Cognitive Homology: Psychological Kinds as Biological Kinds in an Evolutionary Developmental Cognitive Science

  • Author / Creator
    Murphy, Taylor S.
  • In this philosophy of science thesis I develop a conceptual framework for thinking about cognitive activities by drawing on the conceptual resources of evolutionary developmental biology, providing first steps toward an evolutionary developmental cognitive neuroscience. Focusing on ontological, epistemological, and explanatory dimensions, I develop a concept of cognitive homology grounded in sound theory and scientific practice. A cognitive homologue is the same cognitive character under every variety of form and function. Extending operational criteria from biology, I analyze evidential relationships between empirical data in cognitive science and cognitive homologies. The explanatory contribution is twofold. First, it succeeds in providing explanatory grounds for causal relationships among representational formats, and here I focus on pretense and the imagination in philosophy. Second, my account clarifies the relationship between evolution, development, and evolutionary history, pointing to promising contributions in the context of current philosophical theorizing on the evolution of the human mindreading (mentalization) system.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2013
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Nye, Howard (Philosophy)
    • Dawson, Michael (Psychology)
    • Pelletier, Francis Jeffry (Philosophy)
    • Brigandt, Ingo (Philosophy)