SOPhiA 2017

Salzburgiense Concilium Omnibus Philosophis Analyticis

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Programme - Talk

The Problem of Speciation in the Cultural Evolution of Signaling Systems
(Philosophy of Science , English)

The theory of biological evolution (BE) in the wide and the modern synthesis in the narrow sense could close the gap between micro- and macro level phenomena in the life sciences to a significant extent. It should be expected that a proper theory of cul-tural evolution (CE) can provide something similar in the domain of the social scienc-es, which seem to be afflicted by a very similar divide (Mesoudi 2011). Species are reproductive families in the biological evolution and crucial for macro level taxono-my/classification whereas in CE we can only talk of quasispecies (Schurz 2011). The reason for this problem is blending inheritance, a two-folded phenomenon that occurs much more frequently in CE than in BE. Nevertheless, a macro level taxonomy seems necessary in order to enable the realization of the claim formulated above. To be evolutionary, such a taxonomy cannot rely on similarity alone but has to involve real reproduction, so a phylogenetic classification of some sort is needed that takes the quasispecies problem into account. (Meta)populations as described in the CIPC (Millstein 2010, 2015) - the causal interactionist population concept - can serve as a more proper formal cluster (using graph-theory) of classification based on the rates of interactions between their elements. I will argue that this shall replace the species concept in CE. In the case of the evolution of semantic forms, the signaling game of coordiantion (Lewis 1969, Huttegger 2008) can serve as a formal microlevel model (using game-theory) that is -- as a possible application -- seemlessly transferable into the macrolevel cluster/dynamic.

Chair: Birgit Benzing
Time: 14:30-15:00, 14 September 2017 (Thursday)
Location: SR 1.006

Karim Baraghith 
(Heinrich-Heine University, Germany)

Karim Baraghith studied Philosophy, History and Biology at the Johannes-Gutenberg-Universität/Mainz. Currently he is a PhD student and research fellow at the chair of Prof. Gerhard Schurz (Heinrich-Heine-University/Duesseldorf). His fields of research are the generalized theory of evolution, teleosemantics, evolutionary game theory and philosophy of biology.

Relevant Literature:

Baraghith, K. (2015): Kulturelle Evolution und die Rolle von Memen: ein Mehrebenenmodell, Peter-Lang-Verlag, Frankfurt a. M.

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