155 found
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  1. Thought in a Hostile World: The Evolution of Human Cognition.Kim Sterelny - 2003 - Wiley-Blackwell.
    __WINNER OF THE 2004 LAKATOS AWARD!__ _Thought in a Hostile World_ is an exploration of the evolution of cognition, especially human cognition, by one of today's foremost philosophers of biology and of mind. Featuresan exploration of the evolution of human cognition. Written by one of today’s foremost philosophers of mind and language. Presents a set of analytic tools for thinking about cognition and its evolution. Offers a critique of nativist, modular versions of evolutionary psychology, rejecting the example of language as (...)
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  2. Minds: Extended or Scaffolded? [REVIEW]Kim Sterelny - 2010 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 9 (4):465-481.
    This paper discusses two perspectives, each of which recognises the importance of environmental resources in enhancing and amplifying our cognitive capacity. One is the Clark–Chalmers model, extended further by Clark and others. The other derives from niche construction models of evolution, models which emphasise the role of active agency in enhancing the adaptive fit between agent and world. In the human case, much niche construction is epistemic: making cognitive tools and assembling other informational resources that support and scaffold intelligent action. (...)
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  3. The Representational Theory of Mind.Kim Sterelny - 1990 - Blackwell.
  4.  81
    Language and Reality: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Language.Michael Devitt & Kim Sterelny - 1999 - Wiley.
    Completely revised and updated in its Second Edition, _Language and Reality_ provides students, philosophers and cognitive scientists with a lucid and provocative introduction to the philosophy of language.
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  5. What is Biodiversity?James Maclaurin & Kim Sterelny - 2008 - University of Chicago Press.
    What Is Biodiversity? is a theoretical and conceptual exploration of the biological world and how diversity is valued. Maclaurin and Sterelny explore not only the origins of the concept of biodiversity, but also how that concept has been shaped by ecology and more recently by conservation biology. They explain the different types of biodiversity important in evolutionary theory, developmental biology, ecology, morphology and taxonomy and conclude that biological heritage is rich in not just one biodiversity but many. Maclaurin and Sterelny (...)
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  6.  27
    The Return of the Gene.Kim Sterelny & Philip Kitcher - 1988 - Journal of Philosophy 85 (7):339.
  7.  41
    In Defence of Story-Telling.Adrian Currie & Kim Sterelny - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 62:14-21.
    We argue that narratives are central to the success of historical reconstruction. Narrative explanation involves tracing causal trajectories across time. The construction of narrative, then, often involves postulating relatively speculative causal connections between comparatively well-established events. But speculation is not always idle or harmful: it also aids in overcoming local underdetermination by forming scaffolds from which new evidence becomes relevant. Moreover, as our understanding of the past’s causal milieus become richer, the constraints on narrative plausibility become increasingly strict: a narrative’s (...)
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  8. The Return of the Gene.Kim Sterelny & Philip Kitcher - 1988 - Journal of Philosophy 85 (7):339-361.
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  9. The Extended Replicator.Kim Sterelny, Kelly C. Smith & Michael Dickison - 1996 - Biology and Philosophy 11 (3):377-403.
    This paper evaluates and criticises the developmental systems conception of evolution and develops instead an extension of the gene's eye conception of evolution. We argue (i) Dawkin's attempt to segregate developmental and evolutionary issues about genes is unsatisfactory. On plausible views of development it is arbitrary to single out genes as the units of selection. (ii) The genotype does not carry information about the phenotype in any way that distinguishes the role of the genes in development from that other factors. (...)
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  10.  46
    The Major Transitions in Evolution Revisited.Brett Calcott & Kim Sterelny (eds.) - 2011 - MIT Press.
    Drawing on recent advances in evolutionary biology, prominent scholars return to the question posed in a pathbreaking book: how evolution itself evolved.
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  11. Evolution and Moral Realism.Kim Sterelny & Ben Fraser - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (4):981-1006.
    We are moral apes, a difference between humans and our relatives that has received significant recent attention in the evolutionary literature. Evolutionary accounts of morality have often been recruited in support of error theory: moral language is truth-apt, but substantive moral claims are never true. In this article, we: locate evolutionary error theory within the broader framework of the relationship between folk conceptions of a domain and our best scientific conception of that same domain; within that broader framework, argue that (...)
