Publication 5526

Wuketits F. M. (1992) Adaptation, representation, construction: An issue in evolutionary epistemology. Evolution and Cognition 2: 151–162. Fulltext at
Evolutionary epistemology has been often criticized as unduly ‘adaptationistic’. There is some substance to this criticism. One of the main roots of evolutionary epistemology is indeed an adaptationist theory of evolution. In this paper, however, I give some arguments for a non-adaptationist version of evolutionary epistemology by paying attention to organisms as active systems and organismic constraints for evolutionary change. I also compare this view with some implications of constructivism. The result is that cognition, be it in humans or other living beings, is neither a mere adaptation to, nor a construction of an external world, but rather a phenomenon that is to be explained by the organisms’ requirements and their interrela-tion with the surroundings.

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