Evolutionary Epistemology, Rationality and the Sociology of Knowledge

Evolutionary Epistemology, Rationality and the Sociology of Knowledge


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"Bartley and Radnitzky have done the philosophy of knowledge a tremendous service. Scholars now have a superb and up-to-date presentation of the fundamental ideas of evolutionary epistemology."

—Philosophical Books

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780812690392
Publisher: Open Court Publishing Company
Publication date: 03/19/1993
Pages: 492
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

Part IEvolutionary Epistemology5
Chapter I.Philosophy of Biology versus Philosophy of Physics7
1.Philosophy of Biology versus Philosophy of Physics7
2.Philosophy of Physics versus Biology7
3.Leading Themes of the Dominant Philosophy of Physics8
4.Mach's Philosophy of Physics: Presentationalism9
5.Presuppositions of Presentationalism11
6.The Scientific Background to Presentationalism: Philosophy of Physics versus Physics13
7.Presentationalism: Metaphysics Masquerading as Anti-Metaphysical Science16
8.The Challenge of Evolutionary Epistemology17
9.The Development of Popper's Thought18
10.The Evolutionary Epistemologists20
11.Presentationalism is Lamarckian23
12.Sensation is Not Authoritative25
13.The Evolution of Sensation: Campbell versus Wachtershauser26
14.The Comparative Study of Cognitive Structures34
15.About a Frog, Idealistically Disposed36
16.A Summary of the Argument38
17.Why All This Ought Not to be Surprising--And Why It is40
Chapter II.Evolutionary Epistemology47
1.The Selective Elimination Model48
2.Locating the Problem of Knowledge51
3.A Nested Hierarchy of Selective-Retention Processes54
1.Nonmnemonic problem solving57
2.Vicarious locomotor devices58
3.Habit and 4. Instinct60
5.Visually supported thought62
6.Mnemonically supported thought62
7.Socially vicarious exploration: observational learning and imitation67
9.Cultural cumulation70
4.Historical Perspectives on Evolutionary Epistemology73
5.Kant's Categories of Perception and Thought as Evolutionary Products79
6.Pragmatism, Utilitarianism, and Objectivity85
Chapter III.Blind Variation and Selective Retention in Creative Thought as in Other Knowledge Processes91
2.Review of the Theme in Lower Knowledge Processes93
3.Creative Thought96
4.Objections to the Model101
The Gestalt Protest101
Individual Differences and Genius103
The enormous Domain of Possible Thought-Trials to be searched105
5.Status as a Theory108
Chapter IV.Campbell on the Evolutionary Theory of Knowledge115
Chapter V.Light and Life: On the Nutritional Origins of Sensory Perception121
B.The Coevolution of Photosynthesis and Vision--a Speculative Tale122
1.The origin of active locomotion122
2.Photosynthesis and vision under a friendly sun123
3.Photosynthesis and vision under a hostile sun124
4.The advent of oxygen or the blue-green revolution125
5.The parasitic origin of animal vision126
C.Confrontation with Some Facts of Biology and Biochemistry127
1.The photochemical unity of animal vision127
2.The algal connection of animal vision128
3.The biochemical connection between pigments of photosynthesis and animal vision130
4.The generalized connection between photosynthesis and photocontrol pigments131
D.The Narrow Band of Visible Light--A Test for Explanatory Power133
1.The window of the atmosphere--a case of make-believe adaptation133
2.The coincidence between the bands of vision and photosynthesis134
3.The Campbell coincidence136
E.There is More to Vision than Meets the Eye137
Chapter VI.Natural Selection and the Emergence of Mind139
1.Darwin's Natural Selection versus Paley's Natural Theology140
2.Natural Selection and Its Scientific Status143
3.Huxley's Problem147
4.Remarks on the Emergence of Mind150
AppendixOn Light and Life154
Chapter VII.Emergence, Reduction, and Evolutionary Epistemology157
Chapter VIII.On Supposed Circularities in an Empirically Oriented Epistemology163
A."Epistemology is impossible."163
1."We lack a criterion of knowledge."164
2."Self-reference leads to contradictions."165
3."But Godel says..."167
4."No system can explain itself."170
B."Epistemology is possible, but any empirically oriented epistemology is circular."173
1.The argument173
2.The task of epistemology174
3.The existence of virtuous circles176
4.The nature of the supposed circularity182
C."Epistemology might be based on empirical knowledge, but evolutionary epistemology, at least, is circular."188
1."Hypothetical realism is self-refuting."188
2."The real world is nothing but the world of our experience."189
