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Get Adapting Minds: Evolutionary Psychology and the Persistent PDF

By David J. Buller

ISBN-10: 0262524600

ISBN-13: 9780262524605

Used to be human nature designed by way of common choice within the Pleistocene epoch? The dominant view in evolutionary psychology holds that it was once -- that our mental variations have been designed tens of millions of years in the past to unravel difficulties confronted through our hunter-gatherer ancestors. during this provocative and energetic booklet, David Buller examines intimately the foremost claims of evolutionary psychology -- the paradigm popularized via Steven Pinker within the clean Slate and by means of David Buss in The Evolution of hope -- and rejects all of them. this doesn't suggest that we can't observe evolutionary conception to human psychology, says Buller, yet that the traditional knowledge in evolutionary psychology is misguided.Evolutionary psychology employs a type of opposite engineering to provide an explanation for the developed layout of the brain, realizing the adaptive difficulties our ancestors confronted after which inferring the mental variations that advanced to resolve them. within the rigorously argued imperative chapters of Adapting Minds, Buller scrutinizes a number of of evolutionary psychology's such a lot hugely publicized "discoveries," together with "discriminative parental solicitude" (the concept that stepparents abuse their stepchildren at a better fee than genetic mom and dad abuse their organic children). Drawing on a variety of empirical learn, together with his personal large-scale examine of kid abuse, he exhibits that none is de facto supported by way of the evidence.Buller argues that our minds aren't tailored to the Pleistocene, yet, just like the immune process, are continuously adapting, over either evolutionary time and person lifetimes. We needs to movement past the reigning orthodoxy of evolutionary psychology to arrive a correct realizing of how human psychology is motivated by means of evolution. once we do, Buller claims, we'll abandon not just the search for human nature however the very inspiration of human nature itself.

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Additional info for Adapting Minds: Evolutionary Psychology and the Persistent Quest for Human Nature

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Thus, in order for patterns of phenotypic change across generations to parallel patterns of evolution at the genetic level, the developmentally relevant properties of the environment must remain relatively stable across those generations. Second, because genotypes can produce different phenotypes in different developmental environments, it is possible for there to be phenotypic 26 Chapter 1 change across generations in the absence of genetic evolution. This can occur simply in virtue of changes in the environment in which genotypes develop.

Second, some phenotypic variation is selectively neutral, in which case selection won’t favor any of the variants over the others (or won’t favor any of the variants that are within a certain range over the others in that range). For example, population members may vary in height or weight in ways that don’t affect their fitness. In such a case, selection won’t winnow this variation, since no one of the variants is fitter than any of the others. ) Third, even if a genotype for a fitness-enhancing phenotype goes to fixation under selection, the fact that the same genotype can produce different phenotypes under different developmental conditions means that the phenotype it’s for won’t necessarily go to fixation also.

Second, a trait could be an adaptation yet fail to be adaptive. This, too, could result from a change in a population’s environment. A trait could evolve under selection, and even go to fixation in a population, yet the environmental demands to which that trait was responsive could cease, thereby rendering the trait useless. In such a case, the adaptation would no longer be adaptive. For adaptiveness is an ahistorical concept, applying only to traits that currently enhance fitness. A trait is adaptive, then, if it has current utility; it is an 36 Chapter 1 adaptation if it had past utility, if it evolved and is present in a current population because it was adaptive.

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Adapting Minds: Evolutionary Psychology and the Persistent Quest for Human Nature by David J. Buller

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