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March 23, 2005

Chris against the evolutionary psychologists....

In the spirit of following up on my post in relation to Chris of Mixing Memory, here is his critique of Evolutionary Psychology. I added the "trademark" superscript because Chris is assailing the paradigm put forward by Leda Cosmides and John Tooby. It is conventionally asserted that EP is just a rebranding of the sociobiological tradition, but in reality it is a specific cognitive orientation which focuses on human universals and assumes a particular paleoanthropological model as normative (Out-of-Africa-Replacement). Alternative sociobiological disciplines like Human Ethology and Behavorial Ecology, as well as the alphabet soup of fields explicitly associated with zoology but not necessarily disjoint with the human sciences, still flourish and do not necessarily imply particular positions about the architecture of the mind. In other words, a rejection of EP as bad science does not imply that by default the tabula rasa and its cousins as null hypotheses which must be accepted.

Addendum: If you are curious, my skepticism with Tooby and Cosmides model emerges from my concerns about the plausibility of the Environment of Evolutionary Adaptation (EEA) and the concomitant prevelance of monomorphism in relation to complex behavorial adaptations.

Posted by razib at 01:13 PM