dunnettreader + evo_psych   29

Andrew Gelman - More on replication crisis - Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science
The replication crisis in social psychology (and science more generally) will not be solved by better statistics or by preregistered replications. It can only…
Instapaper  scientific_method  social_psychology  evolutionary_biology  evo_psych  statistics  from instapaper
march 2016 by dunnettreader
Krasnow et al - Group Cooperation without Group Selection: Modest Punishment Can Recruit Much Cooperation, PLoS ONE (April 2015) | via Researchgate
Max M Krasnow, Andrew W Delton, Leda Cosmides, John Tooby -- PLoS ONE 04/2015; 10(4):e0124561. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0124561 (Impact Factor: 3.23). -- ABSTRACT -- Humans everywhere cooperate in groups to achieve benefits not attainable by individuals. Individual effort is often not automatically tied to a proportionate share of group benefits. This decoupling allows for free-riding, a strategy that (absent countermeasures) outcompetes cooperation. Empirically and formally, punishment potentially solves the evolutionary puzzle of group cooperation. Nevertheless, standard analyses appear to show that punishment alone is insufficient, because second-order free riders (those who cooperate but do not punish) can be shown to outcompete punishers. Consequently, many have concluded that other processes, such as cultural or genetic group selection, are required. Here, we present a series of agent-based simulations that show that group cooperation sustained by punishment easily evolves by individual selection when you introduce into standard models more biologically plausible assumptions about the social ecology and psychology of ancestral humans. -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  biocultural_evolution  evolutionary_biology  evolution-social  evo_psych  natural_selection  cooperation  free-riding  evolution-group_selection  game_theory  punishment-altruistic  norms  agent-based_models  downloaded 
january 2016 by dunnettreader
Inclusive fitness theory and eusociality, Nature, 2011 - Everybody & his cousins reckoned by the dozens defending the theory | via Researchgate
Nature, 03/2011; 471(7339):E1-4; author reply E9-10. DOI: 10.1038/nature09831 (Impact Factor: 41.46). STRATOSOHERIC IMPACT, 100+ cites, so see Researchgate for bibliography -- Source: PubMed -- ABSTRACT -- Arising from M. A. Nowak, C. E. Tarnita & E. O. Wilson 466, 1057-1062 (2010); Nowak et al. reply. Nowak et al. argue that inclusive fitness theory has been of little value in explaining the natural world, and that it has led to negligible progress in explaining the evolution of eusociality. However, we believe that their arguments are based upon a misunderstanding of evolutionary theory and a misrepresentation of the empirical literature. We will focus our comments on three general issues. -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  biology  evolutionary_biology  evolution-social  evo_psych  natural_selection  empiricism  scientific_method  eusociality  cooperation  bibliography 
january 2016 by dunnettreader
Todd K Shackelford and James R Liddle - An overview of evolutionary psychology, Wiley interdisciplinary reviews. Cognitive science (2014) | via Researchgate
Understanding the mind from an evolutionary perspective: An overview of evolutionary psychology, Wiley interdisciplinary reviews. Cognitive science, 05/2014; 5(3). DOI: 10.1002/wcs.1281 (Impact Factor: 0.79). -- ABSTRACT --
The theory of evolution by natural selection provides the only scientific explanation for the existence of complex adaptations. The design features of the brain, like any organ, are the result of selection pressures operating over deep time. Evolutionary psychology posits that the human brain comprises a multitude of evolved psychological mechanisms, adaptations to specific and recurrent problems of survival and reproduction faced over human evolutionary history. Although some mistakenly view evolutionary psychology as promoting genetic determinism, evolutionary psychologists appreciate and emphasize the interactions between genes and environments. This approach to psychology has led to a richer understanding of a variety of psychological phenomena, and has provided a powerful foundation for generating novel hypotheses. Critics argue that evolutionary psychologists resort to storytelling, but as with any branch of science, empirical testing is a vital