3."The theory of evolution is circular."194
4."Evolution cannot lead to more complexity."196
Part II.Theory of Rationality and Problems of Self Reference203
Chapter IX.Theories of Rationality205
2.Theories of Rationality: Comprehensive Rationality206
3.Limited Rationality208
4.Pancritical Rationality210
5.The Ecology of Rationality213
Chapter X.The Possible Liar217
Chapter XI.Paradox in Critical Rationalism and Related Theories223
2.Formulating CR225
6.Related Theories240
Chapter XII.A Godelian Theorem for Theories of Rationality253
2.The Form of the Theorem257
3.Possible Objections258
4.An Application to the Rationality of People262
Addendum 1985265
Chapter XIII.Comprehensively Critical Rationalism: a Retrospect269
1.Bartley's Original Problem269
2.Bartley's Original Solution270
3.The Tricky Question of Uncriticizability271
4.My 1971 Refutation Updated273
Chapter XIV.In Defense of Self-Applicable Critical Rationalism279
0.The Problem: Explication of the Concept of Rationality, and of Rationality in Inquiry in Particular279
1.Performance on the Object Level of the Two Global Approaches, the Justificationist and the Nonjustificationist Approaches281
2.The Meta-Level: The Level on which the Question of the Self-Applicability of the Justificationist and of the Criticist Context is Raised293
3.On the Alleged Semantical Paradoxes of Self-Applicable Critical Rationalism306
4.Concluding Remarks309
Chapter XV.A Refutation of the Alleged Refutation of Comprehensively Critical Rationalism313
2.The Background of the Debate316
3.What Did I Mean in Declaring that Everything Is Open to Criticism?318
4.A Postian Paradox320
5.An Argument Against Post320
6.Post's Own Alternative323
7.What if Post Were Right about the Paradoxes?325
8.A Review of Post's Earlier Formulations327
9.The Rationality of Statements versus the Rationality of People329
10.The Problem of the Specification of Criticism330
11.The Paradox Reconsidered333
12.The Paradox Reformulated333
13.Necessary or Sufficient?334
14.Criticizability Is Not Captured by Possible Falsity Alone335
15.On Watkins337
Part III.Pationality and the Sociology of Knowledge343
Chapter XVI.Philosophy and the Mirror of Rorty345
1.Rorty, champion of Oakeshott and Foucault, becomes a knight errant in quest of culture. Culture as relativism, historicism, conversations and parlour-games345
2.Our hero's astonishing craftsmanship and some trivial fallacies350
3.The mirror philosophers and their failings: a good diagnosis of a timely demise. Much ado about nothing353
4.Heroic alternatives: language games, speech communities and epistemic authority. Who is in, who is out and who does the deciding? Is kibitzing valuable?361
5.The case of Hans-Georg Gadamer367
6.Adhering to justificationism through thick and thin, our hero has to flee from the dread reflection he sees in his mirror and hides behind the epistemic authorities. Karl Popper's pleas for non-authoritarian hypothetical realism are cruelly ignored370
7.Since the conclusions are identical with the presuppositions, there is no room for maneuver and our hero is forced into a studied neglect of evolutionary epistemology374
8.The proof of this pudding is not in the eating but, supposedly, in the history of philosophy. In the excitement generated by the effort to conceal his vicious circle, it has escaped our hero that in eschewing knowledge as the philosophers' domain, he has deprived himself of the right to appeal to historical knowledge379
9.The Conversation of Mankind. A tragi-comedy entitled Kibitzing in one act. The resemblance between the opinions expressed by the characters and some real opinions is not accidental387
Chapter XVII.Must Naturalism Discredit Naturalism?401
2.Explanation as the Answer to Questions402
3.There is no Knowledge; They Know?406
4.Knowing Presupposes Choosing411
5.Only Choosers Know either Choice or Necessity416
Chapter XVIII.Alienation Alienated: The Economics of Knowledge versus the Psychology and Sociology of Knowledge423
1.A Problem Shift in the Discussion of Marxism423
2.Marx's Paris Manuscripts426
3.Marx on Alienation428
4.A Moment with Freud430
5.Why We Never Know What We Are Talking About or What We Are Doing432
6.Marx, Alienation, Autonomy, and Knowing What We Are Talking About435
7.Why Our Products Must Escape Our Control438
8.Acknowledgement and Alienation440
9.The Sociology of Knowledge441
10.Sociology of Knowledge Does Not Go Far Enough443
11.Marked Knowledge, Defective Knowledge449
12.Concluding Remarks451
Name Index453
Subject Index463

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