What Is Evolutionary Psychology: Explaining the New Science of the Mind

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Yale University Press, Aug 1, 2004 - Psychology - 64 pages
There really is a universal human nature, and the aim of evolutionary psychology is to discover it. According to this bold new approach, the mind was designed by natural selection to solve the problems faced by our hunter-gatherer ancestors. As a result, it is no blank slate. The mind is a collection of tools, each specialized for solving a different ancestral problem. From recognizing faces to falling in love, or acquiring a language to reciprocating favors, evolutionary psychology is at last unraveling the mystery of what it means to be human.

Here two pioneers of the field, Leda Cosmides and John Tooby, explain the science behind the headlines. They outline the intellectual framework of this exciting new discipline, describe its main findings and conclusions, and set out an agenda for future research. The result is a powerful and pervasive perspective on the evolution of human nature, which changes how we look at reasoning, the emotions, motivation, and even aesthetics.

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About the author (2004)

Cosmides is a codirector for the Center for Evolutionary Psychology and is a professor of psychology and anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Tooby is a codirector for the Center for Evolutionary Psychology and is a professor of psychology and anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

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