Inclusive Fitness Theory and the Evolution of Mind and Language

Erkenntnis 83 (2):287-314 (2018)
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Abstract

Philosophers have shown that the Aristotelian conception of mind and body is capable of resolving the problems confronting dualism. In this paper the resolution of the mind–body problem is extended with a scientific solution by integrating the Aristotelian framework with evolutionary theory. It is discussed how the theories of Fisher and Hamilton enable us to construct and solve hypotheses about how the mind evolved out of matter. These hypotheses are illustrated by two examples: the evolutionary transition from cells to multicellular organisms, and the evolutionary transition from babbling to doing things with words and later reasoning and giving reasons. The first transitions resulted in the sensitive psyche of the other animals, the second in the rational psyche of humans. It is discussed how exploratory behaviour of lower-level entities facilitated these evolutionary transitions.

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References found in this work

What is it like to be a bat?Thomas Nagel - 1974 - Philosophical Review 83 (October):435-50.
What is it like to be a bat?Thomas Nagel - 1979 - In Mortal questions. New York: Cambridge University Press. pp. 435 - 450.
Evolution and the levels of selection.Samir Okasha - 2006 - New York: Oxford University Press.

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