Cladistic Parsimony, Historical Linguistics and Cultural Phylogenetics

Mind and Language 32 (1):65-100 (2017)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Here, I consider the recent application of phylogenetic methods in historical linguistics. After a preliminary survey of one such method, i.e. cladistic parsimony, I respond to two common criticisms of cultural phylogenies: that cultural artifacts cannot be modeled as tree-like because of borrowing across lineages, and that the mechanism of cultural change differs radically from that of biological evolution. I argue that while perhaps remains true for certain cultural artifacts, the nature of language may be such as to side-step this objection. Moreover, I explore the possibility that cladistic parsimony can be justified even if is true by appealing to the inference pattern known among philosophers as ‘Inference to the Best Explanation’.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
Revision history
First archival date: 2016-05-11
Latest version: 2 (2017-07-03)
View upload history
References found in this work BETA
The Logic of Explanatory Power.Schupbach, Jonah N. & Sprenger, Jan

View all 33 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Added to PP index

Total views
239 ( #18,521 of 50,097 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
30 ( #21,100 of 50,097 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.