Date of Original Version
The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11098-009-9447-x
Abstract or Description
In recent years, many scholars have suggested that the Baldwin effect may play an important role in the evolution of language. However, the Baldwin effect is a multifaceted and controversial process and the assessment of its connection with language is difficult without a formal model. This paper provides a first step in this direction. We examine a game-theoretic model of the interaction between plasticity (represented by Herrnstein reinforcement learning) and evolution in the context of a simple language game. Additionally, we describe three distinct aspects of the Baldwin effect: the Simpson–Baldwin effect, the Baldwin expediting effect and the Baldwin optimizing effect. We find that a simple model of the evolution of language lends theoretical plausibility to the existence of the Simpson–Baldwin and the Baldwin optimizing effects in this arena, but not the Baldwin expediting effect.
Philosophical Studies, 147, 7-21.