David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In D. Walsh (ed.), Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement. Cambridge University Press 239-266 (2001)
According to Darwinian thinking, organisms are designed by natural selection, and so are integrated collections of adaptations, where an adaptation is a phenotypic trait that is a specialized response to a particular selection pressure. For animals that make their living in the Arctic, one adaptive problem is how to maintain body temperature above a certain minimum level necessary for survival. Polar bears' thick coats are a response to that selection pressure . A thick coat makes a positive difference to a polar bear's fitness, since polar bears with very thin coats left fewer offspring than those with thicker coats. The foundational idea of evolutionary psychology is that brains are no different from any other organ with an evolutionary function, insofar as brains too are systems shaped by natural selection to solve adaptive problems. Thus brains have a particular functional organization because their behavioural effects tend, or once tended, to help maintain or increase the fitness of organisms with those brains. Prominent evolutionary psychologists have endorsed the view that the last time any significant modifications were made by natural selection to the human brain's functional architecture, we were hunter-gatherers, inhabiting a world quite different from that which we now inhabit. That world was the Pleistocene epoch, between about 2 million years ago and 10 thousand years ago. On this view, then, the Pleistocene constitutes what evolutionary psychologists often call our environment of evolutionary adaptedness , and the information- processing structure and organization of our present-day cognitive architecture is no different from that of our recent huntergatherer ancestors
|Keywords||Brain Domain Evolution Information Metaphysics|
|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
Jerome Barkow, Leda Cosmides & John Tooby (eds.) (1992). The Adapted Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and the Generation of Culture. Oxford University Press.
Simon Baron-Cohen (1995). Mindblindness an Essay on Autism and "Theory of Mind". Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).
Leda Cosmides (1989). The Logic of Social Exchange: Has Natural Selection Shaped How Humans Reason? Studies with the Wason Selection Task. Cognition 31 (3):187-276.
Steven Pinker & Paul Bloom (1990). Natural Selection and Natural Language. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 13 (4):707-784.
Leda Cosmides & John Tooby (1987). From Evolution to Behavior: Evolutionary Psychology as the Missing Link. In John Dupre (ed.), The Latest on the Best: Essays on Evolution and Optimality. MIT Press
Citations of this work BETA
Anthony P. Atkinson & M. Wheeler (2004). The Grain of Domains: The Evolutionary-Psychological Case Against Domain-General Cognition. Mind and Language 19 (2):147-76.
Similar books and articles
Georg F. Striedter (2006). Précis of Principles of Brain Evolution. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (1):1-12.
Dwight W. Read (2006). Cultural Evolution is Not Equivalent to Darwinian Evolution. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (4):361-361.
Richard Granger (2006). The Evolution of Computation in Brain Circuitry. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (1):17-18.
Chester Wolfsont, Sara Nora Ross, Patrice Marie Miller, Michael Lamport Commons & Miriam Chernoff (2008). Domain-Specific Increases in Stage of Performance in a Complete Theory of the Evolution of Human Intelligence. World Futures 64 (5 - 7):416 – 429.
Yasser Roudi & Alessandro Treves (2006). An Evolutionary Niche for Quantitative Theoretical Analyses? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (1):23-23.
Elizabeth Adkins-Regan (2006). Brain Evolution: Part I. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (1):12-13.
Carla Fehr (2001). The Evolution of Sex: Domains and Explanatory Pluralism. Biology and Philosophy 16 (2):145-170.
James E. Swain (2006). Brain Design: The Evolution of Brains. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (1):24-25.
Maxim I. Stamenov & Vittorio Gallese (eds.) (2002). Mirror Neurons and the Evolution of Brain and Language. John Benjamins.
Toru Shimizu (2006). Brain Evolution by Natural Selection. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (1):23-24.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads22 ( #170,867 of 1,902,050 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #466,347 of 1,902,050 )
How can I increase my downloads?