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  12.  98
    Cooperation, Culture, and Conflict.Kim Sterelny - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (1):31-58.
    In this article I develop a big picture of the evolution of human cooperation, and contrast it to an alternative based on group selection. The crucial claim is that hominin history has seen two major transitions in cooperation, and hence poses two deep puzzles about the origins and stability of cooperation. The first is the transition from great ape social lives to the lives of Pleistocene cooperative foragers; the second is the stability of the social contract through the early Holocene (...)
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  13.  94
    Cultural Evolution in California and Paris.Kim Sterelny - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 62:42-50.
  14.  13
    Sense and Content: Experience, Thought and Their Relations.Kim Sterelny - 1987 - Philosophical Review 96 (4):581.
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    The Illusory Riches of Sober's Monism.Philip Kitcher, Kim Sterelny & C. Kenneth Waters - 1990 - Journal of Philosophy 87 (3):158-161.
  16. Externalism, Epistemic Artefacts and the Extended Mind.Kim Sterelny - 2004 - In Richard Schantz (ed.), The Externalist Challenge. De Gruyter. pp. 239--254.
    A common picture of evolution by natural selection sees it as a process through which organisms change so that they become better adapted to their environment. However, agents do not merely respond to the challenges their environments pose. They modify their environments, filtering and transforming the action of the environment on their bodies A beaver, in making a dam, engineers a stream, increasing both the size of its safe refuge and reducing its seasonal variability. Beavers, like many other animals, are (...)
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  17. Explanatory Pluralism in Evolutionary Biology.Kim Sterelny - 1996 - Biology and Philosophy 11 (2):193-214.
    The ontological dependence of one domain on another is compatible with the explanatory autonomy of the less basic domain. That autonomy results from the fact that the relationship between two domains can be very complex. In this paper I distinguish two different types of complexity, two ways the relationship between domains can fail to be transparent, both of which are relevant to evolutionary biology. Sometimes high level explanations preserve a certain type of causal or counterfactual information which would be lost (...)
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  18. Connectionism.Kim Sterelny - 1990 - In The Representational Theory of Mind. Blackwell.
  19. Language and Reality, An Introduction to the Philosophy of Language.Michael Devitt & Kim Sterelny - 1988 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 178 (3):377-378.
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  20. Memes Revisited.Kim Sterelny - 2006 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (1):145-165.
    In this paper, I argue that the adaptive fit between human cultures and their environment is persuasive evidence that some form of evolutionary mechanism has been important in driving human cultural change. I distinguish three mechanisms of cultural evolution: niche construction leading to cultural group selection; the vertical flow of cultural information from parents to their children, and the replication and spread of memes. I further argue that both cultural group selection and the vertical flow of cultural information have been (...)
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  21. How to Think About the Modularity of Mind Reading.Gregory Currie & Kim Sterelny - 2000 - Philosophical Quarterly 50 (199):145-160.
  22. Moral Nativism: A Sceptical Response.Kim Sterelny - 2010 - Mind and Language 25 (3):279-297.
    In the last few years, nativist, modular views of moral cognition have been influential. This paper shares the view that normative cognition develops robustly, and is probably an adaptation. But it develops an alternative view of the developmental basis of moral cognition, based on the idea that adults scaffold moral development by organising the learning environment of the next generation. In addition, I argue that the modular nativist picture has no plausible account of the role of explicit moral judgement, and (...)
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  23.  12
    The Imagery Debate.Kim Sterelny - 1993 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 53 (4):958-961.
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  24. The Return of the Group.Kim Sterelny - 1996 - Philosophy of Science 63 (4):562-584.
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  25. The Evolution and Evolvability of Culture.Kim Sterelny - 2006 - Mind and Language 21 (2):137-165.
    Joseph Henrich and Richard McElreath begin their survey of theories of cultural evolution with a striking historical example. They contrast the fate of the Bourke and Wills expedition — an attempt to explore some of the arid areas of inland Australia — with the routine survival of the local aboriginals in exactly the same area. That expedition ended in failure and death, despite the fact that it was well equipped, and despite the fact that those on the expedition were tough (...)
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  26.  25
    Cumulative Cultural Evolution and the Origins of Language.Kim Sterelny - 2016 - Biological Theory 11 (3):173-186.