component of the field, with hypotheses standing or falling with the weight of the evidence. Evolutionary psychology is uniquely suited to provide a unifying theoretical framework for the disparate subdisciplines of psychology. An evolutionary perspective has provided insights into several subdisciplines of psychology, while simultaneously demonstrating the arbitrary nature of dividing psychological science into such subdisciplines. Evolutionary psychologists have amassed a substantial empirical and theoretical literature, but as a relatively new approach to psychology, many questions remain, with several promising directions for future research. For further resources related to this article, see the WIREs website. -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  Wiley  evolutionary_biology  biocultural_evolution  evo_psych  psychology  mind  neuroscience  natural_selection  bibliography  downloaded 
january 2016 by dunnettreader
Philip Ball - Why story is used to explain symphonies and sport matches - Aeon
It’s a movie classic. The lovers are out for a walk when a villain dashes out of his house and starts fighting the man. The woman takes refuge in the house;…
neuroscience  evo_psych  narrative  complexity  causation  cognitive_bias  cognition  cognition-social  epistemology-naturalism  Instapaper  from instapaper
november 2015 by dunnettreader
Paul Newall interview with John Dupré: The Disunity of Science (2006) - The Galilean Library
John Dupré is a professor of philosophy of science in the Department of Sociology and Philosophy at Exeter University in the UK, and also the director of Egenis, the ESRC Centre for Genomics in Society. I was able to ask him about several keys areas of his work and relate it to contemporary issues in both science and the philosophy of science. -- Hits all my hot buttons. Anti mathematization of economics and its divorce from empiricism, disdainful of evo-devo psych, the Centre is part of a larger program looking at impacts of genetics and biology, from philosophy through sociology, economics, politics, art and humanities. Pal of Nancy Cartwright, Philip Kitcher and part of the "Stanford School". Author of Darwin's Legacy on Kindle -- downloaded page as pdf to Note
interview  philosophy_of_science  scientific_method  scientific_culture  scientism  methodology  laws_of_nature  empiricism  pragmatism  genetics  evolutionary_biology  molecular_biology  epigenetics  evo_psych  economic_models  mathematization  kindle  downloaded 
july 2015 by dunnettreader
Raymond Boudon - Utilité ou Rationalité (2002) | Scribd
21 page article -- Explains why "rational choice" fails as explanatory theory in lots of collective action, public opinion, game theory, etc. -- domains where decisions to act aren't based exclusively on instrumental, consequentialist, cost-benefit calculative, and egoistic (directly concerned with impact on self) forms of, and context for, reasoning. Boudon finds "rational choice" superior to hand-wavy explanations that are speculative "black boxes" -- e.g. (1) sociobiology or evo-devo that we're hardwired, (2) Kahneman and Tversky heuristics and biases -- fascinating observations but aren't explanatory, (3) social/cultural explanations such as "socialization" which are tautological or a black box that provide no mechanisms that can differentiate situations or variations in outcomes. E.g. in Roman Empire peasants were more likely to remain pagan and soldiers were more likely to be attracted to the new religion. "Socialization" doesn't explain why soldiers raised in the traditional religious milieu and belief system were more likely to change their beliefs. Great examples of how rationality includes cognitive processes dealing with (1) non-instrumental contexts - e.g. identification with communitarian concerns ranging from voting to immigration policies, (2) aligning actions with one's judgment of what's more likely "true" based on core beliefs and how one has learned to evaluate "evidence" [e.g. Swedes are even more likely to reject "lump of labor" than Americans!] (3) axiological reasoning, including norms of fairness that may be fairly universal (e.g. reaction to Antigone, ultimatum game) or specific to a culture (e.g. due process in political application of "rule of law") -- see article for his tripartite classification of rationality and types of cognition that "rational choice" rejects in its definition. He thinks Weber and Adam Smith got there before, and better than, Becker.
