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Darwin Machines and the Nature of Knowledge

Darwin Machines and the Nature of Knowledge

Henry Plotkin

ISBN 9780674192812

Publication date: 04/25/1997

Bringing together evolutionary biology, psychology, and philosophy, Henry Plotkin presents a new science of knowledge that traces an unbreakable link between instinct and our ability to know. Since our ability to know our world depends primarily on what we call intelligence, intelligence must be understood as an extension of instinct. The capacity for knowledge is deeply rooted in our biology and, in a special sense, is shared by all living things.

Praise

  • Plotkin is a psychologist and his book places most emphasis on learning or the acquisition of knowledge and the cultural transmission of that knowledge. It is an extended essay on ‘evolutionary epistemology,’ a phrase coined by D. T. Campbell and rightly seen by Plotkin as a barrier to understanding. Indeed, one of this book’s great virtues is that Plotkin writes incomparably more clearly than most others who have ventured into these fields. His exposition, even of complex issues, is beautifully lucid, his arguments well thought through and his illustrations apt.

    —Nature

Author

  • Henry Plotkin is Professor of Psychobiology and Head of the Department of Psychology at the University College in London.

Book Details

  • 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press

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