected here all pursue aspects of patterns of response to environmental circumstances and consider explicitly how those circumstances shape the costs and benefits of behaving aggressively. All the authors understand various aspects of aggression as evolved adaptations but none believe that this implies we are doomed to continued violence, but rather that variation in (...) has evolutionary roots. These papers reveal several similarities between human and nonhuman aggression, including our response to physical strength as an indicator of fighting ability, testosterone response to competition, a sensitivity to paternity, and baseline features of intergroup aggression in foragers and chimps. There is also one paper tackling the phylogeny of these traits. The many differences between human and nonhuman aggression are also pursued here. Topics here include the impact of modern weapons and extremes of wealth and power on both the costs and benefits of fighting, and the scale to which coercion can promote aggression that acts against a fighter’s own interests. Also the implications of large-scale human sociality are discussed. (shrink)
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  14. John S. Wilkins & Paul E. Griffiths (forthcoming). Evolutionary Debunking Arguments in Three Domains: Fact, Value, and Religion. In James Maclaurin Greg Dawes (ed.), A New Science of Religion. Routledge
    Ever since Darwin people have worried about the sceptical implications of evolution. If our minds are products of evolution like those of other animals, why suppose that the beliefs they produce are true, rather than merely useful? We consider this problem for beliefs in three different domains: religion, morality, and commonsense and scientific claims about matters of empirical fact. We identify replies to evolutionary scepticism that work in some domains but not in others. One reply is that evolution can (...)
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  15. Justin Clarke-Doane (2012). Morality and Mathematics: The Evolutionary Challenge. Ethics 122 (2):313-340.
    It is commonly suggested that evolutionary considerations generate an epistemological challenge for moral realism. At first approximation, the challenge for the moral realist is to explain our having many true moral beliefs, given that those beliefs are the products of evolutionary forces that would be indifferent to the moral truth. An important question surrounding this challenge is the extent to which it generalizes. In particular, it is of interest whether the Evolutionary Challenge for moral (...)
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  16.  25
    Massimo Pigliucci & Jonathan Kaplan (2006). Making Sense of Evolution: The Conceptual Foundations of Evolutionary Theory. University of Chicago Press.
    Making Sense of Evolution explores contemporary evolutionary biology, focusing on the elements of theories—selection, adaptation, and species—that are complex and open to multiple possible interpretations, many of which are incompatible with one another and with other accepted practices in the discipline. Particular experimental methods, for example, may demand one understanding of “selection,” while the application of the same concept to another area of evolutionary biology could necessitate a very different definition.
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  17.  11
    Sara Green, Melinda Fagan & Johannes Jaeger (2015). Explanatory Integration Challenges in Evolutionary Systems Biology. Biological Theory 10 (1):18-35.
    Evolutionary systems biology aims to integrate methods from systems biology and evolutionary biology to go beyond the current limitations in both fields. This article clarifies some conceptual difficulties of this integration project, and shows how they can be overcome. The main challenge we consider involves the integration of evolutionary biology with developmental dynamics, illustrated with two examples. First, we examine historical tensions between efforts to define general evolutionary principles and articulation of detailed mechanistic explanations of specific (...)
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  18. Antti Revonsuo (2000). The Reinterpretation of Dreams: An Evolutionary Hypothesis of the Function of Dreaming. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (6):877-901.
    Several theories claim that dreaming is a random by-product of REM sleep physiology and that it does not serve any natural function. Phenomenal dream content, however, is not as disorganized as such views imply. The form and content of dreams is not random but organized and selective: during dreaming, the brain constructs a complex model of the world in which certain types of elements, when compared to waking life, are underrepresented whereas others are over represented. Furthermore, dream content is consistently (...)
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  19. Paul E. Griffiths & John S. Wilkins (forthcoming). When Do Evolutionary Explanations of Belief Debunk Belief? In Darwin in the 21st Century.
