The Appeal to Tradition: Cultural Evolution and Logical Soundness

William D. Harpine


The Appeal to Tradition, often considered to be unsound, frequently reflects sophisticated adaptations to the environment. Once developed, these adaptations are often transmitted
culturally rather than as reasoned argument, so that people mayor may not be aware of why their traditions are wise. Tradition is more likely to be valid in a stable environment in which a wide range of variations have been available for past testing; however, traditions tend to become obsolete in a rapidly changing environment.


tradition, appeal to tradition, fallacies, evolutionary epistemology, adaptation, environment, neo-Darwinian theory, culture, cultural change, Boyd, Robert, Campbell, Donald T., Richerson, Peter J., Toulmin, Stephen E

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ISSN: 0824-2577