Publication 5159

Diettrich O. (2006) The biological boundary conditions for our classical physical world view. In: Gontier N., van Bendegem J. P. & Aerts D. (eds.) Evolutionary epistemology, language and culture: A non-adaptationist, systems theoretical approach. Springer, Dordrecht: 67–93. Fulltext at
It is shown that the laws of nature providing us with cognitive survival competence are not objective properties of the world, rather they depend on the previously acquired phenotype in the same sense as the acting competence of organisms depends on the previously acquired organic phenotype. For example: the law of energy-conservation can be derived from the homogeneity of time. But homogeneity in time is defined by how our internal clock (which is part of our phenotype) is constructed. Cognitive evolution is subject to the boundary condition that will result in a world view (i.e. physics) that has to be invariant under all we do within this world-view. As locomotion is the oldest and most important capability of our ancestors our world view must be invariant first of all under locomotion, i.e. it has to be Galilei-invariant. Emmy Noether has shown that this is sufficient to derive the 10 conservation laws of classical mechanics. The other so-called laws of nature are defined as invariants of physical measurements. Therefore, cognitive evolution itself has brought about what we call the laws of nature and, therefore, cannot be subject to these laws as advocated by Campbell.

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