Evolutionary psychology — the direction of modern psychology, which deals with the study of species-specific psychological characteristics of man as a representative of the species Homo sapiens.
Sociobiology is a branch of ethology focused on the study of human social behavior determined by its biological heredity. The term itself was created by E. O. Wilson in 1975. The materials presented by him were quite contradictory. Although only one short Chapter was devoted to people, it was the reason for discussions. In it, he stated that the evolutionary factors play a more important role in human psychology than that to which scientists were willing to agree in the field of social Sciences.
Wilson’s main scientific contribution was to bring together ideas that gave impetus to the development of evolutionary psychology, which also at times can give rise to contradictions, but claims to be an accurate scientific method. Its Central term — the concept of adaptionin a broad sense,reflecting the two ways of survival of the fittest organisms in the process of evolution. The first is a direct adaptation proposed by Darwin: the survival of the individual over a period of time long enough for it to transmit its adaptive characteristics to the next generation. The second, indirect adaptation,is based on the biological relationship between parents and children, siblings, uncles and aunts with nephews and nieces, and even between cousins. As an illustration of the latter statement, suppose an aunt breaks into a burning building to save her niece, and she succeeds, but she dies in the process. Due to the family ties between the aunt and niece, the genetic characteristics of the aunt are partially saved and suitable for transmission to other generations, even if she did not have her own children. It is in this way that evolutionary psychologists explain how altruism,usually defined as self-sacrifice, not aimed at self-interest, can be completely “selfish” in the evolutionary sense and, accordingly, develop in humans in the process of evolution.
In this sense, everything we do is selfish, whether we are aware of it or not.
According to the provisions of evolutionary psychologists, such altruistic self-sacrifice, as, for example, in the case when parents risk their lives to save their children, can actually be selfish in its origins, since it is aimed at preserving the biological heritage of parents.
We select, you are selected, As it often does not match!
Got acquainted with evolutionary psychology. I will try to convey the logical structure of this glorious science. The starting point is the explanation of human behavior exclusively within the framework of natural selection. Sometimes coevolution of culture and genes is mentioned, but only natural selection at the level of individuals, relatives (kin selection), mutual altruism (Robert Trivers Concept) and group (group selection, price equation) is considered as possible mechanisms of explanation. And, of course, sexual selection plays a crucial role.
The purpose of the constructions, as far as I understand, is to combat the missing links. Natural selection is a generally accepted scientific explanation and therefore, if everything is explained by natural selection, there will be no loopholes for the supernatural. On this path, free will and consciousness are declared illusions created by the brain to increase fertility rates. Also in the section of illusions goes goal-setting and intentionality. There is only the brain, created by natural selection, and goal have natural selection be not can.
The division into innate and acquired (nature versus nurture) is solved in this way: there are innate learning abilities that are formed by natural selection. Further, as the classics say: “If at the beginning of the play on the wall hangs a gun, then by the end of the play it should shoot.” The logic is that language learning requires language skills. Next, a person can use their abilities or not, it is already determined by the environmental conditions surrounding the person.
Thus, absolutely all human abilities (the ability to aggression, the ability to languages, the ability to conduct military operations, the ability to aesthetic perception, the ability to rape, the ability to rational thinking, the ability to crime, the ability to religious experience, etc.) were formed by natural selection. There is simply no room for other mechanisms in naturalism.
Evolutionary psychology begins with the postulate of the existence of an evolutionary psychological mechanism (evolved psychological mechanism). This refers to the ability to behave in a particular way that is directly or indirectly related to biological adaptation. In other words, the evolutionary psychological mechanism is a trait that is inherited. Of course, that evolutionary psychological mechanism is associated with the relative survival and raznorabochiy.
What is called intelligence is declared to be a set of evolutionary psychological mechanisms. “I” as well as consciousness is declared illusion. The brain consists of competing cognitive modules, that is, the brain is technically a means of functioning of a huge number of arbitrarily combined evolutionary psychological mechanisms.
The final step is that biological adaptation is the result of natural selection. Thus, all evolutionary psychological mechanisms were formed by natural selection. Those evolutionary psychological mechanisms that correlated with increased survival and reproduction were spread out, those that did not correlate disappeared.
Time considerations show that the most important evolutionary psychological mechanisms were formed in the Pleistocene, because after that there would not be enough time for natural selection to work. Therefore, our brain was formed in the era of hunters and gatherers and this should be taken into account when considering human behavior in modern society. In addition, we have inherited a number of evolutionary psychological mechanisms from our biological ancestors. Therefore, the study of animal behavior is essential for understanding human nature. Similar causes cause similar effects (similar causes produce similar effects).
Here are some typical explanations within the framework of evolutionary psychology:
‘People who were interested in the behavior and motivation of other people survived and multiplied more than those who were not interested in other people.’
‘Why do we prefer foods high in sugar, fat and salt? Because in our evolutionary past, those of our ancestors who preferred such food survived and multiplied better than those who disdained such food.’
‘People tend to be fascinated by fire. There is archaeological evidence that people have used fire for at least 300 thousand years. It is also possible that this period is one and a half million years. Given this huge amount of time, it is possible that this behavior is the result of natural selection.’
‘When hunters drove big game, there were usually rules developed for the distribution of prey, often associated with the structure of dominance within a group of people. Once again, the fundamental reason for the existence of such rules and rituals is that they increased the survival and reproducibility of both individuals and the groups to which these people belonged.’
‘People of higher social status usually build and live in taller buildings, especially in buildings whose architecture emphasizes that they are home to unusually tall people. … All General correlation between status and architecture are the result of the underlying adaptive algorithm that relates the perception of social status in relative survival and raznorabochiy: the higher people live in a higher cover, control more resources and therefore have higher relative survival rates and razmnozhenii than lower people.’
Like all great pictures of the world, evolutionary psychology contains internal contradictions. I note the following.
The lecturer always stressed that the purpose of science is only a description of what is. In other words, science does not say what should be. The transition from what is to what should be, the lecturer attributed to naturalistic errors. For example, when discussing the evolutionary roots of rape ability, evolutionary psychology only describes the state of Affairs and in no way States that it should be. The question, however, is how does the proposed picture of the world give rise to the idea of how it should be? That is, how does natural selection, which has no purpose, lead to people seriously discussing the question of what society should be like?
The next point is associated with an extremely low bar for scientific explanation. In the course of lectures this question was not considered, because it is assumed that the author is a scientist and therefore everything that he offers for consideration is science. Let’s look at the following explanation:
Napoleon lost the Russian campaign because of the harsh Russian frosts.
Can such an explanation be called scientific? It is highly doubtful. However, if this explanation is excluded from the scientific, it is necessary to exclude from the category of scientific all explanations of evolutionary psychology.
It should be noted that the ideal of the lecturer’s scientific picture of the world is the atomism of Democritus, when the world consists of a void in which unchanging atoms move aimlessly. For some reason, the lecturer believed that it was the atomism of Democritus that is the basis of modern physics. In any case, the question of the relationship between physics and biology was not considered at all. Although, there is an interesting question about what is natural selection from the point of view of physics. Should we say that natural selection is a new fundamental law of nature to be added to the laws of physics, or that natural selection is simply a measure of ignorance by the biologists of physics?
Perhaps the behavior of evolutionary psychologists explains well the theory of self-deception of evolutionary biologist Robert Trivers: man deceives himself to convince himself more likely to convince others.