article  Scribd  social_theory  mechanisms-social_theory  evolutionary_biology  evo_psych  rational_choice  rationality-economics  rationality-bounded  rationality  reasons  Weber  Smith  Becker_Gary  Simon_Herbert  fairness  community  identity  norms  epistemology-social  game_theory  altruism  cognitive_bias  cognition  cognition-social  democracy  citizens  voting  political_participation  collective_action  political_culture  public_choice  public_opinion  common_good  socialization  social_psychology  cost-benefit  self-interest  self-interest-cultural_basis  self-and-other  EF-add 
april 2015 by dunnettreader
How (not) to bring psychology and biology together | Scientia Salon
By Mark Feydk -- Published in Philosophical Studies, February 2014. -- Evolutionary psychologists often try to ‘‘bring together’’ biology and psychology by making predictions about what specific psychological mechanisms exist from theories about what patterns of behaviour would have been adaptive in the EEA for humans. This paper shows that one of the deepest methodological generalities in evolutionary biology—that proximate explanations and ultimate explanations stand in a many-to-many relation—entails that this inferential strategy is unsound. Ultimate explanations almost never entail the truth of any particular proximate hypothesis. But of course it does not follow that there are no other ways of ‘‘bringing together’’ biology and psychology. Accordingly, this paper explores one other strategy for doing just that, the pursuit of a very specific kind of consilience. However, I argue that inferences reflecting the pursuit of this kind of consilience with the best available theories in contemporary evolutionary biology indicate that psychologists should have a preference for explanations of adaptive behavior in humans that refer to learning and other similarly malleable psychological mechanisms—and not modules or instincts or any other kind of relatively innate and relatively non-malleable psychological mechanism. -- Downloaded pdf to Note
article  philosophy_of_science  evo_psych  evolutionary_biology  gene-culture_coevolution  psychology  human_nature  downloaded 
march 2015 by dunnettreader
Jack Miles - Tilting Against Naïve Materialism: On Thomas Nagel's "Mind and Cosmos" | The Los Angeles Review of Books - Feb 2013
Nagel is a professed scientific realist. He does not put scientific knowledge in scare quotes. He believes that reason is reliable and that science does engage reality. But when an account of the origin of reason that links it entirely to reproductive success has this self-subversive corollary, he chooses to trust reason and question the account rather than trust the account and question reason.Here, for this reviewer, is the core challenge, the core disturbance, of this challenging and intentionally disruptive work. Mind and Cosmos, which has been taken as an oblique defense of creationism, is actually a defense of reason. Yet it is also a fabulous effort of the imagination. The place of imagination, of fantasy, even of dream-life in the history of human thought is a large one. Nagel admits that he is not a scientist, but it would call for imagination and not just analysis for a scientist in any given field to begin thinking past contemporary science as a whole toward the contours of what might someday succeed it. Unless one is a scientific Whig, one must strongly suspect that something someday will indeed succeed it. Nagel’s Mind and Cosmos does not build a road to that destination, but it is much to have gestured toward a gap in the hills through which a road might someday run. -- Swift would agree
books  reviews  kindle-available  philosophy_of_science  evolutionary_biology  evolution  Darwinism  Nagel  reason  epistemology  teleology  monism  panpsychic_monism  materialism  reductionism  truth  Swift  historiography-Whig  history_of_science  consciousness  mind  cosmology  imagination  creativity  human_nature  evo_psych  EF-add 
august 2014 by dunnettreader
Brian Leiter, Michael Weisberg - Why Evolutionary Biology is (so Far) Irrelevant to Law (2007, last revised 2014) :: SSRN
U of Texas Law, Law & Econ Research Paper No. 81 -- U of Texas Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 89 -- We argue that as the actual science stands today, evolutionary biology offers nothing to help with questions about legal regulation of behavior. -- Evolutionary accounts are etiological accounts of how a trait evolved. [A]n account of causal etiology could be relevant to law if (1) the account of causal etiology is scientifically well-confirmed, and (2) there is an explanation of how the well-confirmed etiology bears on questions of development (the Environmental Gap Objection). ....the accounts of causal etiology that might be relevant are not remotely well-confirmed by scientific standards. We argue, in particular, that (a) evolutionary psychology is not entitled to assume selectionist accounts of human behaviors, (b) the assumptions necessary for the selectionist accounts to be true are not warranted by standard criteria for theory choice, and (c) only confusions about levels of explanation of human behavior create the appearance that understanding the biology of behavior is important. We also note that no response to the Environmental Gap Objection has been proffered. In the concluding section of the article, we turn directly to the work of Prof Owen Jones, a leading proponent of the relevance of evolutionary biology to law, and show that he does not come to terms with any of the fundamental problems identified in this article. -- downloaded pdf to Note
