Advanced search
1 file | 202.42 KB

Natural selection does care about truth

Author
Organization
Abstract
True beliefs are better guides to the world than false ones. This is the commonsense assumption that undergirds theorizing in evolutionary epistemology. According to Alvin Plantinga, however, evolution by natural selection does not care about truth, it only cares about fitness. If our cognitive faculties are the products of blind evolution, we have no reason to trust them, anytime or anywhere. Evolutionary naturalism, consequently, is a self-defeating position. Following up on earlier objections, we uncover three additional flaws in Plantinga's latest formulation of his argument: a failure to appreciate adaptive path dependency, an incoherent conception of content ascription, and a conflation of commonsense and scientific beliefs, which we diagnose as the ‘foundationalist fallacy’. More fundamentally, Plantinga’s reductive formalism with respect to the issue of cognitive reliability is inadequate to deal with relevant empirical details.
Keywords
path dependency, adaptation, evolutionary epistemology, semantic epiphenomenalism, arbitrary content labeling, cognitive scaffolding, foundationalist fallacy

Downloads

  • Boudry Vlerick - Evolution Does Care About Truth.pdf
    • full text
    • |
    • open access
    • |
    • PDF
    • |
    • 202.42 KB

Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

Chicago
Boudry, Maarten, and Michael Vlerick. 2014. “Natural Selection Does Care About Truth.” International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 28 (1): 65–77.
APA
Boudry, M., & Vlerick, M. (2014). Natural selection does care about truth. INTERNATIONAL STUDIES IN THE PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE, 28(1), 65–77.
Vancouver
1.
Boudry M, Vlerick M. Natural selection does care about truth. INTERNATIONAL STUDIES IN THE PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE. 2014;28(1):65–77.
MLA
Boudry, Maarten, and Michael Vlerick. “Natural Selection Does Care About Truth.” INTERNATIONAL STUDIES IN THE PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE 28.1 (2014): 65–77. Print.
@article{4374618,
  abstract     = {True beliefs are better guides to the world than false ones. This is the commonsense assumption that undergirds theorizing in evolutionary epistemology. According to Alvin Plantinga, however, evolution by natural selection does not care about truth, it only cares about fitness. If our cognitive faculties are the products of blind evolution, we have no reason to trust them, anytime or anywhere. Evolutionary naturalism, consequently, is a self-defeating position. Following up on earlier objections, we uncover three additional flaws in Plantinga's latest formulation of his argument: a failure to appreciate adaptive path dependency, an incoherent conception of content ascription, and a conflation of commonsense and scientific beliefs, which we diagnose as the {\textquoteleft}foundationalist fallacy{\textquoteright}. More fundamentally, Plantinga{\textquoteright}s reductive formalism with respect to the issue of cognitive reliability is inadequate to deal with relevant empirical details.},
  author       = {Boudry, Maarten and Vlerick, Michael},
  issn         = {0269-8595},
  journal      = {INTERNATIONAL STUDIES IN THE PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE},
  keyword      = {path dependency,adaptation,evolutionary epistemology,semantic epiphenomenalism,arbitrary content labeling,cognitive scaffolding,foundationalist fallacy},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {65--77},
  title        = {Natural selection does care about truth},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02698595.2014.915651},
  volume       = {28},
  year         = {2014},
}

Altmetric
View in Altmetric
Web of Science
Times cited: