Article

Evolution and psychology in philosophical perspective

Matteo Mameli

in Oxford Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology

Published in print April 2007 | ISBN: 9780198568308
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780198568308.013.0003

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Evolution and psychology in philosophical perspective

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Humans are evolved organisms. This means that human minds have an evolutionary origin and that human psychological traits are, in one way or another, the product of evolution. This article explores the implications of this deceptively simple fact for the science of psychology. The question it addresses is whether and how knowing that human minds have an evolutionary origin can help understand the way modern human minds work. The true implications of the evolutionary origins of human minds are not always easy to unravel. Some mistakes can be avoided by steering away from simplistic views of evolution and development, and of the way they interact. Developmental plasticity, environmental change, niche construction, and cultural transmission have all played an important role in human evolution. Understanding such factors is thereby crucial for an accurate evolutionary account of human psychological traits.

Keywords: humans; human; minds; traits; evolution; psychology; developmental plasticity; environmental change; niche construction; cultural transmission

Article.  9719 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Psychology ; Cognitive Neuroscience

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