    Ever since Darwin people have worried about the sceptical implications of evolution. If our minds are products of evolution like those of other animals, why suppose that the beliefs they produce are true, rather than merely useful? In this chapter we apply this argument to beliefs in three different domains: morality, religion, and science. We identify replies to evolutionary scepticism that work in some domains but not in others. The simplest reply to evolutionary scepticism is that the truth (...)
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  20.  60
    Jerome Barkow, Leda Cosmides & John Tooby (eds.) (1992). The Adapted Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and the Generation of Culture. Oxford University Press.
    Second, this collection of cognitive programs evolved in the Pleistocene to solve the adaptive problems regularly faced by our hunter-gatherer ancestors-...
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  21. Elliott Sober (1984/1993). The Nature of Selection: Evolutionary Theory in Philosophical Focus. University of Chicago Press.
    The Nature of Selection is a straightforward, self-contained introduction to philosophical and biological problems in evolutionary theory. It presents a powerful analysis of the evolutionary concepts of natural selection, fitness, and adaptation and clarifies controversial issues concerning altruism, group selection, and the idea that organisms are survival machines built for the good of the genes that inhabit them. "Sober's is the answering philosophical voice, the voice of a first-rate philosopher and a knowledgeable student of contemporary evolutionary theory. (...)
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  22. Benjamin James Fraser (2014). Evolutionary Debunking Arguments and the Reliability of Moral Cognition. Philosophical Studies 168 (2):457-473.
    Recent debate in metaethics over evolutionary debunking arguments against morality has shown a tendency to abstract away from relevant empirical detail. Here, I engage the debate about Darwinian debunking of morality with relevant empirical issues. I present four conditions that must be met in order for it to be reasonable to expect an evolved cognitive faculty to be reliable: the environment, information, error, and tracking conditions. I then argue that these conditions are not met in the (...)
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  23. Massimo Pigliucci (2006). Genetic Variance–Covariance Matrices: A Critique of the Evolutionary Quantitative Genetics Research Program. Biology and Philosophy 21 (1):1-23.
    This paper outlines a critique of the use of the genetic variance–covariance matrix (G), one of the central concepts in the modern study of natural selection and evolution. Specifically, I argue that for both conceptual and empirical reasons, studies of G cannot be used to elucidate so-called constraints on natural selection, nor can they be employed to detect or to measure past selection in natural populations – contrary to what assumed by most practicing biologists. I suggest that the search for (...)
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  24.  55
    Ramon Das (2016). Evolutionary Debunking of Morality: Epistemological or Metaphysical? Philosophical Studies 173 (2):417-435.
    It is widely supposed that evolutionary debunking arguments against morality constitute a type of epistemological objection to our moral beliefs. In particular, the debunking force of such arguments is not supposed to depend on the metaphysical claim that moral facts do not exist. In this paper I argue that this standard epistemological construal of EDAs is highly misleading, if not mistaken. Specifically, I argue that the most widely discussed EDAs all make key and controversial metaphysical claims about the nature (...)
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  25. Philip Gerrans (2002). The Theory of Mind Module in Evolutionary Psychology. Biology and Philosophy 17 (3):305-21.
    Evolutionary Psychology is based on the idea that the mind is a set of special purpose thinking devices or modules whose domain-specific structure is an adaptation to ancestral environments. The modular view of the mind is an uncontroversial description of the periphery of the mind, the input-output sensorimotor and affective subsystems. The novelty of EP is the claim that higher order cognitive processes also exhibit a modular structure. Autism is a primary case study here, interpreted as a developmental failure (...)
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  26. Wesley Elsberry & Jeffrey Shallit (2011). Information Theory, Evolutionary Computation, and Dembski's "Complex Specified Information". Synthese 178 (2):237 - 270.
    Intelligent design advocate William Dembski has introduced a measure of information called "complex specified information", or CSI. He claims that CSI is a reliable marker of design by intelligent agents. He puts forth a "Law of Conservation of Information" which states that chance and natural laws are incapable of generating CSI. In particular, CSI cannot be generated by evolutionary computation. Dembski asserts that CSI is present in intelligent causes and in the flagellum of Escherichia coli, and concludes that neither (...)