paper  SSRN  legal_theory  philosophy_of_science  philosophy_of_law  philosophy_of_social_science  evolution-social  evolutionary_biology  evo_psych  causation-social  causation-evolutionary  downloaded  EF-add 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
Kenan Malik - A BOOK IN PROGRESS [PART 17]: SCIENCE, NIHILISM & MORALITY | Pandaemonium - June 2012
This extract is from the section that unpacks Alex Rosenberg’s arguments about morality in his book The Atheist’s Guide to Reality. -- For Mackie, cultural variations in moral norms provided evidence for the truth of nihilism. Rosenberg, on the other hand, finds that evidence in the lack of cultural variation in the most important values, in the existence of a core, shared morality. Leaving aside the question of whether nihilism itself is a plausible account of moral life, it is possible that both Mackie and Rosenberg are right about moral norms. It is not implausible that humans posses a small number of evolved, shared moral beliefs, surrounded by an ocean of culturally variable norms. -- The debate about the degree to which moral norms are shared across cultures and the extent to which they vary remains unresolved. A century ago the argument for cultural variation held sway. More recently the idea of an evolved set of cultural and moral universals found favour. There are signs now of a swing back in the pendulum; recent research has plausibly, if controversially, claimed that even traits that had seemed unquestionably evolved and universal – such as facial expressions, for instance, or language – may be far more culturally varied than once thought. Given this debate, Rosenberg is not giving a scientific account of how natural selection may have shaped our moral norms, but is rather telling a story, a story of the kind he is so dismissive about in histories, biographies, the humanities and literature, but one that is often less persuasive because he seems so cavalier with both fact and observation.
books  reviews  kindle-available  moral_philosophy  intellectual_history  morality-objective  morality-conventional  morality-innate  evo_psych  evolution-social  metaethics  EF-add 
may 2014 by dunnettreader
Amazon.com: Herbert Gintis' review of Michael Tomasello, Natural History of Human Thinking
Herb is very enthusiastic re the key theoretical innovations, a lot less re the attempts to use game theory to describe the innovation
books  reviews  kindle-available  human_nature  evo_psych  evolution-social  sociability  cooperation  mind  philosophy_of_language  metaethics  EF-add 
february 2014 by dunnettreader
Tim Lewens - What Is Wrong with Typological Thinking? | JSTOR: Philosophy of Science, Vol. 76, No. 3 (July 2009), pp. 355-371
What, if anything, is wrong with typological thinking? The question is important, for some evolutionary developmental biologists appear to espouse a form of typology. I isolate four allegations that have been brought against it. They include the claim that typological thinking is mystical; the claim that typological thinking is at odds with the fact of evolution; the claim that typological thinking is committed to an objectionable metaphysical view, which Elliott Sober calls the ‘natural state model’; and finally the view (endorsed by Ron Amundson and Günter Wagner) that typological thinking—and specifically evolutionary developmental biology’s typological thinking—is committed to a peculiar form of causation that does not fit neatly into the causal models endorsed by population genetics. I argue that, properly understood, the typological thinking of evolutionary developmental biology does not run into any of these problems. -- paywall Chicago
article  jstor  paywall  philosophy_of_science  genetics  evolutionary_biology  evo_psych  causation-evolutionary  kinds  EF-add 
february 2014 by dunnettreader
Beauty, Art, and Darwin | Roger Sandall (2009)
Review essay of Roger Scruton, Beauty and Denis Dutton, The Art Instinct - both 2009. Very nicely done, though gets a bit cranky about the 1960s with Kristol and Bell. And he's a stitch on Scruton's fatuous attempt to turn Titian's odalesque into conjugal contentment and Manet's into a money grubbing prostitute.
