The Adapted Mind
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The Adapted Mind : Evolutionary Psychology and the Generation of Culture

Edited by Jerome H. Barkow , Edited by Etc. , Edited by Leda Cosmides , Edited by John Tooby

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From reviews of the hardback: "A fascinating book which deserves a wide audience." European Medical Journal "a very significant contribution to the field of evolutionary thinking on human psychology and culture." British Journal of Medical Psychology Researchers have long been aware that the species-typical architecture of the human mind is the product of our evolutionary history, but it has only been in the last three decades that advances in such fields as evolutionary biology, cognitive psychology, and paleoanthropology have been made which have highlighted these changes. This book introduces the newly crystallizing field of evolutionary psychology to a wider scientific audience and focuses on the evolved information-processing mechanisms that comprise the human mind.

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  • Paperback | 688 pages
  • 152 x 232 x 32mm | 961.61g
  • 11 Jan 1996
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • halftones, line figures, tables
  • 0195101073
  • 9780195101072
  • 375,444

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Review quote

This book is a rare exception, a volume of fresh and original research of momentous significance that is written in such a way that ordinary mortals can immediately join the debate. The Economist, January, 1992 This book is a rare exception, a volume of fresh and original research of momentous significance that is written in such a way that ordinary mortals can immediately join the debate. The Economist ... a massive tome that throws considerable light on a number of issues ... The Adapted Mind is a very significant contribution to the field of evolutionary thinking on human psychology and culture. It brings together many well-written and scholarly chapters that do much to articulate the salient issues and give state of the art overviews. Paul Gilbert, British Journal of Medical Psychology, 66 one cannot afford to ignore it Glenn D. Wilson, Person.individ. Diff. Vol. 15, No. 5, 1993 a collection of eighteen papers by twenty-five authors which sum up and illustrate much of the best of our knowledge in the field of evolutionary psychology Christopher Badcock, London School of Economics, ESS Newsletter No. 36, October 1994

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Back cover copy

Although researchers have long been aware that the species-typical architecture of the human mind is the product of our evolutionary history, it has only been in the last three decades that advances in such fields as evolutionary biology, cognitive psychology, and paleoanthropology have made the fact of our evolution illuminating. Converging findings from a variety of disciplines are leading to the emergence of a fundamentally new view of the human mind, and with it a new framework for the behavioral and social sciences. First, with the advent of the cognitive revolution, human nature can finally be defined precisely as the set of universal, species-typical information-processing programs that operate beneath the surface of expressed cultural variability. Second, this collection of cognitive programs evolved in the Pleistocene to solve the adaptive problems regularly faced by our hunter-gatherer ancestors - problems such as mate selection, language acquisition, co-operation, and sexual infidelity. Consequently, the traditional view of the mind as a general-purpose computer, tabula rasa, or passive recipient of culture is being replaced by the view that the mind resembles an intricate network of functionally specialized computers, each of which imposes contentful structure on human mental organization and culture. The Adapted Mind explores this new approach - evolutionary psychology - and its implications for a new view of culture.

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