Evolutionary epistemology as a scientific method

Evolutionary epistemology as a scientific method

Nathalie Gontier (CLWF, VUB)



Evolutionary epistemology can provide a unified scientific methodology that enables scholars to study the evolution of life as well as the evolution of cognition, science, culture and any other phenomenon displayed by living organisms. 3 heuristics are presented that allow for a thorough search for the units, levels and mechanisms of evolution. Contrary to previous approaches, units, levels and mechanisms are not identified by pointing out essential features, but rather ostensive definitions are preferred. That is, units are considers as such if a level of evolution and a mechanism of evolution is identifiable. Levels are levels if one can point out units that evolve at that level according to evolutionary theories, and mechanisms are considered as such if one can point out units and levels where the mechanism is active.

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