Reason, Regulation, and Realism: Towards a Regulatory Systems Theory of Reason and Evolutionary Epistemology

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SUNY Press, 1995 - Philosophy - 432 pages
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This book develops a new naturalist theory of reason and scientific knowledge from a synthesis of philosophy and the new sciences of complex adaptive systems. In particular, the theory of partially self-organizing regulatory systems is now emerging as central to all the life and social sciences, and this book shows how these ideas can be used to illuminate and satisfyingly reconstruct our basic philosophical concepts and principles.

Evolutionary epistemology provides a unifying subject for the book. It is taken as proposing some important commonality between cognitive biological and cognitive epistemic processes. Here, that commonality is found by embedding both in a common model of complex adaptive system dynamics.

New reconstructions are offered on the theories of Jean Piaget, Karl Popper, and Nicholas Rescher which show how their ideas are more deeply illuminated from this perspective in contrast to the formal rationalist interpretations standard among philosophers and scientists.
 

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Contents

Setting the Scene Naturalism and the Prospects for Evolutionary Epistemology and Reason
1
A Philosophical Outline
15
1II Evolutionary Epistemology in a Naturalist Setting
36
Toward a Regulatory Systems Conception of Science
43
Five Regulatory Systems Ideas and Their Use
44
Not Collections to Members but Regulatory Systems to Subsystems Idea 2
51
213 A Framework of Two Dichotomies
64
2II Cognitive Systems Dynamics for Science
71
4VIII Rescher on Evolutionary Epistemology and Method Darwinism
206
4IX Scientific Progress
219
4X Conclusion
222
Regulatory Constructivism Jean Piaget
225
Introduction
226
5I Piagets Regulatory Systems Framework
229
5I2 The Structure and Scope of Genetic Epistemology
238
5I22 Piaget and Products of Processes
244

2II1 Regulation Invariance and Objectivity Idea 3
73
2II2 AdaptationAdaptability RefinementAscent and Progress Idea 4
79
2III Science as an Intrinsically Social Regulatory System Idea 5
96
Reason and the Regulation of Decisions Poppers Evolutionary Epistemology
113
Introduction and Overview
114
Formalism and the Control of Decisions
116
3I2 Popperian Method and Logical Empiricism
119
3I3 Critique of Popperian Method
123
The Popperian Methodological Dilemma
130
Analysis and Critique
131
3II12 Differences in Error Elimination
135
3II13 Error Elimination in World 3 and Plastic Controls
138
3II14 Unity or Schizophrenia? Poppers Problem of Evolutionary Method
141
3II2 Selection of Theories in a Symbolic Environment
143
3II22 Ackermann on Selection in World 3
144
3II23 The Contents of World 3
148
The Design of Method
151
3II25 Conclusion
159
3III Toward a RegulatorySystemsbased Reassessment of the Significance of Poppers Philosophy
160
3III2 The Control of Decisions
162
3III3 Plastic Controls and Social Rationality
168
3III4 Conclusion
175
Regulatory Systems and Pragmatism A Critical Study of Reschers Evolutionary Epistemology
177
Introduction and Summary
178
4I Thesis Pragmatism and Its Critique
181
4II Methodological Pragmatism
182
4III Presumptions Regulative Principles Constitutive Theses and Justification
186
4IV Reprise and Prospect
193
4V Methodological Dynamics
195
4VI Rationality
199
4VII Regulation
202
5I23 Processes and Universal Form
247
5I24 Nonnaturalist Interpretations of Piaget
248
5I3 Genetic Epistemology and Evolutionary Epistemology
249
5II Piagets Normative Epistemology
252
5II3 Piagets Conception of Reason
257
5II4 The Normative Nature of Genetic Epistemology
273
Rationalist or Naturalist?
277
5II6 Conclusion
284
Naturalized Reason
287
Introduction
288
6I Naturalizing Reason
289
612 A Perspective on Reason
291
6I22 Beyond Formal Reason
294
6I3 Naturalization
296
6I32 Theorizing Epistemology Naturalistically
300
6I4 Putnam against Naturalized Reason
302
6I5 What Is It to Naturalize Reason?
309
6II The Nature of Reason
310
6II2 Reason and Regulatory Ideals
318
6113 Contexts of Rational Action
327
6II4 Reason and Efficiency
328
6II5 Naturalist Reason and Creativity
332
6II6 Biology and Reason
334
6II7 The Historical Manifestation of Reason
341
6II8 Conclusion
342
Notes
343
Bibliography
387
Name Index
409
Subject Index
415
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About the author (1995)

C. A. Hooker is Professor of Philosophy at The University of Newcastle, Australia. He is the author of A Realistic Theory of Science and, with Kai Halweg, Issues in Evolutionary Epistemology, also published by SUNY Press.

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