Information and Meaning in Evolutionary Processes
This book is intended to help transform epistemology - the traditional study of knowledge - into a rigorous discipline by removing conceptual roadblocks and developing formal tools required for a fully naturalized epistemology. The evolutionary approach which Harms favours begins with the common observation that if our senses and reasoning were not reliable, then natural selection would have eliminated them long ago. The challenge for some time has been how to transform these informal musings about evolutionary epistemology into a rigorous theoretical discipline capable of complementing current scientific studies of the evolution of cognition with a philosophically defensible account of meaning and justification.
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adaptive argument basic behavior beliefs biological evolution causal cells Chapter characterization complex concepts Consequently conventions cultural evolution cultural transmission Darwinian Dawkins Dawkins’s Dennett determined distribution dynamics entities entropy environment environmental epistemic evolutionary epistemology evolutionary processes evolutionary theory fact fitness vector frequency function genes genetic fitness genotype Hull Hull’s human ideas inclusive fitness increase indicate individual information theory intentional stance interaction interactors involved kind knowledge lineage log2 matter meaning mechanisms meme memetics Millikan moral mutation mutual information natural selection naturalistic normative intuitions notion ontology optimization particular payoffs phenotypic philosophical population preferences primitive content probability problem properties random reason relationship reliability replicator replicator dynamics representation reproductive response result rules scientific scientists selection and variation selfish Selfish Gene semantic sense sensors signaling system simple bees sort specific structure supervenience things tracking traits understanding units of selection vervets