Sunday, February 18, 2007

Toward a post-metaphysicalist discourse
on evolutionarity

There's no teleology in social evolution. Nonetheless, evolution can be usefully theorized and done so, as I began to explicate recently, without a problematic naturalism. But that's not conducive to a short posting on self-constitutivity of inquiry. However, human intelligence has evolved to provide high capacity for giving telos to activity and phenomenology. This same capacity provides for potential self-constitutivity in inquiry, thanks to ultimate openness in cognitive development, in terms of the kinds of inquiry that may be discursively integrated ("what I have in mind" below). A postmetaphysicalist sense of discursivity is implied that learns through scientifically conceptual efficacy (without scientism!).

What I have in mind involves integrating a range of discursive work—from evolutionary psychology, through cognitive science to contemporary work in evolutionary ethics and reliabilist epistemology—that develops Habermas' exemplarity beyond David L Hull's theory of conceptual evolution, which Hull explicates in terms of "conceptual inclusive fitness" and "demic efficacy."

Relatedly: The middle of another posting to the Habermas group today says:

I hope...that [Habermas will] do a career-expansive reflection on his own intellectual development, in a philosophical spirit, rather than autobiographically. I want him to show....[among other things] how his thinking integrates diachronically in a synchrony of discursive projects cohering in the singularity of discursive self-reflection. The result would not be an Hegelian Conception, but a fleshed out way in which, as he says in his recent essay on free will, a "natural genealogy of the mind [is fated to be] a self-referential project" (66), but in no sense "fall[ing] back into metaphysics." Such self-referentiality would be discursive, best (more tenably) done in terms of a discursivity whose capability of conceptual reflectivity is greatly able to conceptualize itself.