United in Diversity: An Organic Overview of Non-Adaptationist Evolutionary Epistemology

  • Marta FacoettiEmail author


The non-adaptationist approach to evolutionary epistemology (EE) was born at the end of the 1970s as an alternative to traditional adaptationist EE. Despite the fact that non-adaptationist EE offers compelling interpretative models and its explanatory power is widely recognised, an organic overview of the broad non-adaptationist field is still lacking. In this paper, I propose to fill this gap. To this effect, after providing a systematisation of the perspectives that are commonly associated with non-adaptationist EE, I will discuss two recurring orders of arguments that non-adaptationist scholars, often independently of one another, put forward against their adaptationist rivals. By offering a way to conceive non-adaptationist evolutionary epistemological approaches as part of a structured whole, the resulting systematic account is meant to provide a reading grid, a compass for orienting oneself in the uneven territories of non-adaptationist EE. Moreover, the consequent identification of two recurring argumentative bodies is intended to add to the explanatory power of non-adaptationist EE, which in finding new strength in numbers eventually acquires a greater critical efficacy against its adaptationist counterpart.


Evolutionary epistemology Non-adaptationism Adaptationism Overview World-in-itself Epistemic circularity 



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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Applied Evolutionary Epistemology Lab, Centre for Philosophy of SciencesUniversity of LisbonLisbonPortugal

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