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  27. Geoff Childers (2011). What's Wrong with the Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism? International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 69 (3):193-204.
    Alvin Plantinga has argued that evolutionary naturalism (the idea that God does not tinker with evolution) undermines its own rationality. Natural selection is concerned with survival and reproduction, and false beliefs conjoined with complementary motivational drives could serve the same aims as true beliefs. Thus, argues Plantinga, if we believe we evolved naturally, we should not think our beliefs are, on average, likely to be true, including our beliefs in evolution and naturalism. I argue herein that our cognitive faculties (...)
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  28.  13
    Alex Mesoudi, Simon Blanchet, Anne Charmantier, Étienne Danchin, Laurel Fogarty, Eva Jablonka, Kevin N. Laland, Thomas J. H. Morgan, Gerd B. Müller, F. John Odling-Smee & Benoît Pujol (2013). Is Non-Genetic Inheritance Just a Proximate Mechanism? A Corroboration of the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis. Biological Theory 7 (3):189-195.
    What role does non-genetic inheritance play in evolution? In recent work we have independently and collectively argued that the existence and scope of non-genetic inheritance systems, including epigenetic inheritance, niche construction/ecological inheritance, and cultural inheritance—alongside certain other theory revisions—necessitates an extension to the neo-Darwinian Modern Synthesis (MS) in the form of an Extended Evolutionary Synthesis (EES). However, this argument has been challenged on the grounds that non-genetic inheritance systems are exclusively proximate mechanisms that serve the ultimate (...)
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  29.  69
    Alfonso Arroyo-Santos, Mark E. Olson & Francisco Vergara-Silva (2015). Practice Oriented Controversies and Borrowed Epistemic Support in Current Evolutionary Biology. The Case of Phylogeography. Perspectives on Science 23 (3):310-334.
    Philosophical treatments of scientific controversies usually focus on theory, excluding important practice related aspects. However, scientists in conflict often appeal to extra-theoretical and extra-empirical elements. To understand better the role that non-empirical elements play in scientific controversies, we introduce the notion of borrowed epistemic credibility, illustrating our proposal with a recent controversy in a field of evolutionary biology known as phylogeography. Our analysis shows how scientific controversies that spring from disagreements about methodological issues potentially involve deeperdebates regarding whatconstitutes good (...)
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  30. Helen De Cruz & Johan De Smedt (2013). Reformed and Evolutionary Epistemology and the Noetic Effects of Sin. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 74 (1):49-66.
    Despite their divergent metaphysical assumptions, Reformed and evolutionary epistemologists have converged on the notion of proper basicality. Where Reformed epistemologists appeal to God, who has designed the mind in such a way that it successfully aims at the truth, evolutionary epistemologists appeal to natural selection as a mechanism that favors truth-preserving cognitive capacities. This paper investigates whether Reformed and evolutionary epistemological accounts of theistic belief are compatible. We will argue that their chief incompatibility lies in the noetic (...)
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  31. Massimo Pigliucci (2002). Are Ecology and Evolutionary Biology “Soft” Sciences? Annales Zoologici Finnici 39:87-98.
    Research in ecology and evolutionary biology (evo-eco) often tries to emulate the “hard” sciences such as physics and chemistry, but to many of its practitioners feels more like the “soft” sciences of psychology and sociology. I argue that this schizophrenic attitude is the result of lack of appreciation of the full consequences of the peculiarity of the evo-eco sciences as lying in between a-historical disciplines such as physics and completely historical ones as like paleontology. Furthermore, evo-eco researchers have gotten (...)
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  32. Raphael Scholl & Massimo Pigliucci (2014). The Proximate–Ultimate Distinction and Evolutionary Developmental Biology: Causal Irrelevance Versus Explanatory Abstraction. Biology and Philosophy 2014 (5):DOI: 10.1007/s10539-014-9427-1.
