John Tooby

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John Tooby
Born(1952-07-26)July 26, 1952
DiedNovember 10, 2023(2023-11-10) (aged 71)
Known forEvolutionary psychology

John Tooby (July 26, 1952 – November 10, 2023) was an American anthropologist who, together with his psychologist wife Leda Cosmides, pioneered the field of evolutionary psychology.[1][2]


Tooby received his PhD in Biological Anthropology from Harvard University in 1989 and was Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB).

In 1992, together with Cosmides and Jerome Barkow, Tooby edited The Adapted Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and the Generation of Culture. Tooby and Cosmides also co-founded and co-direct the UCSB Center for Evolutionary Psychology. Cosmides and Tooby jointly received the 2020 Jean Nicod Prize.[3]

Tooby died on November 10, 2023, at the age of 71.[4]

Selected publications[edit]


  • Barkow, J., Cosmides, L. & Tooby, J., (Eds.) (1992). The adapted mind: Evolutionary psychology and the generation of culture. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Tooby, J. & Cosmides, L. (in press). Evolutionary psychology: Foundational papers. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Cosmides, L. & Tooby, J. (in press). Universal Minds: Explaining the new science of evolutionary psychology(Darwinism Today Series). London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson.


  • Cosmides, L. & Tooby, J. (1981). Cytoplasmic inheritance and intragenomic conflict. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 89, 83-129.
  • Cosmides, L. & Tooby, J. (1987). From evolution to behavior: Evolutionary psychology as the missing link. In J. Dupre (Ed.), The latest on the best: Essays on evolution and optimality. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.
  • Tooby, J. & Cosmides, L. (1990). The past explains the present: Emotional adaptations and the structure of ancestral environments. Ethology and Sociobiology, 11, 375-424.
  • Cosmides, L. & Tooby, J. (1992) Cognitive adaptations for social exchange. In J. Barkow, L. Cosmides, & J. Tooby (Eds.), The adapted mind: Evolutionary psychology and the generation of culture. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Cosmides, L. & Tooby, J. (1994). Beyond intuition and instinct blindness: Toward an evolutionarily rigorous cognitive science. Cognition, 50(1-3), 41-77.
  • Cosmides, L. & Tooby, J. (2003). Evolutionary psychology: Theoretical Foundations. In Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science. London: Macmillan.
  • Tooby, J. & Cosmides, L. (2005). Evolutionary psychology: Conceptual foundations. In D. M. Buss (Ed.), Evolutionary Psychology Handbook. New York: Wiley.
  • Cosmides, Leda; Tooby, John (2008). "Evolutionary Psychology". In Hamowy, Ronald (ed.). Evolution Psychology. The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE; Cato Institute. pp. 158–61. doi:10.4135/9781412965811.n99. ISBN 978-1412965804. LCCN 2008009151. OCLC 750831024.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ David Buss, in the textbook Evolutionary Psychology (Allyn & Bacon, 1999), pp. xxi-xxii: "In the writing of this book I owe the greatest intellectual debt to Leda Cosmides, John Tooby, Don Symons, Martin Daly, and Margo Wilson, pioneers and founders of the emerging field of evolutionary psychology."
  2. ^ See also Geoffrey Miller, "How to Keep Our Meta-Theories Adaptive: Beyond Cosmides, Tooby, and Lakatos" Psychological Inquiry 11:1 (2000), p. 42: "For a young science barely a decade old, evolutionary psychology has achieved a remarkably strong metatheoretical consensus. [...] [E]volutionary psychology's metatheory was also shaped very strongly by a series of ambitious, persuasive, and visionary articles by Cosmides and Tooby in the late 1980s and early 1990s that showed how adaptationism could be applied to the human mind. The Cosmides-Tooby vision of evolutionary psychology profoundly influenced the thinking of other leading researchers, such as Buss, Gigerenzer, Pinker, and Thornhill. It was also adopted as the conceptual framework in the most influential popular accounts of evolutionary psychology."
  3. ^ "Jean-Nicod Lectures and Prize 2020". Institut Jean Nicod. Retrieved 2021-08-16.
  4. ^ Pinker, Steven (November 14, 2023). "Psychology Lost a Great Mind". Nautilus. NautilusThink Inc. Retrieved February 21, 2024.

External links[edit]

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