Biology and Philosophy 14 (2):211-233 (1999)

Authors
Elisabeth Lloyd
Indiana University, Bloomington
Abstract
  I discuss two types of evidential problems with the most widely touted experiments in evolutionary psychology, those performed by Leda Cosmides and interpreted by Cosmides and John Tooby. First, and despite Cosmides and Tooby's claims to the contrary, these experiments don't fulfil the standards of evidence of evolutionary biology. Second Cosmides and Tooby claim to have performed a crucial experiment, and to have eliminated rival approaches. Though they claim that their results are consistent with their theory but contradictory to the leading non-evolutionary alternative, Pragmatic Reasoning Schemas theory, I argue that this claim is unsupported. In addition, some of Cosmides and Tooby's interpretations arise from misguided and simplistic understandings of evolutionary biology. While I endorse the incorporation of evolutionary approaches into psychology, I reject the claims of Cosmides and Tooby that a modular approach is the only one supported by evolutionary biology. Lewontin's critical examinations of the applications of adaptationist thinking provide a background of evidentiary standards against which to view the currently fashionable claims of evolutionary psychology
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy of Biology   Evolutionary Biology
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Reprint years 1999
DOI 10.1023/A:1006638501739
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References found in this work BETA

Rules and Representations.Noam Chomsky - 1980 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 3 (1):1-15.
Natural Language and Natural Selection.Steven Pinker & Paul Bloom - 1990 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 13 (4):707-27.

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Citations of this work BETA

Is Evolutionary Psychology Possible?Subrena E. Smith - 2019 - Biological Theory 15 (1):39-49.
Religion as an Evolutionary Byproduct: A Critique of the Standard Model.Russell Powell & Steve Clarke - 2012 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 63 (3):457-486.
Evolutionary Psychology.Stephen M. Downes - 2017 - In Lee McIntyre & Alex Rosenberg (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Social Science. New York, NY, USA: pp. 330-339.

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