By Franz M. Wuketits
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Additional resources for Evolutionary epistemology and its implications for humankind
It has been flatly stated, by Dobzhansky et al. (1977, p. 30) for example, that "the evolution of organisms depends on changes in the DNA" and there is no mechanism by which the process of transmitting information from the DNA to protein structures (being responsible for the organism's functions) can be reversed. Hence it follows that "if an organism is raised in a new environment, this may alter the relative amounts or dispositions of different types of protein molecules, in such a way as to render the organism better able to survive the new conditions.
During the last fifteen years evolutionary epistemology has developed rapidly and an increasing number of publications cover its general and particular aspects (see the evolutionary epistemology bibliography by Campbell, Heyes, and Callebaut 1987, which contains relevant books and articles published up to the 1980s). However, many problems remain to be solved and many objections need to be removed. I hope that this book at least can serve as a guide to the evolutionary-epistemology controversies and generate further discussion.
I do so, however, because I am convinced that the evolutionary view of (human) knowledge can indeed help Page x us solve some venerable scientific and philosophical problems and that it can throw much light on human nature. Besides, what does seem clear (and what should be admitted even by the critics) is that evolutionary epistemology does the best job of generating the dialogue between naturalists and philosophersand between American and European philosophical traditions. So, when David E. Shaner asked me to contribute to his Philosophy and Biology Series, I did not hesitate to take this opportunity to compose a full-length work on evolutionary epistemology, to present its foundation and implications, and to sketch my own view of the problems in question.
Evolutionary epistemology and its implications for humankind by Franz M. Wuketits