Controversial issues in evolutionary psychology

by Edward H. Hagen


(from the book) In this chapter, Edward Hagen offers an insightful analysis of recurrent controversies surrounding evolutionary psychology and the misconceptions that stubbornly persist. These controversies include the conflation of levels of analysis (e.g., selfish genes versus selfish people), misunderstandings about the concept of the environment of evolutionary adaptedness (EEA), and enduring confusions about the false nature-nurture dichotomy. Hagan clarifies the notions of modularity and specificity and refutes common criticisms of these notions. He then addresses recurrent worries about the political implications of evolutionary psychology and shows that these apprehensions are unfounded. He ends on an intriguing note, suggesting that a true science of the human mind might indeed provide tools that potentially challenge and undermine values people hold near and dear. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2005 APA, all rights reserved).

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