© 2006

Evolutionary Epistemology, Language and Culture

A Non-Adaptationist, Systems Theoretical Approach

  • Nathalie Gontier
  • Jean Paul Van Bendegem
  • Diederik Aerts

Part of the Theory and Decision Library A: book series (TDLA, volume 39)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xix
  2. Introduction to evolutionary epistemology, language and culture

  3. Evolutionary epistemology

  4. Evolutionary epistemology and language

  5. Evolutionary epistemology and culture

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 257-257
    2. Tim Ingold
      Pages 259-281
    3. Eugenia Ramirez-Goicoechea
      Pages 283-312
    4. Jean Lachapelle, Luc Faucher, Pierre Poirier
      Pages 313-334
    5. Kathleen Coessens
      Pages 335-350

About this book


For the first time in history, scholars working on language and culture from within an evolutionary epistemological framework, and thereby emphasizing complementary or deviating theories of the Modern Synthesis, were brought together. Of course there have been excellent conferences on Evolutionary Epistemology in the past, as well as numerous conferences on the topics of Language and Culture. However, until now these disciplines had not been brought together into one all-encompassing conference.

Moreover, previously there never had been such stress on alternative and complementary theories of the Modern Synthesis. Today we know that natural selection and evolution are far from synonymous and that they do not explain isomorphic phenomena in the world. ‘Taking Darwin seriously’ is the way to go, but today the time has come to take alternative and complementary theories that developed after the Modern Synthesis, equally seriously, and, furthermore, to examine how language and culture can merit from these diverse disciplines.

As this volume will make clear, a specific inter- and transdisciplinary approach is one of the next crucial steps that needs to be taken, if we ever want to unravel the secrets of phenomena such as language and culture.


Syntax constructivism epistemology evolution experience idea knowledge language linguistics logic mind philosophy semantics subject

Editors and affiliations

  • Nathalie Gontier
    • 1
  • Jean Paul Van Bendegem
    • 1
  • Diederik Aerts
    • 1
  1. 1.Vrije Universiteit BrusselBelgium

Bibliographic information


From the reviews:

"The audience targeted by this book includes scholars working in fields as diverse as evolutionary epistemology, philosophy of science, evolutionary anthropology, evolutionary linguistics, artificial intelligence, and cognitive science. The book is the collection of essays on evolutionary epistemology … . highlight of the book is the many papers dedicated to computer modeling and simulation. … Overall, this is an interesting collection of papers that addresses an interesting topic. Researchers working around the theory of EE will find the book most beneficial." (Jason Brown, The Linguist List, February, 2008)