David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophical Psychology 14 (4):357 – 380 (2001)
In recent times evolutionary psychologists have offered adaptation explanations for a wide range of human psychological characteristics. Critics, however, have argued that such endeavors are problematic because the appropriate evidence required to demonstrate adaptation is unlikely to be forthcoming, therefore severely limiting the role of the adaptationist program in psychology. More specifically, doubts have been raised over both the methodology employed by evolutionary psychologists for studying adaptations and about the possibility of ever developing acceptably rigorous evolutionary explanations of human psychological phenomena. We argue that by employing a wide range of methods for inferring adaptation and by adopting an inference to the best explanation strategy for evaluating adaptation explanations, these two doubts can be adequately addressed. We illustrate how this approach can be fruitfully employed in evaluating claims about the evolutionary origins of language, and conclude with a brief discussion of the future of evolutionary psychology.
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References found in this work BETA
Jerome Barkow, Leda Cosmides & John Tooby (eds.) (1992). The Adapted Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and the Generation of Culture. Oxford University Press.
Imre Lakatos & Alan Musgrave (eds.) (1970). Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge. Cambridge University Press.
Elliott Sober (1984/1993). The Nature of Selection: Evolutionary Theory in Philosophical Focus. University of Chicago Press.
Paul M. Churchland (1989). A Neurocomputational Perspective: The Nature of Mind and the Structure of Science. MIT Press.
Citations of this work BETA
John Klasios (2014). The Evolutionary Psychology of Human Mating: A Response to Buller's Critique. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 47:1-11.
Willem E. Frankenhuis & Annemie Ploeger (2007). Evolutionary Psychology Versus Fodor: Arguments for and Against the Massive Modularity Hypothesis. Philosophical Psychology 20 (6):687 – 710.
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