LINGUIST List 15.1057

Wed Mar 31 2004

Confs: Philosophy of Language/Brussels, Belgium

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  1. nathalie.gontier, Evolutionary Epistemology, Language and Culture

Message 1: Evolutionary Epistemology, Language and Culture

Date: Tue, 30 Mar 2004 10:14:30 -0500 (EST)
From: nathalie.gontier <>
Subject: Evolutionary Epistemology, Language and Culture

Evolutionary Epistemology, Language and Culture 
Short Title: EELC 

Date: 26-May-2004 - 28-May-2004
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Contact: Nathalie Gontier
Contact Email: 
Meeting URL: 

Linguistic Sub-field: Philosophy of Language 

Meeting Description:

The main theme of the Congress is to investigate the origin and
evolution of language and/or culture from within Evolutionary
Epistemology. Evolutionary Epistemology, a term first coined by Donald
T. Campbell, is a fast growing field within philosophy of science
which focuses mainly on the evolution of evolutionary mechanisms (the
EEM programme) and the evolution of evolutionary theories (the
EET-programme), a distinction made by Michael Bradie and William
Harms. The main idea of this discipline is that we should take Darwin
seriously (Michael Ruse), emphasizing the importance of natural
selection in the investigation of the origin and evolution of our
cognitive abilities such as language, culture or science.

Because of recent developments within biology, the time has come
however, to not only take Darwin seriously, but to also investigate
the possibilities other evolutionary theories, such as systemstheory,
theories about self-organization, punctuated equilibrium,
symbiogenesis, insights in the homeobox can bring to the field.

The nature/nurture debate within anthropology has cleared room for an
investigation in the diverse learning strategies and practices used by
members of different cultures and the time has come to ask how these
cognitive learning abilities interact with and evolved out of our
biological cognitive capacities.

Therefore, the Centre for Logic and Philosophy of Science and the
Centre Leo Apostel, both of the Free University of Brussels, organize
a 3-day congress on Evolutionary Epistemology, Language and
Culture. The conference's main aim will be to bring together scholars
working on (the origin and evolution of ) language and/or culture from
within the framework of Evolutionary Epistemology, especially EEM.

Preference will be given to those abstracts that formulate criticisms
towards modularity, universal selection theories and universal
Darwinism, but nevertheless adhere to an evolutionary view to study
language and culture. Evolutionary Epistemology, Language and Culture

3-Day congress, Free University Brussels (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)
- Belgium

May 26-28, 2004

Invited Speakers
- Franz Wuketits - Evolutionary Epistemology: The Nonadaptationist
- Bart de Boer - Computer modelling as a tool for understanding
language evolution
- Marek Czachor - Do we think in quantum ways? Latent semantic
analysis and symbolic AI as seen by a quantum physicist
- Olaf Diettrich - The Boundaries of Cognition
- Tim Ingold - Beyond genes and memes: a relational approach to the
evolution of language and culture

Full program and information on how to register is now available at
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