1st Edition

The Evolution of Mind
Fundamental Questions and Controversies

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ISBN 9781593854089
Published March 8, 2007 by Guilford Press
448 Pages

USD $61.00

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Book Description

In the past two decades, an explosion of research has generated many compelling insights--as well as hotly debated controversies--about the evolutionary bases of human nature. This important volume brings together leading proponents of different theoretical and methodological perspectives to provide a balanced look at 12 key questions at the core of the field today. In 43 concise, accessible chapters, followed by an integrative conclusion, the contributors present viewpoints informed by human behavioral ecology, evolutionary psychology, and gene-culture coevolutionary approaches. Topics include the strengths and limitations of different methodologies; metatheoretical issues; and debates concerning the evolution of the human brain, intellectual abilities, culture, and sexual behavior.

Table of Contents

An Introduction to The Evolution of Mind: Why We Developed This Book, Steven W. Gangestad and Jeffry A. Simpson
I. Methodological Issues: The Means of Darwinian Behavioral Science
Issue 1: How the Evolution of the Human Mind Might Be Reconstructed
1. Comprehensive Knowledge of Human Evolutionary History Requires Both Adaptationism and Phylogenetics, Randy Thornhill
2. Natural Psychology: The Environment of Evolutionary Adaptedness and the Structure of Cognition, Edward H. Hagen and Donald Symons
3. Reconstructing the Evolution of the Mind is Depressingly Difficult, Paul W. Andrews
4. Reconstructing the Evolution of the Human Mind, Eric Alden Smith
5. How the Evolution of the Human Mind Might Be Reconstructed, Steven Mithen
Issue 2: The Role of Tracking Current Evolution
6. Reproductive Success: Then and Now, Charles B. Crawford
7. On the Utility, Not the Necessity, of Tracking Current Fitness, Monique Borgerhoff Mulder
8. Why Measuring Reproductive Success in Current Populations is Valuable: Moving Forward by Going Backward, H. Kern Reeve and Paul W. Sherman
Issue 3: Our Closest Ancestors
9. What Nonhuman Primates Can and Can't Teach Us about the Evolution of Mind, Craig B. Stanford
10. Who Lived in the Environment of Evolutionary Adaptedness?, Joan B. Silk
11. Chimpanzee and Human Intelligence: Life History, Diet, and the Mind, Jane B. Lancaster and Hillard S. Kaplan
Issue 4: The Role of Examining the Costs and Benefits of Behaviors
12. Optimality Approaches and Evolutionary Psychology: A Call for Synthesis, Hillard S. Kaplan and Steven W. Gangestad
13. The Games People Play, Peter DeScioli and Robert Kurzban
14. Dynamical Evolutionary Psychology and Mathematical Modeling: Quantifying the Implications of Qualitative Biases, Douglas T. Kenrick and Jill M. Sundie
II. Fundamental MetaTheoretical Issues
Issue 5. The Modularity of Mind
15. Functional Specialization and the Adaptationist Program, Elsa Ermer, Leda Cosmides, and John Tooby
16. Modules in the Flesh, H. Clark Barrett
Issue 6. Development as the Target of Evolution17. The Developmental Dynamics of Adaptation, Hunter Honeycutt and Robert Lickliter
18. An Alternative Evolutionary Psychology?, Kim Sterelny
19. Development as the Target of Evolution: A Computational Approach to Developmental Systems, H. Clark Barrett
20. Evolutionary Psychology and Developmental Systems Theory, Debra Lieberman
21. The Importance of Developmental Biology to Evolutionary Biology and Vice Versa, Randy Thornhill
Issue 7. The Role of Group Selection
22. The Role of Group Selection in Human Psychological Evolution, David Sloan Wilson
23. Group Selection: A Tale of Two Controversies, Robert Boyd and Peter J. Richerson
24. On Detecting the Footprints of Multilevel Selection in Humans, Robert Kurzban and C. Athena Aktipis
III. Debates Concerning Important Human Evolutionary Outcomes
Issue 8. Key Changes in the Evolution of Human Psychology
25. The Hominid Entry into the Cognitive Niche, H. Clark Barrett, Leda Cosmides, and John Tooby
26. Runaway Social Selection in Human Evolution, Mark Flinn and Richard Alexander
27. Key Changes in the Evolution of Human Psychology, Steven Mithen
Issue 9. Brain Evolution
28. Brain Evolution and the Human Adaptive Complex: An Ecological and Social Theory, Hillard S. Kaplan, Michael Gurven, and Jane B. Lancaster
29. Evolution of the Social Brain, Robin Dunbar
30. Brain Evolution, Geoffrey Miller
31. E Pluribus Unum: Too Many Unique Human Capacities and Too Many Theories, Barbara L. Finlay
Issue 10. General Intellectual Ability
32. The Motivation to Control and the Evolution of General Intelligence, David C. Geary
33. The g-culture Coevolution, Satoshi Kanazawa
34. General Intellectual Ability, Steven Mithen
Issue 11. Culture and Evolution
35. Cultural Adaptation and Maladaptation: Of Kayaks and Commissars, Robert Boyd and Peter J. Richerson
36. The Envelope of Human Cultures and the Promise of Integrated Behavioral Sciences, Pascal Boyer
37. The Linked Red Queens of Human Cognition, Coalitions, and Culture, Mark Flinn and Kathryn Coe
38. Evolutionary Biology, Cognitive Adaptations, and Human Culture, Kim Hill
39. Representational Epidemiology: Skepticism and Gullibility, Robert Kurzban
40. Turning Garbage into Gold: Evolutionary Universals and Cross-Cultural Differences, Mark Schaller
Issue 12. The Evolution of Mating between the Sexes
41. The Evolution of Human Mating Strategies: Consequences for Conflict and Cooperation, David M. Buss
42. Social Structural Origins of Sex Differences in Human Mating, Wendy Wood and Alice H. Eagly
43. The Evolution of Women's Estrus, Extended Sexuality, and Concealed Ovulation, and Their Implications for Human Sexuality Research, Randy Thornhill
Whither Science of the Evolution of Mind?, Steven W. Gangestad and Jeffry A. Simpson

