Date of Original Version

10-20-2009

Type

Article

Rights Management

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.

DOI

10.1007/s11098-009-9447-x

Included in

Philosophy Commons

Share

COinS
 

Published In

Philosophical Studies, 147, 7-21.