• Corpus ID: 150106480

The psychological foundations of culture.

  title={The psychological foundations of culture.},
  author={John Tooby and Leda Cosmides},
One of the strengths of scientific inquiry is that it can progress with any mixture of empiricism, intuition, and formal theory that suits the convenience of the investigator. Many sciences develop for a time as exercises in description and empirical generalization. Only later do they acquire reasoned connections within themselves and with other branches of knowledge. Many things were scientifically known of human anatomy and the motions of the planets before they were scientifically explained. 

E Evolution of Intelligence , The

Although experts differ with regard to the nature of human intelligence, a more or less common ground is that it is a dimension of cognitive behavior – the way one knows the world and the wayOne uses that knowledge when adapting to changing conditions.

Selection and Attraction in Cultural Evolution

Suppose we give ourselves the goal of developing mechanistic and naturalistic causal explanations of cultural phenomena. (I don’t believe, by the way, that causal explanations are the only ones worth

Paths Towards a Naturalistic Approach of Culture

For a long time, social and cognitive scientists followed their own course, not really wondering what their academic neighbors were working on. The origin of this mutual indifference has been well

Conceptual Foundations of Evolutionary Psychology

Evolutionary psychology is the long-forestalled scientific attempt to assemble out of the disjointed, fragmentary, and mutually contradictory human disciplines a single, logically integrated research framework for the psychological, social, and behavioral sciences.

Practical Reasoning in a Modular Mind

It is argued that distinctively human practical reasoning, too, can be understood in modular terms, and there is nothing in the human psyche that requires any significant retreat from a thesis of massively modular mental organization.

An epistemological problem for evolutionary psychology

This article draws out an epistemological tension implicit in Cosmides and Tooby's conception of evolutionary psychology. Cosmides and Tooby think of the mind as a collection of functionally

The Darwinian Cage

This article argues that, regardless of whether that intuition is correct, evolutionary psychology fails as an explanation of human action, it fails because it loses sight of the constitutive role of norms in human conduct.

Darwinism and the Study of Human-Animal Interactions

Based on the theoretical foundations laid by sociobiologists in the 1970s and 1980s, evolutionary psychology has emerged as a recognized paradigm in the behavioral sciences.

The roots of scientific reasoning: Infancy, modularity and the art of tracking.

This chapter examines the extent to which there are continuities between the cognitive processes and epistemic practices engaged in by human hunter-gatherers, on the one hand, and those which are

Adaptive Predispositions and Human Culture

The conventional wisdom in the social sciences is that human nature is simply the imprint of an individual's background and experience. But our cultures are not random collections of arbitrary



The Principles of Psychology

I.TO give readers some idea of the contents of a good book is very often the most useful thing a reviewer can do. Unfortunately that course is not open to us in the present instance. The subject is

The misbehavior of organisms.

THERE seems to be a continuing realization by psychologists that perhaps the white rat cannot reveal everything there is to know about behavior. Among the voices raised on this topic, Beach (1950)

Shareability: The Social Psychology of Epistemology*

Pretense and representation: The origins of "theory of mind."

One of the major developments of the second year of human life is the emergence of the ability to pretend. A child's knowledge of a real situation is apparently contradicted and distorted by

From Tools to Theories: A Heuristic of Discovery in Cognitive Psychology.

The study of scientific discovery--where do new ideas come from? has long been denigrated by philosophers as irrelevant to analyzing the growth of scientific knowledge. In particular, little is known


The author is joined by a philosopher, a geneticist, and a religion scholar in a discussion of “gene culture co-evolution” and of other issues raised by sociobiology.

Toward a universal law of generalization for psychological science.

A psychological space is established for any set of stimuli by determining metric distances between the stimuli such that the probability that a response learned to any stimulus will generalize to

A critique of Darwinian anthropology.

Which humans behave adaptively, and why does it matter?