Plasticity and language: an example of the Baldwin effect?

Philosophical Studies 147 (1):7-21 (2010)
Authors
Kevin Zollman
Carnegie Mellon University
Rory Smead
Northeastern University
Abstract
In recent years, many scholars have suggested that the Baldwin effect may play an important role in the evolution of language. However, the Baldwin effect is a multifaceted and controversial process and the assessment of its connection with language is difficult without a formal model. This paper provides a first step in this direction. We examine a game-theoretic model of the interaction between plasticity and evolution in the context of a simple language game. Additionally, we describe three distinct aspects of the Baldwin effect: the Simpson– Baldwin effect, the Baldwin expediting effect and the Baldwin optimizing effect. We find that a simple model of the evolution of language lends theoretical plausibility to the existence of the Simpson– Baldwin and the Baldwin optimizing effects in this arena, but not the Baldwin expediting effect
Keywords Baldwin effect  Plasticity  Evolutionary game theory  Evolution  Language
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Reprint years 2010
DOI 10.1007/s11098-009-9447-x
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References found in this work BETA

The Language Instinct.Steven Pinker - 1995 - Harper Perennial.
Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life.Daniel C. Dennett & Jon Hodge - 1995 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 48 (3):435-438.
Evolution of the Social Contract.Brian Skyrms - 1996 - Cambridge University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Role of Social Interaction in the Evolution of Learning.R. Smead - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (1):161-180.
The Evolution of Compositionality in Signaling Games.Michael Franke - 2016 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 25 (3-4):355-377.
Evolving to Generalize: Trading Precision for Speed.Cailin O’Connor - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (2).

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The Baldwin Effect: A Crane, Not a Skyhook.Daniel C. Dennett - 2003 - In Bruce H. Weber & D. J. Depew (eds.), And Learning: The Baldwin Effect Reconsidered. MIT Press. pp. 69--79.
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Discussion. A Note on Baldwin Effect.J. Watkins - 1999 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 50 (3):417-423.
A Note on Baldwin Effect.John Watkins - 1999 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 50 (3):417 - 423.

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