Evolutionary theory of knowledge

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The evolutionary theory of knowledge dedicates itself to the problems of the philosophical theory of knowledge under Zuhilfename of biological conceptions from the evolution theory. While Kant could only state that (A priori) terms to humans such as space, time and causality already from the beginning to be available, so that he can come to realizations explains the evolutionary theory of knowledge this by the evolutionary development of sensory organs, brain functions, as well as linguistic and cultural abilities, going over hundreds million years.

Like many other theories of knowledge also the evolutionary theory of knowledge sees the idea of objective truth extremely critical. If eyes us useful pictures and/or. Thinking procedures us successful explanations supply, then this does not mean that the world is actually like that like we them sees or to think. In many cases we know even that our perception deceives us and that additional theories (molecular structure, relativity theory, quantum mechanics) need vordergründige perceptions or explanations, in order to make large realizations possible. These had however the character of constructions and hypotheses, which can agree with a hypothetical objective reality, but. It is sufficient for the science that they function and/or. successful prognoses make possible. In accordance with the evolutionary Erkenntistheorie is however plausible it that a long-term development takes place here to relatively more truth and objectivity.

In contrast to this the actually close relatives attitude of the radical constructionalism stands in sharp contrast: This leans the existence of a ontologischen or objective reality not in principle off (like the Solipsismus), however each possibility is very probably denied that beyond a inter+subjective consent objective characteristics of the reality could be accessible. The sharpness of this conflict is often only difficult for the outstanding one to reconstruct.

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humans and Zecke

the evolutionary theory of knowledge can one illustrate as follows: A Zecke is blind and deaf and recognizes the world particularly on the basis temperatures. Warmblüter like humans, strip a Zecke from the grass. The body warmth is sufficient the Zecke, in order to recognize humans as potential food suppliers. Humans among themselves and all Warmblüter are thus “alike” for a Zecke.

Humans against it recognize another humans also (among other things) by his appearance, his course, his voice, his intelligence, his smell and many thousands other characteristics, so that humans humans can differentiate not only of animals, but also individually from each other.

Thus the human perception of the reality is many finer (and thus more near at the reality) than the rough perception of the fewer developed Zecke.

See also to http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diskussion:Evolution äre_Erkenntnistheorie#Die_Erkenntnisf.C3.A4higkeiten_einer_Zecke

something similar and competitive beginnings

the evolutionary theory of knowledge is a beginning of the theory of knowledge, which human recognizing from the regularities of the evolution theory deduces. It is close the Soziobiologie and to the evolutionary ethics and raises (partly) the requirement the philosophical problems of the theory of knowledge to have solved.

Kant and Descartes blocked the entrance to the objective reality to the human spirit. They stated that the reality is excluding a product of our perception, and thus reality is objectively not recordable.

The evolutionary Erkenntistheorie is a biologistic and naturalistischer attempt to overcome this barrier and to harmonize spirit and reality again.

Like the evolutionary theory of knowledge also the radicals constructionalism is a theory of the Neo Konstruktivismus. They are common to the opinion that reality is recognized not surely, but designed in the spirit. But while for the radicals constructionalism in these Viabiliät the unsecured realization each way is passable, according to evolutionary theory of knowledge the most useful explanation patterns became generally accepted.


first beginnings of an evolutionary theory of knowledge Spencer and George Simmel came from harsh ore. Most beginnings of evolutionary theories of knowledge appoint yourself however to a place out “natural child” from wanting pool of broadcasting corporations Van Orman Quine of 1969. In this essay he asks himself, why the categories of our language should correspond to those the world. It represents the thesis that we are born with the ability categorizations to form, us help to survive, because: “Creatures inveterately wrong into their inductions have A pathetic but praisworthy tendency ton the before reproducing their child. “With it Quine does not represent however the theory that actually an evolution took place, but only that the kind, to which I belong would have survived not with unsuitable categories. Quine is coherentist and Naturalist, why for him the solution of philosophical problems is permissible by scientific realizations. Quine represents the position of the coherentism in the theory of knowledge. Within this position the justification of our categories finds their place by the evolution with Quine only. This aspect will frequently forget from many representatives of evolutionary theories of knowledge. A first larger systematic version was only submitted by Konrad Lorenz ( the back of the mirror. Attempt of a natural history of human recognizing, 1973), which was developed in the further by Gerhard Vollmer. A further representative is the Austrian sea biologist Rupert Riedl.


all evolutionary beginnings is together that they regard the structures of the human “thinking apparatus” as product of the evolution, exactly like all remaining organs also. The evolutionary theory of knowledge goes beyond this to a large extent accepted acceptance, and concludes that there must be an agreement of subjective realization structures with the physical reality, if the realization structures developed as evolutionary adjustment to the environment. It necessarily presupposes thereby (epistemological) a realism , which speaks straight against the evolutionary theory of knowledge. For example one can say that the illustration and the recognition and processing processes when seeing and recognizing a branch of a tree to run off, to take place only in such a way be able that they correspond to the actual reality. Otherwise an organism, which is not sufficient for this requirement, would not survive can (e.g. an ape) and therefore, swinging from branch to branch, not among our ancestors rank. The ape does not have to be able to recognize distances within atomic or astronomical ranges. Only the Mesokosmos is accessible to the direct perception and experience. Can beyond that only theoretically - scientific realization be won, whose material objects can be made descriptive only if their regular transformation is possible in the Mesokosmos. It refers

2 the fundamental philosophical criticism at the evolutionary theory of knowledge to the fact that this can be attributed to a special form of the relativism. The relativism however is considered to be even absolute as contradictory, there its main statement (everything is relative) is.

One of the most substantial objections of the philosophical Epistemeologie is that that the evolutionary theory of knowledge can explain at the most (to a large extent undisputed) the emergence (genesis) to the realization at the basis lying organic structures, but neither something over the question, as we can determine, whether we could trust a realization, some more over the conditions and can state borders of the realization or their origins (the substantial problems of the theory of knowledge).

Furthermore it is to be marked restrictivy that there are innumerable examples from the perception psychology (for examples see optical deception), which show that our perception apparatus does not function evenly realistically.

Finally it is criticized that those is evolutionary theory of knowledge plausibly, but circular letter: It proves only… before the presupposing: The unit of evolution and evolution of the realization ability. 3

Karl Raimund Popper and Stephen Toulmin transferred this concept to the science theory, in the special to the science development.


1 Peter Möller: Evolutionary theory of knowledge
2 Bertram charcoal burners: Evolutionary theory of knowledge (Vollmer)
3 Annettes Philosophiestübchen


Ontological Relativity and OTHER essay. New York: Columbia University press, S. 115 - 138

  • Gerhard Vollmer: Evolutionary theory of knowledge. (1975) Stuttgart
  • Rupert Riedl: Biology of the realization. The masterhistorical bases of the reason. (1980) Berlin/Hamburg
  • Bernhard Irrgang: Text book of the evolutionary theory of knowledge, Reinhardt, 2. Aufl Munich 2001, ISBN 3-8252-1765-5

Web on the left of

see also

evolutionary ethics, evolutionism


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