Evolutionary Epistemology of Donald Campbell

Journal of Philosophical Investigations at University of Tabriz 12 (22):45-62 (2018)
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Abstract

Donald Thomas Campbell is among the psychology and sociology scientists which has played a great role in developing the evolutionary approach towards philosophy of science, morals and in particular epistemology. Campbell named his epistemological ideas which are a kind of descriptive epistemology, evolutionary epistemology. In this approach, he uses the logic of natural selection process to explain the different levels of epistemology from biological levels to culture and science levels. In other words, he is trying to classify the general theories on the epistemology relating to the natural selection by the data gained from biology, psychology, and sociology sciences. Campbell considers blind variation and selective retention mechanism as universal mechanism of evolutionary processes among biological, learning, creativity and scientific changes processes. In this paper, in addition to giving a descriptive-analytical report and criticizing the evolutionary epistemology of Campbell, we also pay attention to the psychological results of his evolutionary epistemology.

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