Evolutionary Psychology as Maladapted Psychology

Author: Richardson
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262261111
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Human beings, like other organisms, are the products of evolution. Like other organisms, we exhibit traits that are the product of natural selection. Our psychological capacities are evolved traits as much as are our gait and posture. This much few would dispute. Evolutionary psychology goes further than this, claiming that our psychological traits -- including a wide variety of traits, from mate preference and jealousy to language and reason -- can be understood as specific adaptations to ancestral Pleistocene conditions. In Evolutionary Psychology as Maladapted Psychology, Robert Richardson takes a critical look at evolutionary psychology by subjecting its ambitious and controversial claims to the same sorts of methodological and evidential constraints that are broadly accepted within evolutionary biology.The claims of evolutionary psychology may pass muster as psychology; but what are their evolutionary credentials? Richardson considers three ways adaptive hypotheses can be evaluated, using examples from the biological literature to illustrate what sorts of evidence and methodology would be necessary to establish specific evolutionary and adaptive explanations of human psychological traits. He shows that existing explanations within evolutionary psychology fall woefully short of accepted biological standards. The theories offered by evolutionary psychologists may identify traits that are, or were, beneficial to humans. But gauged by biological standards, there is inadequate evidence: evolutionary psychologists are largely silent on the evolutionary evidence relevant to assessing their claims, including such matters as variation in ancestral populations, heritability, and the advantage offered to our ancestors. As evolutionary claims they are unsubstantiated. Evolutionary psychology, Richardson concludes, may offer a program of research, but it lacks the kind of evidence that is generally expected within evolutionary biology. It is speculation rather than sound science -- and we should treat its claims with skepticism.

Social by Nature

Author: Catherine Bliss
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 1503603962
Format: PDF, ePub
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Sociogenomics has rapidly become one of the trendiest sciences of the new millennium. Practitioners view human nature and life outcomes as the result of genetic and social factors. In Social by Nature, Catherine Bliss recognizes the promise of this interdisciplinary young science, but also questions its implications for the future. As she points out, the claim that genetic similarities cause groups of people to behave in similar ways is not new—and a dark history of eugenics warns us of its dangers. Over the last decade, sociogenomics has enjoyed a largely uncritical rise to prominence and acceptance in popular culture. Researchers have published studies showing that things like educational attainment, gang membership, and life satisfaction are encoded in our DNA long before we say our first word. Strangely, unlike the racial debates over IQ scores in the '70s and '90s, sociogenomics has not received any major backlash. By exposing the shocking parallels between sociogenomics and older, long-discredited, sciences, Bliss persuasively argues for a more thoughtful public reception of any study that reduces human nature to a mere sequence of genes. This book is a powerful call for researchers to approach their work in more socially responsible ways, and a must-read for anyone who wants to better understand the scholarship that impacts how we see ourselves and our society.

Excluded

Author: Julia Serano
Publisher: Hachette UK
ISBN: 1580055052
Format: PDF, Docs
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While many feminist and queer movements are designed to challenge sexism, they often simultaneously police gender and sexuality—sometimes just as fiercely as the straight, male-centric mainstream does. Among LGBTQ activists, there is a long history of lesbians and gay men dismissing bisexuals, transgender people, and other gender and sexual minorities. In each case, exclusion is based on the premise that certain ways of being gendered or sexual are more legitimate, natural, or righteous than others. As a trans woman, bisexual, and femme activist, Julia Serano has spent much of the last ten years challenging various forms of exclusion within feminist and queer/LGBTQ movements. In Excluded, she chronicles many of these instances of exclusion and argues that marginalizing others often stems from a handful of assumptions that are routinely made about gender and sexuality. These false assumptions infect theories, activism, organizations, and communities—and worse, they enable people to vigorously protest certain forms of sexism while simultaneously ignoring and even perpetuating others. Serano advocates for a new approach to fighting sexism that avoids these pitfalls and offers new ways of thinking about gender, sexuality, and sexism that foster inclusivity rather than exclusivity.

Investigating the Psychological World

Author: Brian D. Haig
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262027364
Format: PDF
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A broad theory of research methodology for psychology and the behavioral sciences that offers a coherent treatment of a range of behavioral research methods.

Bringing Biology to Life

Author: Mahesh Ananth
Publisher: Broadview Press
ISBN: 1770485783
Format: PDF
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Bringing Biology to Lifeis a guided tour of the philosophy of biology, canvassing three broad areas: the early history of biology, from Aristotle to Darwin; traditional debates regarding species, function, and units of selection; and recent efforts to better understand the human condition in light of evolutionary biology. Topics are addressed using no more technical jargon than necessary, and without presupposing any advanced knowledge of biology or the philosophy of science on the part of the reader. Discussion questions are also provided to encourage reader reflection.

The Native Mind and the Cultural Construction of Nature

Author: Scott Atran
Publisher: Mit Press
ISBN:
Format: PDF, Kindle
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An analysis of the cognitive consequences of diminished contact with nature examines the relationship between how people think about the natural world and how they act on it, and how these are affected by cultural differences.

Das unbeschriebene Blatt

Author: Steven Pinker
Publisher: S. Fischer Verlag
ISBN: 3104903905
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Mit einem aktuellen Vorwort zur Neuausgabe! Auf John Locke geht die Vorstellung zurück, der Mensch sei ein leeres Blatt, auf dem im Verlauf des Lebens die persönlichen Erfahrungen eingetragen werden. In seinem mittlerweile klassischen Buch »Das unbeschriebene Blatt. Die moderne Leugnung der menschlichen Natur« bezieht Bestseller-Autor Steven Pinker ganz die Gegenposition: Mit Witz, Brillanz und Gelehrsamkeit analysiert er die Geschichte dieser Idee und zeigt, wie falsch sie ist – mit allen kruden Auswirkungen auf Vorstellungen von Sexualität, Rasse, Kindererziehung, Intelligenz usw. Die Rolle der Gene wird systematisch unterschätzt; aber das bedeutet nicht, dass wir ihnen völlig ausgeliefert sind. Pinker zeigt nämlich auch, wie befreiend diese Sichtweise sein kann. Ein unterhaltsames und anschauliches Buch zur Natur des Menschen, ein echter Lesegenuss.