The Evolution of Knowledge: Rethinking Science in the Anthropocene

  • 1 Max Planck Institute for the History of Science,

Abstract

The paper argues that humanity has entered a new stage of evolution: epistemic evolution. Just as cultural evolution emerged against the background of biological evolution, epistemic evolution began as an aspect of cultural evolution and now dominates the global fate of humanity. It is characterized by the increasing dependence of global society on the achievements and further extension of science and technology in order to ensure its sustainability in the age of the Anthropocene. The historical development of knowledge is reviewed from an evolutionary perspective that introduces key concepts of an historical epistemology.

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