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Peculiarities in Mind; Or, on the Absence of Darwin

De Villiers-Botha, Tanya (2011) Peculiarities in Mind; Or, on the Absence of Darwin. [Published Article]

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    A key failing in contemporary philosophy of mind is the lack of attention
    paid to evolutionary theory in its research projects. Notably, where evolution
    is incorporated into the study of mind, the work being done is often described
    as philosophy of cognitive science rather than philosophy of mind. Even
    then, whereas possible implications of the evolution of human cognition are
    taken more seriously within the cognitive sciences and the philosophy of
    cognitive science, its relevance for cognitive science has only been appreciated
    relatively recently, and the approach still comes in for some major criticism
    from prominent theorists within the field. This paper explores some of
    the reasons for this state of affairs and finds that it might have less to do with
    due consideration and well-founded scepticism about the relevance of evolutionary
    theory to these disciplines and more to do with historical accident and
    faulty assumptions on the part of key theorists in these disciplines. It is also
    noted that where cognitive scientists are taking evolution into account in
    their work on the mind, they straying more and more into domains that used
    to fall exclusively under the purview of philosophy of mind as it is traditionally
    conceived – qualia, consciousness, perception, intentionality and so
    forth. The point is made that in ignoring the work being done on the evolution
    of mind, philosophy of mind runs the risk of becoming obsolete.

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    Item Type: Published Article
    Keywords: Evolution, mind, cognitive science, philosophy of mind, Darwin
    Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Theory
    Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
    General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
    Depositing User: Dr. Tanya de Villiers-Botha
    Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2011 10:28
    Last Modified: 20 Sep 2011 10:28
    Item ID: 8801
    Journal or Publication Title: South African Journal of Philosophy
    Publisher: The Philosophical Society of Southern Africa
    Official URL:

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