    Mayr’s proximate–ultimate distinction has received renewed interest in recent years. Here we discuss its role in arguments about the relevance of developmental to evolutionary biology. We show that two recent critiques of the proximate–ultimate distinction fail to explain why developmental processes in particular should be of interest to evolutionary biologists. We trace these failures to a common problem: both critiques take the proximate–ultimate distinction to neglect specific causal interactions in nature. We argue that this is implausible, and that (...)
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  33. David J. Buller & Valerie Gray Hardcastle (2000). Evolutionary Psychology, Meet Developmental Neurobiology: Against Promiscuous Modularity. [REVIEW] Brain and Mind 1 (3):307-25.
    Evolutionary psychologists claim that the mind contains “hundreds or thousands” of “genetically specified” modules, which are evolutionary adaptations for their cognitive functions. We argue that, while the adult human mind/brain typically contains a degree of modularization, its “modules” are neither genetically specified nor evolutionary adaptations. Rather, they result from the brain’s developmental plasticity, which allows environmental task demands a large role in shaping the brain’s information-processing structures. The brain’s developmental plasticity is our fundamental psychological adaptation, and the (...)
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  34.  92
    Joseph Bulbulia (2004). The Cognitive and Evolutionary Psychology of Religion. Biology and Philosophy 19 (5):655-686.
    The following reviews recent developments in the cognitive and evolutionary psychology of religion, and argues for an adaptationist stance.
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  35. Massimo Pigliucci (2013). The Nature of Evolutionary Biology: At the Borderlands Between Historical and Experimental Science. In Kostas Kampourakis (ed.), The Philosophy of Biology: A Companion for Educators. Springer
    The scientific status of evolutionary theory seems to be more or less perennially under question. I am not referring here (just) to the silliness of young Earth creation- ism (Pigliucci 2002; Boudry and Braeckman 2010), or even of the barely more intel- lectually sophisticated so-called Intelligent Design theory (Recker 2010; Brigandt this volume), but rather to discussions among scientists and philosophers of science concerning the epistemic status of evolutionary theory (Sober 2010). As we shall see in what follows, (...)
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  36.  24
    Alan C. Love (2003). Evolutionary Morphology, Innovation, and the Synthesis of Evolutionary and Developmental Biology. Biology and Philosophy 18 (2):309-345.
    One foundational question in contemporarybiology is how to `rejoin evolution anddevelopment. The emerging research program(evolutionary developmental biology or`evo-devo) requires a meshing of disciplines,concepts, and explanations that have beendeveloped largely in independence over the pastcentury. In the attempt to comprehend thepresent separation between evolution anddevelopment much attention has been paid to thesplit between genetics and embryology in theearly part of the 20th century with itscodification in the exclusion of embryologyfrom the Modern Synthesis. This encourages acharacterization of evolutionary developmentalbiology as (...)
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  37. Ronald Mallon & Stephen P. Stich (2000). The Odd Couple: The Compatibility of Social Construction and Evolutionary Psychology. Philosophy of Science 67 (1):133-154.
    Evolutionary psychology and social constructionism are widely regarded as fundamentally irreconcilable approaches to the social sciences. Focusing on the study of the emotions, we argue that this appearance is mistaken. Much of what appears to be an empirical disagreement between evolutionary psychologists and social constructionists over the universality or locality of emotional phenomena is actually generated by an implicit philosophical dispute resulting from the adoption of different theories of meaning and reference. We argue that once this philosophical dispute (...)
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  38. Philip Gerrans (2007). Mechanisms of Madness: Evolutionary Psychiatry Without Evolutionary Psychology. Biology and Philosophy 22 (1):35-56.
    Delusions are currently characterised as false beliefs produced by incorrect inference about external reality (DSM IV). This inferential conception has proved hard to link to explanations pitched at the level of neurobiology and neuroanatomy. This paper provides that link via a neurocomputational theory, based on evolutionary considerations, of the role of the prefrontal cortex in regulating offline cognition. When pathologically neuromodulated the prefrontal cortex produces hypersalient experiences which monopolise offline cognition. The result is characteristic psychotic experiences and patterns of (...)
