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Archive for the 'Evolutionary Psychology' Category

November 27, 2005

Evolutionary Psychology is Here to Stay

Filed under: Evolutionary Psychology,North America — Admin @ 10:50 am

A Response to Buller

by Frank Miele from Skeptic magazine Vol. 12, No 1

“Adaptationism pervades every level of biological inquiry, and always has, because at every level descriptions of relevant phenomena are almost invariably functional descriptions. The only scientifically coherent account of the origin of adaptations, and hence the only scientifically coherent account of ‘function’, is evolution by selection.”
— Donald Symons

The opening motions in philosopher David J. Buller’s case against Evolutionary Psychology (EP) appeared on his web site,1 followed by the major argument in his book, Adapting Minds.2 More recently, Buller argued against leading evolutionary psychologists John Tooby and Leda Cosmides, Martin Daly and Margot Wilson, and David Buss in the journal Trends in Cognitive Science (TCS), which allowed them to respond to Buller’s critique.3 In his Skeptic article in this issue, Buller takes his case to a more popular jurisdiction. His brief against EP has two parts:

1. A general critique of the concept of the modular (“Swiss Army Knife”) model of the mind, which he describes as a core dogma of EP. If this foundation crumbles, the entire edifice of Evolutionary Psychology will fall.
2. A specific critique of the data used to support two “signature achievements” of EP: Martin Daly and Margot Wilson’s Cinderella Effect; and David Buss’s studies of male-female differences in jealousy.

This article reviews the arguments and data for and against Evolutionary Psychology, Buller’s criticisms, and the responses to them.


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