Darwin Machines and the Nature of Knowledge (Penguin science)

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9780140230925: Darwin Machines and the Nature of Knowledge (Penguin science)

A scientific look at the nature of knowledge and the Darwinian processes which it propogates, both in the minds of human beings and in the genes of all species. Through the process of natural selection, species acquire behaviours that enable them to survive, thus effectively acquiring knowledge of their environment. The book develops Richard Dawkins's idea of the "memes", the equivalent of genes in the Darwinian process by which human ideas propogate.

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Review:

Plotkin is a psychologist and his book places most emphasis on learning or the acquisition of knowledge and the cultural transmission of that knowledge. It is an extended essay on 'evolutionary epistemology', a phrase coined by D. T. Campbell and rightly seen by Plotkin as a barrier to understanding. Indeed, one of this book's great virtues is that Plotkin writes incomparably more clearly than most others who have ventured into these fields. His exposition, even of complex issues, is beautifully lucid, his arguments well thought through and his illustrations apt.--Nicholas Mackintosh "Nature "

About the Author:

Henry Plotkin is Professor of Psychobiology and Head of the Department of Psychology at the University College in London.

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