the emperor’s new paradigm

And to follow up on recent posts (here, and here) on evolutionary psychology there is a new review in the latest edition of Trends in Cognitive Sciences:

Evolutionary psychology: the emperor’s new paradigm
David J. Buller
Trends in Cognitive Sciences
Volume 9, Issue 6 , June 2005, Pages 277-283
For some evolutionary psychology is merely a field of inquiry, but for others it is a robust paradigm involving specific theories about the nature and evolution of the human mind. Proponents of this paradigm claim to have made several important discoveries regarding the evolved architecture of the mind. Highly publicized discoveries include a cheater-detection module, a psychological sex difference in jealousy, and motivational mechanisms underlying parental love and its lapses, which purportedly result in child maltreatment. In this article, I argue that the empirical evidence for these ‘discoveries’ is inconclusive, at best. I suggest that, as the reigning paradigm in evolutionary psychology has produced questionable results, the evolutionary study of human psychology is still in need of a guiding paradigm.


  1. Posted May 31, 2005 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    And also on EP see this post from Mixing Memory

  2. Posted June 2, 2005 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    I give an account of the impact of some of the claims of evolutionary psychology on ethics in Evolution, Altruism and Ethics

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