David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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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|
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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.
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.
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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.
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