Can evolutionary psychology learn from the instinct debate?

History of the Human Sciences 19 (4):57-74 (2006)
The concept of instinct espoused in psychology in the early 20th century and the contemporary concept of psychological adaptation invite comparison. Definitions of both employ the notions of inheritance, selection, functional specificity, and species typicality. This article examines how psychologists before the rise of behaviourism sought to establish instinct as a psychological phenomenon. One of the consequences of doing so was a decoupling of psychological and physiological forms of instinct. This led to a failure of constraint in the usage of the term instinct and the abandonment of the project to establish it as foundational. I argue that the notion of psychological adaptations at the heart of contemporary evolutionary psychology as espoused by John Tooby and Leda Cosmides invites similar difficulties and may come to share a similar fate
Keywords Adaptation  Darwinism  Evolutionary Psychology  Instinct  Science  Cosmides, Leda  Tooby, John
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1177/0952695106069668
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,479
External links
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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

41 ( #118,110 of 1,925,592 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

4 ( #212,047 of 1,925,592 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.