Sociobiology, Evolutionary Psychology, and Cultural Evolution

Matteo Mameli

in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Biology

Published in print July 2008 | ISBN: 9780195182057
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

 Sociobiology, Evolutionary Psychology, and Cultural Evolution

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This article discusses evolutionary approaches to the study of human minds. Humans are evolved organisms. Thus, studying the evolutionary process helps us to understand human behavior. This assumes that a mechanistic explanation of every aspect of human behavior is possible and human minds are collections of mechanisms. These mechanisms are supposed to be physically implemented. It is indicated in this article that in the relationship between the mind of current humans and the evolutionary process, evolution has generated only a small set of basic innate mental abilities in humans. According to Wilson many human behaviors are genetic adaptations and environmental variation affects behavioral adaptations. According to Tooby and Cosmides psychological mechanisms produce different behavioral outputs in response to different inputs from experience. Thus even if there are some behavioral differences between populations that have a genetic origin, most of the variation is at the population level.

Keywords: evolution; behaviour; mind; humans; genetic; variation

Article.  10984 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Philosophy of Science ; Philosophy of Mind

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