David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Evolutionary psychology—in its ambitious version well formulated by Cosmides and Tooby (e.g., Cosmides & Tooby 1987, Tooby & Cosmides 1992) —will succeed to the extent that it causes cognitive psychologists to rethink central aspects of human cognition in an evolutionary perspective, to the extent, that is, that psychology in general becomes evolutionary. The human species is exceptional by its massive investment in cognition, and in forms of cognitive activity—language, metarepresentation, abstract thinking—that are as unique to humans as echolocation is unique to bats. The promise of evolutionary psychology is thus to help explain not just traits of human psychology that are homologous to those of many other species, but also traits of human psychology that are genuinely exceptional and that in turn help explain the exceptional character of human culture and ecology. However, most of the work done in evolutionary psychology so far is on aspects of human psychology that are not specifically human except in their details. Showing, for instance, how human preferences in mate choice are fine -tuned in the way the theory of evolution would predict is of great interest (see e.g., Buss 1994) but it can be done on the basis of a relatively shallow psychology. This makes work on distinctly human adaptations involving higher cognition of particular importance for defenders of a psychologically ambitious evolutionary psychology. What is often presented (e.g., Pinker, 1997) as the signal achievement of cognitive evolutionary psychology in this respect is the experimental testing of Cosmides’ (1989) hypothesis that there exists an evolved competence to deal with social contracts, and, in particular to detect cheaters. We want to argue that, because of faulty methodological choices—the quasi-exclusive reliance on the four-cards selection task—, the hypothesis has in fact not yet been tested. The plan of this chapter is as follows: We begin, with a short presentation of Cosmides’s social contract hypothesis, of Wason selection task, and of Cosmides’s reasons to use the task in order to test the theory..
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
No categories specified
(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
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Simon J. Hampton (2006). Can Evolutionary Psychology Learn From the Instinct Debate? History of the Human Sciences 19 (4):57-74.
Matthew Ratcliffe (2005). An Epistemological Problem for Evolutionary Psychology. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 19 (1):47-63.
Lawrence A. Shapiro & William M. Epstein (1998). Evolutionary Theory Meets Cognitive Psychology: A More Selective Perspective. Mind and Language 13 (2):171-94.
Elisabeth A. Lloyd (1999). Evolutionary Psychology: The Burdens or Proof. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 14 (2):211-33.
Robert C. Richardson (1996). The Prospects for an Evolutionary Psychology: Human Language and Human Reasoning. [REVIEW] Minds and Machines 6 (4):541-557.
Chris Haufe (2008). Sexual Selection and Mate Choice in Evolutionary Psychology. Biology and Philosophy 23 (1):115-128.
Paul Sheldon Davies, James H. Fetzer & Thomas R. Foster (1995). Logical Reasoning and Domain Specificity. Biology and Philosophy 10 (1):1-37.
Richard Samuels (2000). Massively Modular Minds: Evolutionary Psychology and Cognitive Architecture. In Peter Carruthers (ed.), Evolution and the Human Mind. Cambridge University Press. 13--46.
Willem E. Frankenhuis & Annemie Ploeger (2007). Evolutionary Psychology Versus Fodor: Arguments for and Against the Massive Modularity Hypothesis. Philosophical Psychology 20 (6):687 – 710.
Dan Sperber (2002). Use or Misuse of the Selection Task? Rejoinder to Fiddick, Cosmides, and Tooby. Cognition 85 (3):277-290.
Added to index2009-09-16
Total downloads53 ( #29,758 of 1,100,501 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #289,155 of 1,100,501 )
How can I increase my downloads?