David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Minds and Machines 6 (4):541-557 (1996)
Evolutionary psychology purports to explain human capacities as adaptations to an ancestral environment. A complete explanation of human language or human reasoning as adaptations depends on assessing an historical claim, that these capacities evolved under the pressure of natural selection and are prevalent because they provided systematic advantages to our ancestors. An outline of the character of the information needed in order to offer complete adaptation explanations is drawn from Robert Brandon (1990), and explanations offered for the evolution of language and reasoning within evolutionary psychology are evaluated. Pinker and Bloom's (1992) defense of human language as an adaptation for verbal communication, Robert Nozick's (1993) account of the evolutionary origin of rationality, and Cosmides and Tooby's (1992) explanation of human reasoning as an adaptation for social exchange, are discussed in light of what is known, and what is not known, about the history of human evolution. In each case, though a plausible case is made that these capacities are adaptations, there is not enough known to offer even a semblance of an explanation of the origin of these capacities. These explanations of the origin of human thought and language are simply speculations lacking the kind of detailed historical information required for an evolutionary explanation of an adaptation
|Keywords||Evolution Language Learning Psychology Reason Science|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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.
Citations of this work BETA
Willem E. Frankenhuis & Annemie Ploeger (2007). Evolutionary Psychology Versus Fodor: Arguments for and Against the Massive Modularity Hypothesis. Philosophical Psychology 20 (6):687 – 710.
Henkjan Honing & Annemie Ploeger (2012). Cognition and the Evolution of Music: Pitfalls and Prospects. Topics in Cognitive Science 4 (4):513-524.
Luc Faucher & Pierre Poirier (2001). Psychologie Évolutionniste Et Théories Interdomaines. Dialogue 40 (03):453-.
Leif Edward Ottesen Kennair (2003). Challenging Design: How Best to Account for the World as It Really Is. Zygon 38 (3):543-558.
Similar books and articles
Neil Levy (2004). Evolutionary Psychology, Human Universals, and the Standard Social Science Model. Biology and Philosophy 19 (3):459-72.
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.
Andre Ariew (2003). Natural Selection Doesn't Work That Way: Jerry Fodor Vs. Evolutionary Psychology on Gradualism and Saltationism. Mind and Language 18 (5):478-483.
M. Tomasello (1999). The Cultural Origins of Human Cognition. Harvard University Press.
Edouard Machery (web). Discovery and Confirmation in Evolutionary Psychology. In Jesse J. Prinz (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Psychology. Oxford University Press
Ray Jackendoff (2005). The Nature of the Language Faculty and its Implications for Evolution of Language (Reply to Fitch, Hauser, and Chomsky). Cognition 97 (2):211-225.
Steven Pinker (2005). The Nature of the Language Faculty and its Implications for Evolution of Language (Reply to Fitch, Hauser, and Chomsky). Cognition 97 (2):211-225.
Russil Durrant & Brian D. Haig (2001). How to Pursue the Adaptationist Program in Psychology. Philosophical Psychology 14 (4):357 – 380.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads85 ( #23,849 of 1,699,807 )
Recent downloads (6 months)6 ( #105,649 of 1,699,807 )
How can I increase my downloads?