Epistemological Dimensions of Evolutionary Psychology

  • Thiemo Breyer

Table of contents

About this book


As psychology and philosophy arose as answers to the eternal question of how the mind works, evolutionary psychology has gained ground over recent years as a link between cognitive-behavioral and natural-science theories of the mind. This provocative field has also gathered a wide range of criticisms, from attributing too much autonomy to the brain to basing itself on faulty assumptions about our prehistoric past.

Epistemological Dimensions of Evolutionary Psychology reframes its discipline for the contemporary era, correcting common misconceptions and mediating between different schools of thought. By focusing on the nature and limits of knowledge and reasoning–the essence of epistemology–contributors offer fresh insights at the intersection of human cognitive abilities as adaptations and our self-perception of knowledge, including evolutionary perspectives on altruism, depression, or the phasing out of human sacrifice. This diversity strengthens and vindicates the field, as evinced by thought-provoking dispatches such as:

  • Toward a cognitive philosophy of science.
  • Evolutionary media psychology and its epistemological foundation.
  • The “meme” meme revisited.
  • Depression as an adaptation.
  • Like me: a homophily-based account of human culture.
  • Preparedness to learn about the world: evidence from infant research.

An engaging and often controversial testament to the combined power of evolution and logic, Epistemological Dimensions of Evolutionary Psychology will intrigue philosophers as well as psychologists in a variety of subdisciplines.


Evolutionary Psychology Zeitgeist belief behavioral and social abilities biological foundations of cognitive processes brain states cognitive specialization cultural relativism genetic reductionism naturalistic fallacy neuroscientific reductionism organismic ontology principle of uniformity

Editors and affiliations

  • Thiemo Breyer
    • 1
  1. 1.a.r.t.e.s. Graduate School for the HumanitiesUniversity of CologneAlbertus-Magnus-Platz, D-50923 CologneGermany

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015
  • Publisher Name Springer, New York, NY
  • eBook Packages Behavioral Science
  • Print ISBN 978-1-4939-1386-2
  • Online ISBN 978-1-4939-1387-9
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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