Journal for General Philosophy of Science

, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 309-328

First online:

Die biotheoretischen Mängel der Evolutionären Erkenntnistheorie

  • Wolfgang Friedrich GutmannAffiliated withForschungsinstitut Natur Museum Senckenberg
  • , Michael WeingartenAffiliated withForschungsinstitut Natur Museum Senckenberg

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The biotheoretical shortcomings of the evolutionary epistemology


The concept of evolutionary epistemology has been critically discussed by philosophers who have mainly pointed to unacceptable philosophical tenets (cf. Vittorio Hösle, this Journal, Vol. 19 (1988), pp. 348–377). However, as most philosophers are extremely reluctant to critically treat the biological theories on which the ideas of evolutionary epistemology are based, the invalid concepts of adaption escaped their critical scrutiny. Therefore the influence of preconceived biological theories on the biological basis of evolutionary epistemology and the distorting consequences on the philosophical level could not be elaborated. The following context sketches a new view of organismic reasoning and its impact on evolutionary aspects of epistemology. The basic theorem of adaptation is shown to be unacceptable and invalid if organisms are conceived as autonomous entities which can only evolve according to their specific internal organismic properties.

Key words

Evolution evolutionäre Erkenntnistheorie Organismus Autonomie Abbildungskritik