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  39.  69
    Jonathan Jong & Aku Visala (2014). Evolutionary Debunking Arguments Against Theism, Reconsidered. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 76 (3):243-258.
    Evolutionary debunking arguments against religious beliefs move from the claim that religious beliefs are caused by off-track processes to the conclusion that said religious beliefs are unjustified and/or false. Prima facie, EDAs commit the genetic fallacy, unduly conflating the context of discovery and the context of justification. In this paper, we first consider whether EDAs necessarily commit the genetic fallacy, and if not, whether modified EDAs provide successful arguments against theism. Then, we critically evaluate more recent attempts (...)
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  40.  8
    Joe Cain (2009). Rethinking the Synthesis Period in Evolutionary Studies. Journal of the History of Biology 42 (4):621 - 648.
    I propose we abandon the unit concept of "the evolutionary synthesis". There was much more to evolutionary studies in the 1920s and 1930s than is suggested in our commonplace narratives of this object in history. Instead, four organising threads capture much of evolutionary studies at this time. First, the nature of species and the process of speciation were dominating, unifying subjects. Second, research into these subjects developed along four main lines, or problem complexes: variation, divergence, isolation, and (...)
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  41. Massimo Pigliucci (2003). Genetic Assimilation and a Possible Evolutionary Paradox: Can Macroevolution Sometimes Be so Fast to Pass Us By? Evolution 57 (7):1455-1464.
    The idea of genetic assimilation, that environmentally induced phenotypes may become genetically fixed and no longer require the original environmental stimulus, has had varied success through time in evolutionary biology research. Proposed by Waddington in the 1940s, it became an area of active empirical research mostly thanks to the efforts of its inventor and his collaborators. It was then attacked as of minor importance during the ‘‘hardening’’ of the neo-Darwinian synthesis and was relegated to a secondary role for (...)
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  42.  29
    Fabio Sterpetti (2015). Are Evolutionary Debunking Arguments Really Self-Defeating? Philosophia 43 (3):877-889.
    Evolutionary Debunking Arguments are defined as arguments that appeal to the evolutionary genealogy of our beliefs to undermine their justification. Recently, Helen De Cruz and her co-authors supported the view that EDAs are self-defeating: if EDAs claim that human arguments are not justified, because the evolutionary origin of the beliefs which figure in such arguments undermines those beliefs, and EDAs themselves are human arguments, then EDAs are not justified, and we should not accept (...)
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  43.  1
    Ian Hesketh (2015). The Recurrence of the Evolutionary Epic. Journal of the Philosophy of History 9 (2):196-219.
    _ Source: _Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 196 - 219 In his 1978 On Human Nature, Edward Wilson defined the evolutionary epic as the scientific story of all life, a linear narrative beginning with the big bang and ending with the story of human history. Since that time several popular science writers have attempted to write that story of life producing such titles as The Universe Story and The Epic of Evolution. Historians have also gotten into the act under (...)
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  44.  17
    Günter P. Wagner (2015). Homology and the Evolutionary Process: Reply to Haig, Love and Brown on “Homology, Genes and Evolutionary Innovation”. Biology and Philosophy 30 (6):901-912.
    This paper responds to the essay reviews by David Haig, Alan Love and Rachel Brown of my recently published book “Homology, Genes and Evolutionary Innovation”. The issues addressed here relate to: the notion of classes and individuals, issues of explanatory value of adaptive and structuralist explanations in evolutionary biology, the role of homology in evolutionary theory, the limits of a pluralist stance vis a vis alternative explanations of homology, as well as the question whether and to what (...)
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  45.  53
    Matthew C. Keller & Geoffrey Miller (2006). Resolving the Paradox of Common, Harmful, Heritable Mental Disorders: Which Evolutionary Genetic Models Work Best? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (4):385-404.
