Discovery and confirmation in evolutionary psychology
In Jesse J. Prinz (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Psychology. Oxford University Press (web)
The defining insight of evolutionary psychology consists of bringing considerations drawn from evolutionary biology to bear on the study of human psychology. So characterized, evolutionary psychology encompasses a large range of views about the nature and evolution of human psychology as well as diverging opinions about the proper method for studying them.1 In this article, I propose to clarify and evaluate various aspects of evolutionary psychologists’ methodology, with a special focus on their heuristics of discovery—i.e., their methods for developing plausible hypotheses—and their strategies of confirmation—i.e., their methods for providing empirical support for these hypotheses.2 I will also evaluate several well-known objections raised against evolutionary psychology. Note that because views about psychology and evolution differ among evolutionary psychologists, I do not pretend to cover every method used in evolutionary psychology.3
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Modularity and the Flexibility of Human Cognition.Eduoard Machery - 2008 - Mind and Language 23 (3):263–272.
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Altruism, Egoism, or Neither: A Cognitive-Efficiency-Based Evolutionary Biological Perspective on Helping Behavior.Armin W. Schulz - forthcoming - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences.
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