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A piece of knowledge will not only be selected for its objective reliability but for the degree to which it helps to solve personal problems. From two equally reliable models, one about the movement of stars in the Andromeda galaxy, and one about the movement of stocks at a stock exchange, the second one will obviously be much more successful, since it can be directly used to further one's own well-being by making money. Utility can be defined as the degree to which a piece of knowledge increases the competence of the user of that knowledge to reach his or her goals or solve his or her problems. Specific goals or values can be ultimately derived from the fundamental value of increased fitness for the actor. So, utility in an evolutionary context can be translated as "contribution to individual fitness".

Copyright© 1995 Principia Cybernetica - Referencing this page

F. Heylighen,

Sep 5, 1995


Metasystem Transition Theory


Evolutionary Epistemology

Knowledge Selection Criteria

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