    In this article, I present a substantive proposal about the timing and nature of the final stage of the evolution of full human language, the transition from so-called “protolanguage” to language, and on the origins of a simple protolanguage with structure and displaced reference; a proposal that depends on the idea that the initial expansion of communicative powers in our lineage involved a much expanded role for gesture and mime. But though it defends a substantive proposal, the article also defends (...)
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  27.  40
    From Code to Speaker Meaning.Kim Sterelny - 2017 - Biology and Philosophy 32 (6):819-838.
    This paper has two aims. One is to defend an incrementalist view of the evolution of language, not from those who think that syntax could not evolve incrementally, but from those who defend a fundamental distinction between Gricean communication or ostensive inferential communication and code-based communication. The paper argues against this dichotomy, and sketches ways in which a code-based system could evolve into Gricean communication. The second is to assess the merits of the Sender–Receiver Framework, originally formulated by David Lewis, (...)
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  28.  30
    The Origins of Multi-Level Society.Kim Sterelny - 2021 - Topoi 40 (1):207-220.
    There is a very striking difference between even the simplest ethnographically known human societies and those of the chimps and bonobos. Chimp and bonobo societies are closed societies: with the exception of adolescent females who disperse from their natal group and join a nearby group, a pan residential group is the whole social world of the agents who make it up. That is not true of forager bands, which have fluid memberships, and regular associations with neighbouring bands. They are components (...)
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  29.  48
    A Paleolithic Reciprocation Crisis: Symbols, Signals, and Norms.Kim Sterelny - 2014 - Biological Theory 9 (1):65-77.
    Within paleoanthropology, the origin of behavioral modernity is a famous problem. Very large-brained hominins have lived for around half a million years, yet social lives resembling those known from the ethnographic record appeared perhaps 100,000 years ago. Why did it take 400,000 years for humans to start acting like humans? In this article, I argue that part of the solution is a transition in the economic foundations of cooperation from a relatively undemanding form, to one that imposed much more stress (...)
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  30. The "Genetic Program" Program: A Commentary on Maynard Smith on Information in Biology.Kim Sterelny - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (2):195-201.
  31. Made by Each Other: Organisms and Their Environment. [REVIEW]Kim Sterelny - 2005 - Biology and Philosophy 20 (1):21-36.
    The standard picture of evolution, is externalist: a causal arrow runs from environment to organism, and that arrow explains why organisms are as they are (Godfrey-Smith 1996). Natural selection allows a lineage to accommodate itself to the specifics of its environment. As the interior of Australia became hotter and drier, phenotypes changed in many lineages of plants and animals, so that those organisms came to suit the new conditions under which they lived. Odling-Smee, Laland and Feldman, building on the work (...)
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  32.  4
    Biological Information.Peter Godfrey-Smith & Kim Sterelny - 2007 - In Thaddeus Metz (ed.), Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Stanford University.
  33. Natural Kinds Terms.Kim Sterelny - 1983 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 64 (2):100-125.
  34.  15
    The Evolution and Evolvability of Culture.Kim Sterelny - 2006 - Mind Language 21 (2):137-165.
  35.  10
    The Representational Theory of Mind: An Introduction.Kim Sterelny - 1994 - Philosophical Quarterly 44 (175):252-254.
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  36. Darwinian Spaces: Peter Godfrey-Smith on Selection and Evolution.Kim Sterelny - 2011 - Biology and Philosophy 26 (4):489-500.
  37.  67
    Development, Evolution, and Adaptation.Kim Sterelny - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (3):387.
    In this paper I develop three conceptions of the relationship between evolutionary and developmental biology. I further argue that: (a) the choice between them largely turns on as yet unresolved empirical considerations; (b) none of these conceptions demand a fundamental conceptual reevaluation of evolutionary biology; and (c) while developmental systems theorists have constructed an important and innovative alternative to the standard view of the genotype/phenotype relations, in considering the general issue of the relationship between evolutionary and developmental biology, we can (...)
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  38.  23
    Afterword: Tough Questions; Hard Problems; Incremental Progress.Kim Sterelny - 2020 - Topics in Cognitive Science 12 (2):766-783.
  39.  98
    Cooperation and its Evolution.Kim Sterelny, Richard Joyce, Brett Calcott & Ben Fraser (eds.) - 2013 - MIT Press.
