Against Maladaptationism: Or, What’s Wrong with Evolutionary Psychology<sup>1</sup>

John Dupré

in Processes of Life

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199691982
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738111 | DOI:
Against Maladaptationism: Or, What’s Wrong with Evolutionary Psychology1

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This chapter takes up a theme from earlier work, the critique of Evolutionary Psychology. The chapter focuses on one central claim of Evolutionary Psychology, that the crucial human cognitive mechanisms evolved in the Pleistocene, two million years or so prior to the appearance of human civilization. Drawing on the critiques of neo-Darwinism described in Chapter 9, it is argued that the theory is based on an obsolete view of the evolutionary process. A wider view of evolutionary processes, including cultural evolution, suggests that significant evolutionary changes are likely to have taken place in the last few millennia.

Keywords: evolutionary psychology; neo-Darwinism; cultural evolution

Chapter.  8474 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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