Evolutionary Approaches to Epistemic Justification

Dialectica 65 (4):517-535 (2011)
Abstract
What are the consequences of evolutionary theory for the epistemic standing of our beliefs? Evolutionary considerations can be used to either justify or debunk a variety of beliefs. This paper argues that evolutionary approaches to human cognition must at least allow for approximately reliable cognitive capacities. Approaches that portray human cognition as so deeply biased and deficient that no knowledge is possible are internally incoherent and self-defeating. As evolutionary theory offers the current best hope for a naturalistic epistemology, evolutionary approaches to epistemic justification seem to be committed to the view that our sensory systems and belief-formation processes are at least approximately accurate. However, for that reason they are vulnerable to the charge of circularity, and their success seems to be limited to commonsense beliefs. This paper offers an extension of evolutionary arguments by considering the use of external media in human cognitive processes: we suggest that the way humans supplement their evolved cognitive capacities with external tools may provide an effective way to increase the reliability of their beliefs and to counter evolved cognitive biases
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1746-8361.2011.01283.x
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 26,205
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Ontological Relativity and Other Essays.W. V. Quine - 1969 - Columbia University Press.
Warrant and Proper Function.Alvin Plantinga - 1993 - Oxford University Press.

View all 30 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Reformed and Evolutionary Epistemology and the Noetic Effects of Sin.Helen De Cruz & Johan De Smedt - 2013 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 74 (1):49-66.
Evolutionary Debunking Arguments Against Theism, Reconsidered.Jonathan Jong & Aku Visala - 2014 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 76 (3):243-258.
Natural Selection Does Care About Truth.Maarten Boudry & Michael Vlerick - 2014 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 28 (1):65-77.

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Methodologische Überlegungen Zu Tierischen Überzeugungen.Manuel Bremer - 2007 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 38 (2):347-355.
Methodologische Überlegungen zu tierischen Überzeugungen / Methodological Reflections on Exploring Beliefs in Animals.Manuel Bremer - 2007 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 38 (2):347 - 355.
An Epistemological Problem for Evolutionary Psychology.Matthew Ratcliffe - 2005 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 19 (1):47-63.
What's Wrong with the Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism?Geoff Childers - 2011 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 69 (3):193-204.
Reformed and Evolutionary Epistemology and the Noetic Effects of Sin.Helen De Cruz & Johan De Smedt - 2013 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 74 (1):49-66.
Assessing Evolutionary Epistemology.Michael Bradie - 1986 - Biology and Philosophy 1 (4):401-459.

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2011-11-23

Total downloads

120 ( #39,340 of 2,154,175 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

7 ( #105,431 of 2,154,175 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums