The Adapted Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and the Generation of Culture

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9780195060232: The Adapted Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and the Generation of Culture
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Although researchers have long been aware that the species-typical architecture of the human mind is the product of our evolutionary history, it has only been in the last three decades that advances in such fields as evolutionary biology, cognitive psychology, and paleoanthropology have made the fact of our evolution illuminating. Converging findings from a variety of disciplines are leading to the emergence of a fundamentally new view of the human mind, and with it a new framework for the behavioral and social sciences. First, with the advent of the cognitive revolution, human nature can finally be defined precisely as the set of universal, species-typical information-processing programs that operate beneath the surface of expressed cultural variability. Second, this collection of cognitive programs evolved in the Pleistocene to solve the adaptive problems regularly faced by our hunter-gatherer ancestors--problems such as mate selection, language acquisition, cooperation, and sexual infidelity. Consequently, the traditional view of the mind as a general-purpose computer, tabula rasa, or passive recipient of culture is being replaced by the view that the mind resembles an intricate network of functionally specialized computers, each of which imposes contentful structure on human mental organization and culture. The Adapted Mind explores this new approach--evolutionary psychology--and its implications for a new view of culture.

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About the Author:

Jerome H. Barkow, Professor of Psychology and Anthropology, Dalhousie University. John Tooby, both Professors of Psychology and Anthropology, University of California at Santa Barbara.

Review:

"Rare...a volume of fresh and original research of momentous significance that is written in such a way that ordinary mortals can immediately join the debate."--The Economist

"It is not often that the coal-face of science can be reached even by educated bystanders. Discoveries are usually hidden down long tunnels of jargon and complication, and the layman must wait for interpreters to bring garbled news of them to the surface. This book is a rare exception, a volume of fresh and original research of momentous significance that is written in such a way that ordinary mortals can immediately jopin the debate." --The Economist

"A fascinating book which deserves a wide audience." --European Medical Journal

"There are two kinds of landmark publications in science: those that open a new era, like Darwin's Origin of Species, or those that mark an important waypoint in a scientific revolution that has already begun. The Adapted Mind is an example of the latter, comprising as it does a collection of eighteen papers by twenty-five authors which sum up and illustrate much of the best of our knowledge in the field of evolutionary psychology." --Christopher Baddock, London School of Economics, ESS Newletter

"Jerry Barkow, Leda Cosmides, and John Tooby performed outstanding feats as editors, actively shaping the diverse contributions so they display a rare unity of vision and purpose and a high standard of clarity and quality....The volume's fascination can best be illustrated by a quick skim through the subject index, which contains a tantalizing diversity of entries such as adultery, baboons, chastity belts, color vision, ego defenses, environmental signals ...food sharing, gossip, harems, homicide, incest, jealousy (morbid), !Kung San, learnability theory, mate guarding, nepotism, prisoner's dilemma, rough-and-tumble play, sperm competition, tolerated scrounging....Reading [this book] will be a useful prophylactic against repeating the mistakes in our field that have been made in psychology for the last 100 years, and will provide inspiration to forge the unified science of the evolution of adaptive behavior during the coming century." --Adaptive Behavior

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9780195101072: The Adapted Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and the Generation of Culture

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ISBN 10:  0195101073 ISBN 13:  9780195101072
Publisher: Oxford University Press, 1995
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