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Philosophy | Evolutionary Psychology and the Propositional-attitudes - Two Mechanist Manifestos

Evolutionary Psychology and the Propositional-attitudes

Two Mechanist Manifestos

Walter, Alex

2012, XII, 85p. 1 illus..

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  • Challenges evolutionary psychologists’ philosophical commitment to propositional-attitude (i.e. language of thought [LOT]) models of cognition
  • Explores disagreements between Evolutionary Psychology and Evolutionary Developmental Systems Theory
  • Explores cognition vs motivation related issues in explanation within Evolutionary Psychology
The two essays provide a critical examination of theory and research in the field of evolutionary psychology. The view advanced here is that philosophical materialism and minimalist assumptions about adaptation serve Darwinian psychology better than the more popular alternative view that relies on cognitive dualism and propositional-attitude psychology to formulate evolutionary psychology theory. A commitment to cognitive dualism is destined to undermine the physical basis of behavior upon which evolutionary theory depends. Many evolutionary psychologists do not see this but are seduced by the easy way in which hypotheses can be formulated using the ‘propositional-attitude’ model. The challenge is to develop a materialistic and mechanistic approach to understanding human cognition and behavior, including linguistic and social behavior.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Propositional-attitudes - evo-devo - evolutionary psychology - mind/body dualism - modularity - motivation

Related subjects » Behavioral Sciences - Cognitive Psychology - Epistemology & Philosophy of Science - Neuropsychology - Philosophy

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