Adapting Minds

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Adapting Minds: Evolutionary Psychology and the Persistent Quest for Human Nature is a book published by MIT Press written by philosopher of science David Buller, piecing together his criticism of evolutionary psychology. A large portion of the book is dedicated to a critique of empirical findings from three research groups in the field: that of David Buss, that of Cosmides and Tooby, and that of Daly and Wilson.[1] Buller argues that the evolutionary psychology paradigms are "mistaken in almost every detail."[2] The book got a strongly negative review from anthropologist Clark Barrett in the American Journal of Human Biology who wrote: "Buller’s book has many useful elements, but it is based on simplistic assumptions and fallacious arguments that lead to faulty conclusions. If taken seriously, Buller’s denial of human nature would invalidate not only evolutionary psychology but also any field that attempts to produce generalizable knowledge about humans, including behavioral ecology, biological anthropology, and most branches of psychology, not to mention medicine."[1]

In a book review for The American Journal of Psychology, Gregory Bryant wrote, "If this is the best critique to date of evolutionary psychology (as many have mused), then evolutionary psychology is in pretty good shape."[3]


  1. ^ a b Barrett, H. C. (2006). "Adapting Minds: Evolutionary Psychology and the Persistent Quest for Human Nature". American Journal of Human Biology. 18 (2): 231–233. doi:10.1002/ajhb.20484. 
  2. ^ Holcomb, H. R. (2005). "Book Review: Buller Does to Evolutionary Psychology What Kitcher Did to Sociobiology" (PDF). Evolutionary Psychology. 3 (1). doi:10.1177/147470490500300127. ISSN 1474-7049. 
  3. ^ Bryant, Gregory A. (2006). "On Hasty Generalization about Evolutionary Psychology" (PDF). The American Journal of Psychology. 119 (3): 481. doi:10.2307/20445354. ISSN 0002-9556. 

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