Strong versus weak adaptationism in cognition and language

In Peter Carruthers, Stephen Laurence & Stephen Stich (eds.), The Innate Mind: Structure and Contents. New York: Oxford University Press New York (2005)
This chapter focuses on the issue of methodological usefulness of a strong versus weak adaptationist position in attempting to gain significant insight and to make scientifically important advances and discoveries in human cognition. Strong adaptationism holds that complex design is best explained by task-specific adaptations to particular ancestral environments; whereas weak adaptationism claims that we should not assume that complex design is the result of such narrowly determined task- or niche-specific evolutionary pressures in the absence of substantial corroborating evidence. It argues that in cases of certain domain-specific cognitive competencies strong adaptationism has proven useful but not necessary to recent progress in the field. In other cases, a weak adaptationist strategy has been arguably most productive in advancing scientific understanding, without precluding that the structures uncovered by other means are actually adaptations.
Keywords Adaptationism  Cognition  Language
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2007
DOI 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195179675.003.0009
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,280
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

13 ( #333,274 of 1,932,535 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #456,270 of 1,932,535 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.