COMPLEXITY AND THE FUNCTION OF MIND IN NATURE

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Complexity And The Function Of Mind In Nature

Author : Peter Godfrey-Smith
ISBN : 0521646243
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 81.79 MB
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This book explains the relationship between intelligence and environmental complexity, and in so doing links philosophy of mind to more general issues about the relations between organisms and environments, and to the general pattern of 'externalist' explanations. The author provides a biological approach to the investigation of mind and cognition in nature. In particular he explores the idea that the function of cognition is to enable agents to deal with environmental complexity. The history of the idea in the work of Dewey and Spencer is considered, as is the impact of recent evolutionary theory on our understanding of the place of mind in nature.
Category: Philosophy

Darwinian Populations And Natural Selection

Author : Peter Godfrey-Smith
ISBN : 9780191567780
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 61.75 MB
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In 1859 Darwin described a deceptively simple mechanism that he called "natural selection," a combination of variation, inheritance, and reproductive success. He argued that this mechanism was the key to explaining the most puzzling features of the natural world, and science and philosophy were changed forever as a result. The exact nature of the Darwinian process has been controversial ever since, however. Godfrey-Smith draws on new developments in biology, philosophy of science, and other fields to give a new analysis and extension of Darwin's idea. The central concept used is that of a "Darwinian population," a collection of things with the capacity to undergo change by natural selection. From this starting point, new analyses of the role of genes in evolution, the application of Darwinian ideas to cultural change, and "evolutionary transitions" that produce complex organisms and societies are developed. Darwinian Populations and Natural Selection will be essential reading for anyone interested in evolutionary theory
Category: Philosophy

Functions Selection And Mechanisms

Author : Philippe Huneman
ISBN : 9789400753044
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 44.37 MB
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This volume handles in various perspectives the concept of function and the nature of functional explanations, topics much discussed since two major and conflicting accounts have been raised by Larry Wright and Robert Cummins’ papers in the 1970s. Here, both Wright’s ‘etiological theory of functions’ and Cummins’ ‘systemic’ conception of functions are refined and elaborated in the light of current scientific practice, with papers showing how the ‘etiological’ theory faces several objections and may in reply be revisited, while its counterpart became ever more sophisticated, as researchers discovered fresh applications for it. Relying on a firm knowledge of the original positions and debates, this volume presents cutting-edge research evincing the complexities that today pertain in function theory in various sciences. Alongside original papers from authors central to the controversy, work by emerging researchers taking novel perspectives will add to the potential avenues to be followed in the future. Not only does the book adopt no a priori assumptions about the scope of functional explanations, it also incorporates material from several very different scientific domains, e.g. neurosciences, ecology, or technology. In general, functions are implemented in mechanisms; and functional explanations in biology have often an essential relation with natural selection. These two basic claims set the stage for this book’s coverage of investigations concerning both ‘functional’ explanations, and the ‘metaphysics’ of functions. It casts new light on these claims, by testing them through their confrontation with scientific developments in biology, psychology, and recent developments concerning the metaphysics of realization. Rather than debating a single theory of functions, this book presents the richness of philosophical issues raised by functional discourse throughout the various sciences.​
Category: Philosophy

From Animals To Animats 7

Author : Bridget Hallam
ISBN : 0262582171
Genre : Computers
File Size : 85.54 MB
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Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Simulation of Adaptive Behavior
Category: Computers

Systems Theory For Pragmatic Schooling Toward Principles Of Democratic Education

Author : C. Cunningham
ISBN : 9781137449320
Genre : Education
File Size : 68.74 MB
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Writing for educators and education leaders, Cunningham shows that combining a philosophy of pragmatism with thinking about education as systems can illuminate challenges in contemporary schooling and provide practical solutions for creating a democratic education.
Category: Education

Naturalism And Normativity

Author : Mario De Caro
ISBN : 9780231508872
Genre : Science
File Size : 65.38 MB
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Normativity concerns what we ought to think or do and the evaluations we make. For example, we say that we ought to think consistently, we ought to keep our promises, or that Mozart is a better composer than Salieri. Yet what philosophical moral can we draw from the apparent absence of normativity in the scientific image of the world? For scientific naturalists, the moral is that the normative must be reduced to the nonnormative, while for nonnaturalists, the moral is that there must be a transcendent realm of norms. Naturalism and Normativity engages with both sides of this debate. Essays explore philosophical options for understanding normativity in the space between scientific naturalism and Platonic supernaturalism. They articulate a liberal conception of philosophy that is neither reducible to the sciences nor completely independent of them-yet is one that maintains the right to call itself naturalism. Contributors think in new ways about the relations among the scientific worldview, our experience of norms and values, and our movements in the space of reason. Detailed discussions include the relationship between philosophy and science, physicalism and ontological pluralism, the realm of the ordinary, objectivity and subjectivity, truth and justification, and the liberal naturalisms of Donald Davidson, John Dewey, John McDowell, and Ludwig Wittgenstein.
Category: Science

The Evolution Of Agency And Other Essays

Author : Kim Sterelny
ISBN : 0521645379
Genre : Science
File Size : 67.80 MB
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A leading philosopher of biology presents a collection of essays on biological evolution.
Category: Science

Philosophy Of Experimental Biology

Author : Marcel Weber
ISBN : 1139453912
Genre : Science
File Size : 29.26 MB
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Philosophy of Experimental Biology explores some central philosophical issues concerning scientific research in experimental biology, including genetics, biochemistry, molecular biology, developmental biology, neurobiology, and microbiology. It seeks to make sense of the explanatory strategies, concepts, ways of reasoning, approaches to discovery and problem solving, tools, models and experimental systems deployed by scientific life science researchers and also integrates developments in historical scholarship, in particular the New Experimentalism. It concludes that historical explanations of scientific change that are based on local laboratory practice need to be supplemented with an account of the epistemic norms and standards that are operative in science. This book should be of interest to philosophers and historians of science as well as to scientists.
Category: Science

Information And Meaning In Evolutionary Processes

Author : William F. Harms
ISBN : 1139451626
Genre : Science
File Size : 23.67 MB
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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.
Category: Science

Reasoning In Biological Discoveries

Author : Lindley Darden
ISBN : 1139458612
Genre : Science
File Size : 27.80 MB
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Reasoning in Biological Discoveries brings together a series of essays, which focus on one of the most heavily debated topics of scientific discovery. Collected together and richly illustrated, Darden's essays represent a groundbreaking foray into one of the major problems facing scientists and philosophers of science. Divided into three sections, the essays focus on broad themes, notably historical and philosophical issues at play in discussions of biological mechanism; and the problem of developing and refining reasoning strategies, including interfield relations and anomaly resolution. Darden summarizes the philosophy of discovery and elaborates on the role that mechanisms play in biological discovery. Throughout the book, she uses historical case studies to extract advisory reasoning strategies for discovery. Examples in genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry, immunology, neuroscience and evolutionary biology reveal the process of discovery in action.
Category: Science