Graduate studies at Western
Philosophical Psychology 11 (2):183 – 205 (1998)
|Abstract||Evolutionary psychology is put forward by its defenders as an extension of evolutionary biology, bringing psychology within the integrated causal chain of the hard sciences. It is extolled as a new paradigm for integrating psychology with the rest of science. We argue that such claims misrepresent the methods and explanations of evolutionary biology, and present a distorted view of the consequences that might be drawn from evolutionary biology for views of human nature. General theses about adaptation in biology are empty schemata, not laws of nature allowing the subsumption of mind under biology. Functional thinking is an indispensable tool for psychology, mostly of value in abstractive unification and as a heuristic, but it gains little from association with evolutionary notions of selection. Thus, we argue, the cherished integrative causal model evaporates, and evolutionary phraseology serves no more than rhetorical purposes. Moreover, the universality of human nature and the evolutionary irrelevance of individual variation are presented as biological truths that psychologists should respect in their approach to mind. On closer inspection, this turns out to be rather dubious biology. Psychology might conceivably be better off as a continuation of biology by different means, but evolutionary psychology does not provide the conceptual integration leading to such a happy union.|
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
Jennifer Mundale & William P. Bechtel (1996). Integrating Neuroscience, Psychology, and Evolutionary Biology Through a Teleological Conception of Function. Minds and Machines 6 (4):481-505.
Paul Sheldon Davies (1996). Discovering the Functional Mesh: On the Methods of Evolutionary Psychology. [REVIEW] Minds and Machines 6 (4):559-585.
David Sloan Wilson, Eric Dietrich & Anne B. Clark (2003). On the Inappropriate Use of the Naturalistic Fallacy in Evolutionary Psychology. Biology and Philosophy 18 (5):669-81.
Christopher D. Horvath (2000). Interactionism and Innateness in the Evolutionary Study of Human Nature. Biology and Philosophy 15 (3):321-337.
Marko Barendregt & René Van Hezewijk (2005). Adaptive and Genomic Explanations of Human Behaviour: Might Evolutionary Psychology Contribute to Behavioural Genomics? [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 20 (1):57-78.
Elisabeth A. Lloyd (1999). Evolutionary Psychology: The Burdens or Proof. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 14 (2):211-33.
Edouard Machery (web). Discovery and Confirmation in Evolutionary Psychology. In Jesse J. Prinz (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Psychology. Oxford University Press.
Huib de JongLooren & Wim J. van der Steen (1998). Biological Thinking in Evolutionary Psychology: Rockbottom or Quicksand? Philosophical Psychology 11 (2):183-205.
Added to index2010-05-07
Total downloads17 ( #78,074 of 739,303 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #61,243 of 739,303 )
How can I increase my downloads?