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Scientific American on EP

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  • Carroll, Joseph C.
    Hi folks, Scientific American posted a comment on recent journalistic attacks on EP. http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode.cfm?id=evolutionary-ps
    Message 1 of 3 , Jul 22 12:14 PM
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      Hi folks,

       

                  Scientific American posted a comment on recent journalistic attacks on EP. 

       

      http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode.cfm?id=evolutionary-psychology-under-fire-09-07-17&sc=WR_20090721

       

      Here’s a comment I posted on their blog:

       

      These recent journalistic criticisms of evolutionary psychology mistakenly present narrow-school or orthodox evolutionary psychology as if it were the dominant or even exclusive form of evolutionary psychology. Many evolutionary scientists have long been criticizing the narrow school associated with Tooby, Cosmides, and Pinker.  And indeed, within the broader community of evolutionary thinkers, the narrow-school version of evolutionary psychology is now largely obsolete. The broader view—associated with names such as David Sloan Wilson, Kevin MacDonald, Dave Geary, Steven Mithen, Edward O. Wilson, Ellen Dissanayake , Brian Boyd , and Joseph Carroll—represents the actual state of the art in the field. In this case, as in so many others, accounts by science journalists lag far behind the actual development of thinking.  In these recent accounts, journalists attack a narrow version of EP and set it in sharp contrast with a still more narrow idea—the old idea of “social constructivism.” All of this takes place in some shadowy virtual world populated by dead horses, straw men, and red herrings. Meanwhile, in the real world, scholars on all fronts are going forward with the more interesting project of working out in detail the interactions among conserved dispositions, flexible general intelligence, and imagination.

       

       

      Joseph Carroll

      Curators' Professor

      English Department

      University of Missouri , St. Louis

      St. Louis , MO 63121

       

      jcarroll@...

       

      home phone 314 432 4483

      cell phone    314 614 1469

       

      http://www.umsl.edu/~carrolljc/

       

      Home Address

       

      9038 Old Bonhomme Road

      St. Louis , MO 63132

       

       

    • Jeff P. Turpin
      Natural selection carved our behavior and locked it in place !?! Ah, me. jt Jeff P. Turpin, President Turpin and Sons Inc. Cultural Resource Management 2047
      Message 2 of 3 , Jul 22 1:51 PM
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        "Natural selection carved our behavior and locked it in place"!?!  Ah, me. jt

        Jeff P. Turpin, President
        Turpin and Sons Inc.
        Cultural Resource Management
        2047 Lakeshore, Canyon Lake, TX 78133
        (512) 922-7826
        ----- Original Message -----
        Sent: Wednesday, July 22, 2009 2:14 PM
        Subject: [biopoet] Scientific American on EP

         

        Hi folks,

                    Scientific American posted a comment on recent journalistic attacks on EP. 

        http://www.scientif icamerican. com/podcast/ episode.cfm? id=evolutionary- psychology- under-fire- 09-07-17&sc=WR_20090721

        Here’s a comment I posted on their blog:

        These recent journalistic criticisms of evolutionary psychology mistakenly present narrow-school or orthodox evolutionary psychology as if it were the dominant or even exclusive form of evolutionary psychology. Many evolutionary scientists have long been criticizing the narrow school associated with Tooby, Cosmides, and Pinker.  And indeed, within the broader community of evolutionary thinkers, the narrow-school version of evolutionary psychology is now largely obsolete. The broader view—associated with names such as David Sloan Wilson, Kevin MacDonald, Dave Geary, Steven Mithen, Edward O. Wilson, Ellen Dissanayake , Brian Boyd , and Joseph Carroll—represents the actual state of the art in the field. In this case, as in so many others, accounts by science journalists lag far behind the actual development of thinking.  In these recent accounts, journalists attack a narrow version of EP and set it in sharp contrast with a still more narrow idea—the old idea of “social constructivism.” All of this takes place in some shadowy virtual world populated by dead horses, straw men, and red herrings. Meanwhile, in the real world, scholars on all fronts are going forward with the more interesting project of working out in detail the interactions among conserved dispositions, flexible general intelligence, and imagination.

        Joseph Carroll

        Curators' Professor

        English Department

        University of Missouri , St. Louis

        St. Louis , MO 63121

        jcarroll@umsl. edu

        home phone 314 432 4483

        cell phone    314 614 1469

        http://www.umsl. edu/~carrolljc/

        Home Address

        9038 Old Bonhomme Road

        St. Louis , MO 63132

      • Mike Tintner
        The Brooks article was messy and not worth much discussion. But it did have one extraordinary proposition: Shopping isn t merely a way to broadcast permanent,
        Message 3 of 3 , Jul 24 4:40 AM
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          The Brooks article was messy and not worth much discussion. But it did have one extraordinary proposition:
           
          "Shopping isn’t merely a way to broadcast permanent, inborn traits. For some people, it’s also an activity of trying things on in the never-ending process of creating and discovering who they are."
           
          IOW human life both individual and social is a never-ending process of creating and discovering who we are, both individually and socially. And that means both discovering our past and creating - "forging" - our future. Not just discovering, say, the origins and evolution of our conscience and morality but forging that conscience anew, in the phrase of James Joyce.
           
          The arts, par excellence, embody that process of reflecting and creating change in our society, economy, culture and psychology - at every level, and in every sector, relentlessly. That is their primary raison d'etre. To miss that is to miss almost everything. The study of the arts has always been - and still is, largely - focussed on the past - the classics. Inevitably. And so it has missed the obvious - that the classics always were and always will be, about the *new* not the old in human behaviour.
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