books  reviews  art_history  aesthetics  evo_psych  sexuality  high_culture  Modernism  EF-add 
february 2014 by dunnettreader
Mohan Matthen review of Denis Dutton, The Art Instinct - Denis Dutton book website
Art and Selection -
Critical Notice by Mohan Matthen of The Art Instinct -- American Philosophical Association, Central Division, February 18, 2010 (forthcoming, Canadian Journal of Philosophy) -- In this book, Dutton argues for an evolutionary conception of the "art instinct", which is sure to attract the ire of many philosophers and humanists, and he does so passionately, fearlessly, and uninhibitedly. He uses the evolutionary conception to undermine some of the artistic and aesthetics-theory excesses of the twentieth century. What more could one ask from 250 pages? In my comments below, I will question some of Dutton's argumentative strategies, and use others as foils to my own views. I hope this will not mask my admiration for his achievement. The Art Instinct is a wonderful book, a must-read for anyone interested in art theory or human evolution.
books  reviews  aesthetics  human_nature  evolutionary_biology  evo_psych  theory  EF-add 
february 2014 by dunnettreader
Denis Dutton, "Aesthetics and Evolutionary Psychology" in The Oxford Handbook for Aesthetics, edited by Jerrold Levinson (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003).
Starts with Aristotle and Hume - common elements of human nature that would make certain aspects of poetics common across cultures and over time and make visual and aural experiences aestheticly pleasing. Attacks 20thC extreme blank slate as cultural relativism. Goes through evolutionary psychology theories about sexual selection and fitness, including costliness of effort and display. Returns to Kant re limits on evolutionary psychology that the more reductionist of evo-devo types seem incapable of understanding.
article  books  aesthetics  intellectual_history  Aristotle  Hume  Kant  human_nature  cultural_history  relativism  judgment-aesthetics  taste  evolutionary_biology  psychology  evo_psych  EF-add 
february 2014 by dunnettreader
Gowdy et al - Economic cosmology and the evolutionary challenge | Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization Special Issue 2013
2nd lead articl5 -- downloaded pdf to Note -- The intellectual histories of economics and evolutionary biology are closely intertwined because both subjects deal with living, complex, evolving systems. Because the subject matter is similar, contemporary evolutionary thought has much to offer to economics. In recent decades theoretical biology has progressed faster than economics in understanding phenomena like hierarchical processes, cooperative behavior, and selection processes in evolutionary change. This paper discusses three very old “cosmologies” in Western thought, how these play out in economic theory, and how evolutionary biology can help evaluate their validity and policy relevance. These cosmologies are: (1) “natural man” as a rational, self-sufficient, egotistical individual, (2) competition among individuals can lead to a well-functioning society, and (3) there exists an ideal optimal state of nature. These correspond to Colander et al. (2004) “holy trinity of orthodox economics”, rationality, greed, and equilibrium. It is argued below that current breakthroughs in evolutionary biology and neuroscience can help economics go beyond these simple cosmologies.

They equate Pope’s Essay (self love and social are the same) with Mandeville Fable of the Bees
paper  journal  intellectual_history  ancient_philosophy  Western_civ  natural_law  cosmology  Providence  self-interest  competition  markets  economic_theory  economic_sociology  economic_culture  evolution-social  biocultural_evolution  evo_psych  evolution-as-model  reason  rationality-economics  rational_choice  downloaded  EF-add  equilibrium  complexity  Smith  Pope  Mandeville 
december 2013 by dunnettreader
David Sloan Wilson & John M. Gowdy - Evolution as a general theoretical framework for economics and public policy | Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 2013
1st lead article to special issue of same title -- downloaded pdf to Note -- Economic and evolutionary thinking have been entwined throughout their histories, but evolutionary theory does not function as a general theoretical framework for economics and public policy, as it does for the biological sciences. In this lead article for a special issue of the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, we first describe how evolution functions as a general theoretical framework in the biological sciences. Then we consider four reasons why evolution might not need to be consulted for human-related subjects such as economics and public policy. We conclude that these reasons can be valid in particular cases, but they fail for any sizeable human-related subject area. Hence evolution can and should become a general theoretical framework for economics and public policy. The other articles in the special issue help to substantiate this claim.
