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Evolutionary psychology: Ultimate explanations and panglossian predictions

In Valerie Gray Hardcastle (ed.), Where Biology Meets Psychology. MIT Press. pp. 47--66 (1999)

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  1. Is Phenomenal Consciousness a Complex Structure?Chuck Stieg - 2009 - Cogprints 51 (4):152-61.
    Evolutionary explanations of psychological phenomena have become widespread. This paper examines a recent attempt by Nichols and Grantham (2000) to circumvent the problem of epiphenomenalism in establishing the selective status of consciousness. Nichols and Grantham (2000) argue that a case can be made for the view that consciousness is an adaptation based on its complexity. I set out this argument and argue that it fails to establish that phenomenal consciousness is a complex system. It is suggested that the goal of (...)
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  • Rethinking the Evolution of Consciousness.Thomas Polger - 2007 - In Susan Schneider & Max Velmans (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Consciousness. Blackwell. pp. 72--87.
    Suppose that consciousness is a natural feature of biological organisms, and that it is a capacity or property or process that resides in a single organ. In that case there is a straightforward question about the consciousness organ, namely: How did the consciousness organ come to be formed and why is its presence maintained in those organisms that have it? Of course answering this question might be rather difficult, particularly if the consciousness organ is made of soft tissue that leaves (...)
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  • What Do Brain Data Really Show?Valerie Gray Hardcastle & C. Matthew Stewart - 2002 - Philosophy of Science 69 (3):572-582.
    There is a bias in neuroscience toward localizing and modularizing brain functions. Single cell recording, imaging studies, and the study of neurological deficits all feed into the Gallian view that different brain areas do different things and the things being done are confined to particular processing streams. At the same time, there is a growing sentiment that brains probably don’t work like that after all; it is better to conceive of them as fundamentally distributed units, multi‐tasking at every level. This (...)
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  • Integrating the Multiple Biological Causes of Human Behavior.Stephen M. Downes - 2005 - Biology and Philosophy 20 (1):177-190.
    I introduce a range of examples of different causal hypotheses about human mate selection. The hypotheses I focus on come from evolutionary psychology, fluctuating asymmetry research and chemical signaling research. I argue that a major obstacle facing an integrated biology of human behavior is the lack of a causal framework that shows how multiple proximate causal mechanisms can act together to produce components of our behavior.
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