    This collection reports on the latest research on an increasingly pivotal issue for evolutionary biology: cooperation. The chapters are written from a variety of disciplinary perspectives and utilize research tools that range from empirical survey to conceptual modeling, reflecting the rich diversity of work in the field. They explore a wide taxonomic range, concentrating on bacteria, social insects, and, especially, humans. -/- Part I (“Agents and Environments”) investigates the connections of social cooperation in social organizations to the conditions that make (...)
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  40. Morality’s Dark Past.Kim Sterelny - 2012 - Analyse & Kritik 34 (1):95-115.
    Philip Kitcher’s The Ethical Project tries to vindicates ethics through an analysis of its evolutionary and cultural history, a history which in turn, he thinks, supports a particular conception of the role of moral thinking and normative practices in human social life. As Kitcher sees it, that role could hardly be more central: most of what makes human life human, and preferable to the fraught and impoverished societies of the great apes, depends on moral cognition. From this view of the (...)
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  41. Ecological Hierarchy and Biodiversity.Christopher Lean & Kim Sterelny - 2016 - In Justin Garson, Anya Plutynski & Sahotra Sarkar (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Biodiversity. London: Routledge. pp. 56 - 68.
  42.  73
    Basic Minds.Kim Sterelny - 1995 - Philosophical Perspectives 9 (AI, Connectionism and Philosophi):251-70.
  43.  49
    Local Ecological Communities.Kim Sterelny - 2006 - Philosophy of Science 73 (2):215-231.
    A phenomenological community is an identifiable assemblage of organisms in a local habitat patch: a local wetland or mudflat are typical examples. Such communities are typically persistent: membership and abundance stay fairly constant over time. In this paper I discuss whether phenomenological communities are functionally structured, causal systems that play a role in determining the presence and abundance of organisms in a local habitat patch. I argue they are not, if individualist models of community assembly are vindicated; i.e., if the (...)
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  44.  41
    Artifacts, Symbols, Thoughts.Kim Sterelny - 2017 - Biological Theory 12 (4):236-247.
    Until relatively recently, it was often supposed that changes in the material record of hominin life indexed advances in hominin cognitive sophistication in a relatively direct way. In particular, the “Upper Paleolithic Transition”—an apparently abrupt increase in the complexity and disparity of our material culture—was thought to signal the arrival of the fully human mind. While the idea of a direct relationship between material complexity and cognitive sophistication still has some defenders, this view has largely been abandoned. It is now (...)
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  45. Symbiosis, Evolvability and Modularity.Kim Sterelny - manuscript
    This paper explores the connections between inheritance systems, evolvability and modularity. I argue that the transmission of symbiotic micro-organisms is an inheritance system, and one that is evolutionarily significant because symbionts generate biologically crucial aspects of their hosts’ organisation through modular developmental pathways. More specifically, I develop and defend five theses.
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  46. Fodor's Nativism.Kim Sterelny - 1989 - Philosophical Studies 55 (February):119-41.
  47.  82
    The Adapted Mind.Kim Sterelny - 1995 - Biology and Philosophy 10 (3):365-380.
  48.  53
    Content, Control and Display: The Natural Origins of Content.Kim Sterelny - 2015 - Philosophia 43 (3):549-564.
    Hutto and Satne identify three research traditions attempting to explain the place of intentional agency in a wholly natural world: naturalistic reduction; sophisticated behaviourism, and pragmatism, and suggest that insights from all three are necessary. While agreeing with that general approach, I develop a somewhat different package, offering an outline of a vindicating genealogy of our interpretative practices. I suggest that these practices had their original foundation in the elaboration of much more complex representation-guided control structures in our lineage and (...)
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  49.  54
    Why Reason? Hugo Mercier's and Dan Sperber's The Enigma of Reason: A New Theory of Human Understanding.Kim Sterelny - 2018 - Mind and Language 33 (5):502-512.
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  50.  47
    SNAFUS: An Evolutionary Perspective.Kim Sterelny - 2007 - Biological Theory 2 (3):317-328.
    Human cultural life is replete with examples of adaptations to the social, physical, and biological environments that have been built gradually, cumulatively, by hidden-hand mechanisms. The impressive technologies, natural history databases, and exchange networks of traditional peoples have been built in this way. But the ethnological record is also replete with evidence of maladaptive beliefs and practices, and of failures to adapt to changing circumstances. This paper is about such failures. In what ways is cultural evolution constrained, and what explains (...)
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