Philosophical Studies 147 (1):23 - 35 (2010)

William F. Harms
Seattle Central Community College
Evolving signaling systems can be said to induce partitions on the space of world states as they approach equilibrium. Formalizing this claim provides a general framework for understanding what it means for language to “cut nature at its seams”. In order to avoid taking our current best science as providing the adaptive target for all evolving systems, the state space of the world must be characterized exclusively in terms of the coincidence of stimuli and payoffs that drives the evolution of cognitive complexity. Cognition exploits the reliable clustering of events in this space. Using this framework to analyze our ordinary concepts of truth and justification, it appears that while justification can be a simple matter of conforming to historically entrenched strategies, truth cannot be fully specified on the basis of the system’s causal history, but requires a robust clustering in the larger world state space.
Keywords Signaling games  Teleosemantics  Evolutionary epistemology  Evolution of meaning  Empiricist epistemology
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Reprint years 2009, 2010
DOI 10.1007/s11098-009-9448-9
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References found in this work BETA

Evolution of the Social Contract.Brian Skyrms - 1996 - Cambridge University Press.
Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature.R. Rorty - 1979 - Princeton University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Content in Simple Signalling Systems.Nicholas Shea, Peter Godfrey-Smith & Rosa Cao - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (4):1009-1035.

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