(searched for: doi:10.1016/b978-0-12-420190-3.00023-5)
Published: 22 April 2021
Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science pp 8162-8174; https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-19650-3_2158
Modernity and Cultural Decline pp 23-74; https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-32984-6_2
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Published: 23 September 2019
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Volume 374; https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2019.0288
Enormous progress in understanding the mechanisms that mediate pain can be augmented by an evolutionary medicine perspective on how the capacity for pain gives selective advantages, the trade-offs that shaped the mechanisms, and evolutionary explanations for the system's vulnerability to excessive and chronic pain. Syndromes of deficient pain document tragically the utility of pain to motivate escape from and avoidance of situations causing tissue damage. Much apparently excessive pain is actually normal because the cost of more pain is often vastly less than the cost of too little pain (the smoke detector principle). Vulnerability to pathological pain may be explained in part because natural selection has shaped mechanisms that respond adaptively to repeated tissue damage by decreasing the pain threshold and increasing pain salience. The other half of an evolutionary approach describes the phylogeny of pain mechanisms; the apparent independence of different kinds of pain is of special interest. Painful mental states such as anxiety, guilt and low mood may have evolved from physical pain precursors. Preliminary evidence for this is found in anatomic and genetic data. Such insights from evolutionary medicine may help in understanding vulnerability to chronic pain. This article is part of the Theo Murphy meeting issue ‘Evolution of mechanisms and behaviour important for pain’.
Anthropological Theory, Volume 20, pp 53-76; https://doi.org/10.1177/1463499618814598
Although the concept of culture was severely criticized in the second half of the twentieth century, its explanatory use has not been abandoned. Evolutionary psychologists and cognitive scientists have more recently used the concept in models and theories of culture. This use renews the hope that the concept of culture can be explanatorily useful within the social sciences, especially since the new definition of culture connects with both the idea of evolution and with the other natural sciences. In this paper, I analyze the models of cultural evolution developed by Cultural Evolutionary Science (CES), more specifically gene-culture coevolution theoretical models and dual-inheritance theories. I argue that even if CES scholars mostly claim that for them, culture is equal to information, some of these models have aspirations to bring back cultures as discrete units that resemble the social anthropological models of culture that have been already abandoned. I discuss evolutionists’ and social anthropologists’ objections to these models. I claim that despite the popularity of cultural evolutionist theories, social scientists (cultural anthropologists and historians, for example) should remain skeptical about the possibility that this approach can assume an explanatory role for a concept of culture.
Published: 12 June 2018
Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science pp 1-14; https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_2158-2
Published: 2 March 2018
Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science pp 1-14; https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_2158-1