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Steven W. Gangestad, PhD, is Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of New Mexico. His research has covered a variety of topics in evolutionary behavioral science, including the determinants of sexual attraction, changes in women's sexual psychology across the ovarian cycle, the effects of genetic compatibility between mates on relationship qualities, individual variation in developmental precision and its manifestations in neuropsychology, and influences of men's testosterone levels.

Jeffry A. Simpson, PhD, is Professor of Psychology and Director of the Doctoral Minor in Interpersonal Relationships at the University of Minnesota. His research interests include adult attachment processes, human mating, idealization in relationships, empathic accuracy in relationships, and dyadic social influence. Dr. Simpson is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science. He serves as Associate Editor for the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: Interpersonal Relations and Group Processes.


Evolution of Mind demonstrates that a disciplinary realignment, underway for more than three decades, is now virtually complete. We have moved away from traditional disciplinary identities and, in the words of the editors, toward an integrative human evolutionary behavioral science. This innovative volume captures this exciting moment with short, insightful essays from dozens of leading scholars from throughout the social, behavioral, and life sciences. The contributors focus on 12 important issues in the evolutionary study of the mind and behavior, highlighting points of consensus, areas of controversy, and important new directions. Scholars will find this book essential to their efforts to keep abreast of current trends in this new field, and the range and brevity of its chapters make it a perfect source of stimulating readings for graduate and advanced undergraduate courses.--Lee Cronk, PhD, Department of Anthropology and Center for Human Evolutionary Studies, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Don’t be fooled by the deceptive simplicity of Darwin’s elegant theory, or the polarized debates about evolutionary social science. Instead, get it right by reading this magnificent volume of concise page-turners on the evolution of the human mind. Gangestad and Simpson set out to nudge the progress of this vibrant new science by squarely addressing its internal controversies in the words of the experts themselves. The book is a huge success--forget nudging, the field leaps forward! A 'must read' for anyone who really wants to understand the profound ways evolution has shaped human behavior. This book is a true intellectual adventure.--Martie G. Haselton, PhD, Department of Communication Studies and Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles
This volume covers enormous ground. Its refreshingly unique and surprisingly effective format results in a series of pithy, never-boring essays that truly elucidate diverse perspectives among the human evolutionary sciences. Both specialists and non-specialists will find it an edifying read.
--Journal of Anthropological Research, 1/28/2007ƒƒ
Provides a broad overview of several diverse perspectives across a range of topics....Could serve well as a text for a graduate-level seminar series on the evolution of mind.
--PsycCRITIQUES, 1/28/2007