paper  journal  economic_theory  economic_models  public_policy  social_theory  social_sciences  evolution-social  evolution-as-model  evo_psych  institutions  institutional_economics  organizations  evolutionary_biology  biocultural_evolution  downloaded  EF-add 
december 2013 by dunnettreader
“Evolution as a General Theoretical Framework for Economics and Public Policy” - Special Issue | Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization | The Evolution Institute 2013
Special issue editors: David Sloan Wilson, John M. Gowdy, J. Barkley Rosser -- This supplementary issue of the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization is based on a collaborative project between the Evolution Institute and the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center that started in 2009 with a NESCent catalysis meeting titled “The Nature of Regulation: How Evolution Can Inform the Regulation of Large-scale Human Social Interactions”. The meeting led to a 2-year project on integrating economic and evolutionary theory. This project used NESCent’s working group rubric to organize three workshops, whose participants were drawn from a larger advisory group. Other outputs of the project include a white paper submitted to the National Science Foundation and a final workshop titled “The Science-to-Narrative Chain”, which examines how to create a new public narrative based on the evolutionary paradigm. Supplemental material can also be found at our online magazine: This View of Life http://www.thisviewoflife.com/
social_sciences  public_policy  economic_theory  evolution-social  evolution-as-model  evo_psych  institutions  institutional_economics  organizations 
december 2013 by dunnettreader
The evolution of morality – Allen Buchanan and Russell Powell – Aeon - December 2013
Allen Buchanan is professor of philosophy and professor of law at Duke University in North Carolina. His latest book is Better Than Human: The Promise and Peril of Enhancing Ourselves (2011).

Russell Powell is a philosopher at Boston University, whose research interests include bioethics and biotechnology. His book, Genetic Engineering and the Future of Humanity, is forthcoming.

Nevertheless, the evo-conservative argument has some attractions. Human altruism does tend to be parochial, and people do often act as if they ascribe significantly greater moral worth to kin, kith and countryman. The trouble with this understanding of morality is that it cannot be the whole picture, or even most of it. After all, these evolutionary accounts are incapable of explaining a large swath of contemporary moral behaviour that we call the ‘inclusivist anomaly’. These are features of human morality that are strikingly more inclusive than evolutionary theory would lead us to expect, suggesting that human moral nature is far more flexible than evo-conservatives have acknowledged. This flexibility in turn offers ample room for the development of still more inclusive moralities that, on the evo-conservative view, evolution is purported to have ruled out.
evo_psych  evolution-social  moral_philosophy  moral_sentiments  cosmopolitanism  human_nature  moral_psychology  progress  conservatism 
december 2013 by dunnettreader
Kenan Malik's review essay on 'The Blank Slate' by Steven Pinker and 'Straw Dogs' by John Gray
A more generous reading of Pinker than he deserves re his strawmen but a pretty good discussion of the problems with his reductionism
books  bookshelf  human_nature  humanism  anti-humanism  innate_ideas  evo_psych 
december 2013 by dunnettreader
Massimo Pigliucci interviewed by Richard Marshall. rationally speaking » 3:AM Magazine
Massimo Pigliucci keeps a beady mind’s eye on the demarcation problem between science and pseudo-science, on the fun of getting philosophy out there, on the value of philosophy and how it makes progress, on the Rupture for nerds, on his Hume tattoo, on naturalism, emergentism and a luscious ontology, on when philosophers and scientists over-reach, on Fodor on evolution, on science and ethics, on the interesting work of xphi and why we need the humanities. All told, this one lays the money down
philosophy_of_science  mind  naturalism  scientism  scientific_method  evo_psych  evolutionary_biology  virtue_ethics  EF-add 
december 2013 by dunnettreader
John Mikhail - Review of Patricia S. Churchland, 'Braintrust: What Neuroscience Tells Us About Morality':: SSRN
The treatment of these subjects is generally informative and often quite illuminating, albeit occasionally superficial. Churchland writes elegantly and presents a clear, distinctive, and forceful viewpoint on the science of morality, which draws inspiration from Aristotle, Hume, and Darwin. Her principal thesis, that moral and social values are rooted in the neurobiology of care, trust, and cooperation, deserves to be taken seriously by scientists and philosophers alike. In this review, I focus on three perceived weaknesses of Churchland’s stimulating book that likely will be of particular interest to philosophers: her interpretation of Hume, her skepticism toward innate moral principles, and her treatment of moral rules. I then conclude by making a few brief observations about the general significance of Braintrust. Keywords: Churchland, Darwin, Hume, Aristotle, Plato, morality, nativism, epistemology, computation, rules, neurobiology, care, attachment, norms, genes, evolution -- downloaded pdf to Note
books  kindle  reviews  moral_philosophy  cognition  neuroscience  Hume  naturalism  evolutionary_biology  evo_psych  epistemology  genetics  downloaded  EF-add 
september 2013 by dunnettreader
Kenan Malik: FROM THE VAULTS: BLANK SLATES AND STRAW DOGS | Pandaemonium
Continuing my series of old essays and talks about human nature that I have not previously published on Pandaemonium, this is a review of Steven Pinker’s The Blank Slate and John Gray’s Straw Dogs. It was first published in Prospect, October 2002.
