Books  Evolutionary Biology  Evolutionary Biology 

The Evolution of Reason: Logic as a Branch of Biology

By: William S Cooper

224 pages, 28 line illus

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | Jan 2004 | #143888 | ISBN: 0521540259
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £24.99 $31/€28 approx
Hardback | Apr 2001 | #118958 | ISBN: 0521791960
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £63.99 $78/€72 approx

About this book

The formal systems of logic have ordinarily been regarded as independent of biology, but recent developments in evolutionary theory suggest that biology and logic may be intimately interrelated. In this book, William Cooper outlines a theory of rationality in which logical law emerges as an intrinsic aspect of evolutionary biology. This biological perspective on logic, though at present unorthodox, could change traditional ideas about the reasoning process. Cooper examines the connections between logic and evolutionary biology and illustrates how logical rules are derived directly from evolutionary principles, and therefore have no independent status of their own. Laws of decision theory, utility theory, induction, and deduction are reinterpreted as natural consequences of evolutionary processes. Cooper's connection of logical law to evolutionary theory ultimately results in a unified foundation for an evolutionary science of reason. It will be of interest to professionals and students of philosophy of science, logic, evolutionary theory, and cognitive science.


1. The biology of logic; 2. The evolutionary derivation of life-history strategy theory; 3. The evolutionary derivation of decision logic; 4. The evolutionary derivation of inductive logic (Part I); 5. The evolutionary derivation of deductive logic; 6. The evolutionary derivation of inductive logic (Part II); 7. The evolutionary derivation of mathematics; 8. Broadening the evolutionary base of classical logic; 9. The evolutionary derivation of nonclassical logic; 10. Radical reductionism in logic; 11. Toward a unified science of reason; Appendix: formal theory.

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