    Given that natural selection is so powerful at optimizing complex adaptations, why does it seem unable to eliminate genes (susceptibility alleles) that predispose to common, harmful, heritable mental disorders, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder? We assess three leading explanations for this apparent paradox from evolutionary genetic theory: (1) ancestral neutrality (susceptibility alleles were not harmful among ancestors), (2) balancing selection (susceptibility alleles sometimes increased fitness), and (3) polygenic mutation-selection balance (mental disorders reflect the inevitable mutational load (...)
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  46.  98
    John Klasios (2014). The Evolutionary Psychology of Human Mating: A Response to Buller's Critique. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 47:1-11.
    In this paper, I critique arguments made by philosopher David Buller against central evolutionary-psychological explanations of human mating. Specifically, I aim to rebut his criticisms of Evolutionary Psychology regarding (1) women's long-term mating preferences for high-status men; (2) the evolutionary rationale behind men's provisioning of women; (3) men's mating preferences for young women; (4) women's adaptation for extra-pair sex; (5) the sex-differentiated evolutionary theory of human jealousy; and (6) the notion of mate value. (...)
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  47.  16
    Anton Killin (2013). The Arts and Human Nature: Evolutionary Aesthetics and the Evolutionary Status of Art Behaviours. Biology and Philosophy 28 (4):703-718.
    This essay reviews one of the most recent books in a trend of new publications proffering evolutionary theorising about aesthetics and the arts—themes within an increasing literature on aspects of human life and human nature in terms of evolutionary theory. Stephen Davies’ The Artful Species links some of our aesthetic sensibilities with our evolved human nature and critically surveys the interdisciplinary debate regarding the evolutionary status of the arts. Davies’ engaging and accessible writing succeeds in demonstrating the (...)
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  48.  22
    Elisabeth A. Lloyd (2015). Adaptationism and the Logic of Research Questions: How to Think Clearly About Evolutionary Causes. Biological Theory 10 (4):DOI: 10.1007/s13752-015-0214-2.
    This article discusses various dangers that accompany the supposedly benign methods in behavioral evoltutionary biology and evolutionary psychology that fall under the framework of "methodological adaptationism." A "Logic of Research Questions" is proposed that aids in clarifying the reasoning problems that arise due to the framework under critique. The live, and widely practiced, "evolutionary factors" framework is offered as the key comparison and alternative. The article goes beyond the traditional critique of Stephen Jay Gould and Richard C. Lewontin, (...)
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    Daniel Crow (forthcoming). Causal Impotence and Evolutionary Influence: Epistemological Challenges for Non-Naturalism. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice:1-17.
    Two epistemological critiques of non-naturalism are not always carefully distinguished. According to the Causal Objection, the fact that moral properties cannot cause our moral beliefs implies that it would be a coincidence if many of them were true. According to the Evolutionary Objection, the fact that evolutionary pressures have influenced our moral beliefs implies a similar coincidence. After distinguishing these epistemological critiques, I provide an extensive defense of the Causal Objection that also strengthens the (...) Objection. In particular, I formulate a “Master Causal Objection” featuring the controversial premise that non-naturalism can provide no adequate explanation for moral knowledge. I defend this premise by first narrowing down the range of candidate explanations to conceptual, constitutive, and evolutionary explanations, and then considering and eliminating each of these in turn. My discussion of evolutionary explanations suggests that non-naturalists must refute the Causal Objection in order to refute the Evolutionary Objection. (shrink)
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    Alfonso Arroyo-Santos, Mark E. Olson & Francisco Vergara-Silva (2013). The Phylogeography Debate and the Epistemology of Model-Based Evolutionary Biology. Biology and Philosophy 29 (6):833-850.
    Phylogeography, a relatively new subdicipline of evolutionary biology that attempts to unify the fields of phylogenetics and population biology in an explicit geographical context, has hosted in recent years a highly polarized debate related to the purported benefits and limitations that qualitative versus quantitative methods might contribute or impose on inferential processes in evolutionary biology. Here we present a friendly, non-technical introduction to the conflicting methods underlying the controversy, and exemplify it with a balanced selection of quotes from (...)
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