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  1.  65
    Evolutionary Explanations of Emotions.Randolph M. Nesse - 1990 - Human Nature 1 (3):261-289.
    Emotions can be explained as specialized states, shaped by natural selection, that increase fitness in specific situations. The physiological, psychological, and behavioral characteristics of a specific emotion can be analyzed as possible design features that increase the ability to cope with the threats and opportunities present in the corresponding situation. This approach to understanding the evolutionary functions of emotions is illustrated by the correspondence between (a) the subtypes of fear and the different kinds of threat; (b) the attributes of happiness (...)
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  2.  25
    Runaway Social Selection for Displays of Partner Value and Altruism.Randolph M. Nesse - 2007 - Biological Theory 2 (2):143-155.
    Runaway social selection resulting from partner choice may have shaped aspects of human cooperation and complex sociality that are otherwise hard to account for. Social selection is the subtype of natural selection that results from the social behaviors of other individuals. Competition to be chosen as a social partner can, like competition to be chosen as a mate, result in runaway selection that shapes extreme traits. People prefer partners who display valuable resources and bestow them selectively on close partners. The (...)
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  3.  15
    Normal and Abnormal Anxiety in the Age of DSM-5 and ICD-11.Dan J. Stein & Randolph M. Nesse - 2015 - Emotion Review 7 (3):223-229.
    Despite the effort on DSM-5 and ICD-11, few appear satisfied with these classification systems. We suggest that the core reason for dissatisfaction is expecting too much from them; they do not provide discrete categories that map to specific causes of disease, they describe clinical syndromes intended to guide treatment choices. Here we review work on anxiety and anxiety disorders to argue that while clinicians draw a pragmatic distinction between normal and abnormal emotions based on considerations such as severity and duration, (...)
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  4.  44
    On the Difficulty of Defining Disease: A Darwinian Perspective. [REVIEW]Randolph M. Nesse - 2001 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 4 (1):37-46.
    Most attempts to craft a definition of disease seem to have tackled two tasks simultaneously: 1) trying to create a series of inclusion and exclusion criteria that correspond to medical usage of the word disease and 2) using this definition to understand the essence of what disease is. The first task has been somewhat accomplished, but cannot reach closure because the concept of “disease” is based on a prototype, not a logical category. The second task cannot be accomplished by deduction, (...)
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  5.  35
    An Evolutionary Life-History Framework for Understanding Sex Differences in Human Mortality Rates.Daniel J. Kruger & Randolph M. Nesse - 2006 - Human Nature 17 (1):74-97.
    Sex differences in mortality rates stem from genetic, physiological, behavioral, and social causes that are best understood when integrated in an evolutionary life history framework. This paper investigates the Male-to-Female Mortality Ratio (M:F MR) from external and internal causes and across contexts to illustrate how sex differences shaped by sexual selection interact with the environment to yield a pattern with some consistency, but also with expected variations due to socioeconomic and other factors.
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  6.  9
    Anorexia: A Perverse Effect of Attempting to Control the Starvation Response.Randolph M. Nesse - 2017 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 40.
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  7.  23
    Why is Group Selection Such a Problem?Randolph M. Nesse - 1994 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 17 (4):633-634.
  8.  4
    Comment: A General “Theory of Emotion” Is Neither Necessary nor Possible.Randolph M. Nesse - 2014 - Emotion Review 6 (4):320-322.
    Progress in emotions research requires understanding why debate about the general nature of emotions remains intractable. Much confusion arises from proposals that offer one of the four different kinds of biological explanation, without recognizing the need for other three. More arises from tacitly thinking of emotions as products of design, when they are actually organically complex products of natural selection. Finally, debate persists because of categorizing emotions by functions, instead of recognizing that each emotion was shaped by the adaptive challenges (...)
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  9.  24
    The Evolution of Psychodynamic Mechanisms.Randolph M. Nesse & Alan T. Lloyd - 1992 - In Jerome Barkow, Leda Cosmides & John Tooby (eds.), The Adapted Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and the Generation of Culture. Oxford University Press. pp. 601--624.
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  10. Evolution and Healing: The New Science of Darwinian Medicine.Randolph M. Nesse - 1996 - Phoenix.
    The first ever description of how evolutionary principles can be applied to questions of health and sickness.
     
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  11.  26
    Strategic Subjective Commitment.Randolph M. Nesse - 2000 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 7 (1-2):1-2.
    Game theory has progressed from analysis of one-move games between two rational agents, to iterated n-person games in which strategies evolve, and actors use prior experience to coordinate their moves. The next step in this direction is to analyse commitment strategies. An individual can influence others by announcing his or her commitment to a future act that would not be in his or her best interests. Spiteful threats can coerce others. Promises to aid someone when nothing can be reciprocated can (...)
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  12.  59
    Cliff-Edged Fitness Functions and the Persistence of Schizophrenia.Randolph M. Nesse - 2004 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (6):862-863.
    Strong recent selection for social cognition may well explain the persistence of genes that predispose to schizophrenia. The specific mechanism responsible may be a skewed fitness function in which selection pushes the mean for advantageous mental traits perilously close to a “fitness cliff” where the system fails catastrophically in some individuals.
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  13.  53
    How Selfish Genes Shape Moral Passions.Randolph M. Nesse - 2000 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 7 (1-2):1-2.
    Genes are ‘selfish’ in that they make organisms whose behaviours are shaped, necessarily, to benefit their genes. But altruism and selfishness as we usually think of them have little to do with ‘evolutionary altruism’ and ‘evolutionary selfishness', and the use of these phrases has given rise to much confusion. The most pernicious is the false conclusion that individual altruism is impossible unless it has been shaped by group selection. In fact, human altruism and morality are shaped by genes because individuals (...)
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  14.  27
    Natural Selection and Fear Regulation Mechanisms.Randolph M. Nesse & James L. Abelson - 1995 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 18 (2):309-310.
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  15.  31
    Evolutionary Foundations for Psychiatric Diagnosis: Making DSM-V Valid.Randolph M. Nesse & Eric D. Jackson - 2011 - In Pieter R. Adriaens & Andreas de Block (eds.), Maladapting Minds: Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Evolutionary Theory. Oxford University Press. pp. 167--191.
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  16.  8
    Human Nature and the Holy Grail.Randolph M. Nesse - 1991 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 14 (2):312-313.
  17.  1
    Social Selection is a Powerful Explanation for Prosociality.Randolph M. Nesse - 2016 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 39.
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  18. Why We Get Sick the New Science of Darwinian Medicine.Randolph M. Nesse & George C. Williams - 1994
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