Adapting Minds: Evolutionary Psychology and the Persistent Quest for Human Nature

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MIT Press, 2005 - Philosophy - 550 pages
7 Reviews
Was human nature designed by natural selection in the Pleistocene epoch? The dominant view in evolutionary psychology holds that it was葉hat our psychological adaptations were designed tens of thousands of years ago to solve problems faced by our hunter-gatherer ancestors. In this provocative and lively book, David Buller examines in detail the major claims of evolutionary psychology葉he paradigm popularized by Steven Pinker in The Blank Slate and by David Buss in The Evolution of Desire預nd rejects them all. This does not mean that we cannot apply evolutionary theory to human psychology, says Buller, but that the conventional wisdom in evolutionary psychology is misguided.

Evolutionary psychology employs a kind of reverse engineering to explain the evolved design of the mind, figuring out the adaptive problems our ancestors faced and then inferring the psychological adaptations that evolved to solve them. In the carefully argued central chapters of Adapting Minds, Buller scrutinizes several of evolutionary psychology's most highly publicized "discoveries," including "discriminative parental solicitude" (the idea that stepparents abuse their stepchildren at a higher rate than genetic parents abuse their biological children). Drawing on a wide range of empirical research, including his own large-scale study of child abuse, he shows that none is actually supported by the evidence.

Buller argues that our minds are not adapted to the Pleistocene, but, like the immune system, are continually adapting, over both evolutionary time and individual lifetimes. We must move beyond the reigning orthodoxy of evolutionary psychology to reach an accurate understanding of how human psychology is influenced by evolution. When we do, Buller claims, we will abandon not only the quest for human nature but the very idea of human nature itself.
  

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Review: Adapting Minds: Evolutionary Psychology and the Persistent Quest for Human Nature

User Review  - Tom - Goodreads

If Evolutionary Psychologists were to argue that the sky is blue, Buller would surely argue that, contrary to appearances, the sky is actually plaid. This is presumably only a minor exaggeration ... Read full review

Review: Adapting Minds: Evolutionary Psychology and the Persistent Quest for Human Nature

User Review  - Nebuchadnezzar - Goodreads

Evolutionary psychology is a subject that invites so much controversy that even most academic types can't seem to keep their heads screwed on straight when it's brought up. Buller is not one of those ... Read full review

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Contents

Evolution
14
The Causes of Evolution
23
Adaptation
28
Phenotypic Variation
34
Mind
46
The Evolution of Behavior
47
The Adapted Mind
50
The Environment of Evolutionary Adaptedness
55
Men Seeking Women
207
Women Seeking Men
225
Concluding Skeptical Remarks
249
Marriage
256
Keeping Myself Only unto You
274
The CreenEyed Monster
298
Parenthood
344
What Is The Truth about Cinderella?
367

Modularity and the Adapted Mind
60
Human Nature
67
Adaptation
80
Adaptation Hunting
89
Our Modern Skulls House a StoneAge Mind
104
Psychological Differences and Our Common Nature
109
Modularity
124
The Arguments for Modularity Reconsidered
141
The Empirical Evidence for Modularity Reconsidered
157
On DomainGeneral Mechanisms
192
Mating
198
The Evolution of Desire
199
Trying to Understand Parents
407
Human Nature
416
The Very Idea
417
Normal People
425
Species
435
Human Universals
454
Please Be Patient Evolution Isnt Finished with Us Yet
468
Epilogue
478
Notes
480
Bibliography
494
Index
524
Copyright

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Popular passages

Page 521 - Daly, M., & Wilson, M. (1991). A reply to Gelles: Stepchildren are disproportionately abused, and diverse forms of violence can share causal factors.

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Adapting Minds - The MIT Press
Was human nature designed by natural selection in the Pleistocene epoch? A provocative, yet balanced, appraisal of evolutionary psychology and its major ...
mitpress.mit.edu/ catalog/ item/ default.asp?ttype=2& tid=10471

David J. Buller's Home Page
David J. Buller. Home · Adapting Minds · Publications · Courses · Links. David J. Buller Department of Philosophy Northern Illinois Univ. dekalb, IL 60115 ...
www.niu.edu/ phil/ ~buller/ research/ adaptingminds.shtml

Essay Review: Debunking Adapting Minds *
Philosophy of Science, 73 (April 2006) pp. 000000. 0031-8248/2006/7302-0006$10.00. Copyright 2006 by the Philosophy of Science Association. ...
www.anthro.ucla.edu/ faculty/ barrett/ debunking%20Adapting%20Minds%20Machery%20Barrett.pdf

Pith and Substance: <i>Adapting Minds</i>: Some Reactions
I just finished reading David Buller's Adapting Minds: Evolutionary Psychology and the Persistent Quest for Human Nature. It is billed as a takedown of ...
pithandsubstance.blogspot.com/ 2006/ 10/ adapting-minds-some-reactions.html

Adapting minds : evolutionary psychology and the persistent quest ...
All about Adapting minds : evolutionary psychology and the persistent quest for human nature by David J. Buller. librarything is a cataloging and social ...
www.librarything.com/ work/ 163265

Gene Expression: Adapting Minds, David Bulller & Evolutionary ...
May 02, 2005. Adapting Minds, David Bulller & Evolutionary Psychology. I wasn't going to comment on this until I later, but a confluence of events have ...
www.gnxp.com/ MT2/ archives/ 003949.html

Adapting Minds and Evolutionary Psychology Herbert Gintis
Adapting Minds and Evolutionary Psychology. ∗. Herbert Gintis. January 3, 2006. The human brain is the result of a long evolutionary trajectory. ...
www.umass.edu/ preferen/ gintis/ buller.pdf

Matthew Yglesias (September 17, 2006) - <em>Adapting Minds</em ...
Adapting Minds. 17 Sep 2006 02:14 pm. adaptingminds.jpg. I've been searching for a pretext to plug David Buller's book Adapting Minds which I'm working my ...
matthewyglesias.theatlantic.com/ archives/ 2006/ 09/ adapting_minds.php

Adapting Minds: Evolutionary Psychology and the Persistent Quest ...
Book Reviews. A Surgical Temptation: The Demonization. of the Foreskin and the Rise of Circumci-. sion in Britain. By Robert Darby. xii . 374 pp. Chicago. ...
doi.wiley.com/ 10.1002/ ajhb.20484

A change of mind? : Nature
BOOK REVIEWED - Adapting Minds: Evolutionary Psychology and the Persistent Quest for Human Nature. by David J. Buller. Bradford Books: 2005. 552 pp. ...
www.nature.com/ nature/ journal/ v435/ n7041/ full/ 435425a.html

About the author (2005)

David J. Buller is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Northern Illinois University.

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