books  reviews  human_nature  evo_psych  biocultural_evolution  scientism  conservatism  21stC  EF-add 
august 2013 by dunnettreader
Ethan Watters: Why Americans Are the WIERDest People in the World | Pacific Standard February 2013
Long form article: Joe Henrich and his colleagues are shaking the foundations of psychology and economics—and hoping to change the way social scientists think about human behavior and culture.
* * * *
The growing body of cross-cultural research that the three researchers were compiling suggested that the mind’s capacity to mold itself to cultural and environmental settings was far greater than had been assumed. The most interesting thing about cultures may not be in the observable things they do—the rituals, eating preferences, codes of behavior, and the like—but in the way they mold our most fundamental conscious and unconscious thinking and perception.
* * * * This new approach suggests the possibility of reverse-engineering psychological research: look at cultural content first; cognition and behavior second. Norenzayan’s recent work on religious belief is perhaps the best example of the intellectual landscape that is now open for study. 
social_theory  statistics  culture  biocultural_evolution  human_nature  psychology  social_psychology  microeconomics  rational_choice  evo_psych  sociology_of_religion  EF-add 
august 2013 by dunnettreader
Robert Gonzalez: WIERD - Rich, educated westerners could be skewing social science studies | io9.com
Links to debates about psychology, social psych, evo psych, experimental microeconomics etc using subjects from developed Western societies, especially college students, and even worse, psych majors
social_theory  psychology  microeconomics  rational_choice  statistics  culture  social_psychology  sociology_of_religion  biocultural_evolution  evo_psych  human_nature 
august 2013 by dunnettreader
The Mind as a Scientific Object: Between Brain and Culture, ed by David Martel Johnson, Christina E. Erneling (2005)
Very interesting & extensive collection of papers on emerging interdisciplinary approaches to mind and the ontology and methodology debates, including eliminativism, evolutionary biology, cultural approaches including constructivism, neurobiology models etc. In cultural section, see paper on Bakhtin and dialogic modes.

Conclusion chapter by Erneling has interesting remarks re classification - what Cartesian dualism (mind/body, subject/object, inside/outside, material/immaterial etc) and even those who opposed one or more dualism have maintained is grouping certain things together that may actually be differences in kind. See paper that treats beliefs and perceptions as so different that trying to deal with them together when thinking about mechanisms or cultural dimensions is actively counterproductive. Erneling also discusses model of 5 different types of "self" that each person has (is)
books  Questia  cognition  mind  philosophy_of_science  evo_psych  biocultural_evolution 
july 2013 by dunnettreader
Timothy Noah for Democracy Journal: Fairness Doctrine (Summer 2013)
Reacting to Jonathan Haidt article that frames economic policy debates in the culture wars terms of social policy, where Haidt sees the Left winning. Accepting the conservative notions of fairness based on just deserts is what has produced the dysfunctional tax and welfare system and the awful economic policies. GOP has been successful by lying re basis and outcome of trickle down. For the Left to appropriate this cultural frame would require either lying as well. Or perhaps worse, to justify progressive programs that require rich to pay their fair share, the rich would have to be demonized as a class - not only didn't they build that, they were the takers that got more than they deserved.
US_politics  US_economy  taxes  plutocracy  inequality  political_economy  political_culture  evo_psych 
june 2013 by dunnettreader

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