Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Arts

Major

Philosophy

Date of Defense

7-14-2006

Graduate Advisor

Berit Brogaard

Committee

Dr. Andrew Black

Dr. George Streeter

Abstract

Contextual knowledge-attribution and natural selection are both processes that allow knowledge-attributions and organisms to evolve, respectively. The difference between Contextual knowledge-attribution and natural selection is the existence of intention: natural selection is an unintentional process that is possible because of random physical variations while Contextual knowledge-attribution is an intentional process that is possible because of random memetic variations. Evolutionary Contextualism, as a memetic theory, is the theory that knowledge-attributions evolve based upon unequal probabilities within a context created by falsifiable standards that are dependent upon attributer intentions. If Contextualism is a memetic theory that concerns knowledge, and memetic evolution is an evolutionary process, I conclude that biological evolution has significant implications for Contextualism.

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