Information and Meaning in Evolutionary Processes

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Dezember 2014



William Harms develops the conceptual foundations and tools for a science of knowledge through the application of evolutionary theory, thus allowing us to acknowledge the legacy of skepticism while denying its relativistic offspring. The most significant legacy of philosophical skepticism is the realization that our concepts, beliefs and theories are social constructs. This belief has led to epistemological relativism, or the thesis that, since there is no ultimate truth about the world, theory preferences are only a matter of opinion.


Acknowledgements; Introduction; Part I. Generalizing Evolutionary Theory: 1. Replicator theories; 2. Ontologies of evolution and cultural transmission; Part II. Modeling Information Flow in Evolutionary Processes: 3. Population dynamics; 4. Information theory; 5. Selection as an information-transfer process; 6. Multilevel information transfer; 7. Information in internal states; Part III. Meaning Conventions and Normativity: 8. Primitive content; 9. Is and ought; Epilogue: Paley's Watch and other stories; Notes; Appendix: proof of information gain under frequency-independent discrete replicator dynamics for population of n types; References; Index.


'I strongly recommend this book for anyone interested in pursuing the development of a biologically based naturalistic account of knowledge and the evolution of cognitive mechanisms. It is not an easy read but will more than repay the careful reader with suggestive insights and, I believe, a unique slant on the host of problems that we have inherited from the work of Donald Campbell.' Michael Bradie, Bowling Green State University 'This book contains original insights about information transmission and the evolution of meaning. After you read Part III the is/ought question will never look the same.' Brian Skyrms, University of California, Irvine
EAN: 9780521815147
ISBN: 0521815142
Untertitel: 'Cambridge Studies in Philosoph'. New. Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: Dezember 2014
Seitenanzahl: 282 Seiten
Format: gebunden
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