Evolution and Learning: The Baldwin Effect Reconsidered

Evolution and Learning: The Baldwin Effect Reconsidered

by Bruce H. Weber
     
 

ISBN-10: 0262731819

ISBN-13: 9780262731812

Pub. Date: 03/30/2007

Publisher: MIT Press

The role of genetic inheritance dominates current evolutionary theory. At the end of the nineteenth century, however, several evolutionary theorists independently speculated that learned behaviors could also affect the direction and rate of evolutionary change. This notion was called the Baldwin effect, after the psychologist James Mark Baldwin. In recent years,

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Overview

The role of genetic inheritance dominates current evolutionary theory. At the end of the nineteenth century, however, several evolutionary theorists independently speculated that learned behaviors could also affect the direction and rate of evolutionary change. This notion was called the Baldwin effect, after the psychologist James Mark Baldwin. In recent years, philosophers and theorists of a variety of ontological and epistemological backgrounds have begun to employ the
Baldwin effect in their accounts of the evolutionary emergence of mind and of how mind, through behavior, might affect evolution.

The essays in this book discuss the originally proposed Baldwin effect, how it was modified over time,
and its possible contribution to contemporary empirical and theoretical evolutionary studies. The topics include the effect of the modern evolutionary synthesis on the notion of the Baldwin effect, the nature and role of niche construction in contemporary evolutionary theory, the Baldwin effect in the context of developmental systems theory, the possible role of the Baldwin effect in computational cognitive science biosemiotics, and the emergence of consciousness and language.

The MIT Press

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780262731812
Publisher:
MIT Press
Publication date:
03/30/2007
Series:
Life and Mind: Philosophical Issues in Biology and Psychology
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.75(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

Contributors
Preface
IBaldwin Boosters, Baldwin Skeptics1
1Baldwin and His Many Effects3
2Baldwin Effects and the Expansion of the Explanatory Repertoire in Evolutionary Biology33
3Between Baldwin Skepticism and Baldwin Boosterism53
4The Baldwin Effect: A Crane, Not a Skyhook69
5Multilevel Selection in a Complex Adaptive System: The Problem of Language Origins81
6Postscript on the Baldwin Effect and Niche Construction107
IIBaldwinism and Development113
7Evolution, Development, and the Individual Acquisition of Traits: What We've Learned since Baldwin115
8Baldwin and Beyond: Organic Selection and Genetic Assimilation141
9On Having a Hammer169
10Beyond the Baldwin Effect: James Mark Baldwin's "Social Heredity," Epigenetic Inheritance, and Niche Construction193
IIIBeyond Baldwinism217
11The Baldwin Effect in the Age of Computation219
12The Role of Predator-Induced Polyphenism in the Evolution of Cognition: A Baldwinian Speculation235
13Baldwin and Biosemiotics: What Intelligence Is For253
14The Hierarchic Logic of Emergence: Untangling the Interdependence of Evolution and Self-Organization273
15Emergence of Mind and the Baldwin Effect309
Index327

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