How Sexual Choice Shaped the Evolution of Human Nature
Author: Geoffrey Miller
At once a pioneering study of evolution and an accessible and lively reading experience, The Mating Mind marks the arrival of a prescient and provocative new science writer. Psychologist Geoffrey Miller offers the most convincing–and radical–explanation for how and why the human mind evolved. Consciousness, morality, creativity, language, and art: these are the traits that make us human. Scientists have traditionally explained these qualities as merely a side effect of surplus brain size, but Miller argues that they were sexual attractors, not side effects. He bases his argument on Darwin’ s theory of sexual selection, which until now has played second fiddle to Darwin’ s theory of natural selection, and draws on ideas and research from a wide range of fields, including psychology, economics, history, and pop culture. Witty, powerfully argued, and continually thought-provoking, The Mating Mind is a landmark in our understanding of our own species.
This book compares two competing theories of human nature: the more traditional theory espoused in different forms by centuries of western philosophy and the newer, Darwinian model. In the traditional view, the human being is a hybrid being, with a lower, animal nature and a higher, rational or “spiritual” component. The competing Darwinian account does away with the idea of a higher nature and attempts to provide a complete reduction of human nature to the evolutionary goals of survival and reproduction. Whitley Kaufman presents the case that the traditional conception, regardless of one's religious views or other beliefs, provides a superior account of human nature and culture. We are animals, but we are also rational animals. Kaufman explores the most fundamental philosophical questions as they relate to this debate over human nature—for example: Is free will an illusion? Is morality a product of evolution, with no objective basis? Is reason merely a tool for promoting reproductive success? Is art an adaptation for attracting mates? Is there any higher meaning or purpose to human life? Human Nature and the Limits of Darwinism aims to assess the competing views of human nature and present a clear account of the issues on this most pressing of questions. It engages in a close analysis of the numerous recent attempts to explain all human aims in terms of Darwinian processes and presents the arguments in support of the traditional conception of human nature.
In this changing world of what is deemed socially and politically "correct," polygamy is perhaps the last great taboo. Over the course of the last thousand years, monogamy - at least in name - has been the default setting for coupledom and procreation. And yet, throughout history, there havebeen inklings that "one-man, one-woman" may not be the most natural state-of-being for humans. The recent Ashley Madison "cheaters website" hacking, coupled with the high divorce rate of the last half-century, provide more than enough evidence to convince even a hopeless romantic that monogamy, andthe institution of marriage which props it up, is doomed to be a bygone remnant of a more socially conservative past.Esteemed writer and evolutionary biologist David P. Barash tackles this uncomfortable finding: that humans are actually biologically and anthropologically more inclined toward polygamy. With years of research in the field to back up this argument, Barash presents hundreds of anecdotes from bothevolutionary biology and human history that guide the reader through the societal impacts of monogamy and polygamy - some expected (sexual behavior) and others unexpected (the most successful models of parenting). Despite this natural inclination of humanity, Barash is reassuring throughout thisfascinating read in his resolution that "biology is not destiny."
Release on 2012-12-03 | by Gregory Velazco Trianosky,Noël Carroll
Author: Gregory Velazco Trianosky,Noël Carroll
Pubpsher: Indiana University Press
“A feminist aesthetics text which bridges aesthetic theory, art and popular culture and acknowledges the evolving character of standards of beauty” (Teaching Philosophy). Emphasizing the human body in all of its forms, Beauty Unlimited expands the boundaries of what is meant by beauty, both geographically and aesthetically. Peg Zeglin Brand and an international group of contributors interrogate the body and the meaning of physical beauty in this multidisciplinary volume. This striking and provocative book explores the history of bodily beautification; the physicality of socially or culturally determined choices of beautification; the interplay of gender, race, class, age, sexuality, and ethnicity within and on the body; and the aesthetic meaning of the concept of beauty in an increasingly globalized world.
Release on 2011-03-17 | by Mark Schaller,Ara Norenzayan,Steven J. Heine,Toshio Yamagishi,Tatsuya Kameda
Author: Mark Schaller,Ara Norenzayan,Steven J. Heine,Toshio Yamagishi,Tatsuya Kameda
Pubpsher: Psychology Press
An enormous amount of scientific research compels two fundamental conclusions about the human mind: The mind is the product of evolution; and the mind is shaped by culture. These two perspectives on the human mind are not incompatible, but, until recently, their compatibility has resisted rigorous scholarly inquiry. Evolutionary psychology documents many ways in which genetic adaptations govern the operations of the human mind. But evolutionary inquiries only occasionally grapple seriously with questions about human culture and cross-cultural differences. By contrast, cultural psychology documents many ways in which thought and behavior are shaped by different cultural experiences. But cultural inquires rarely consider evolutionary processes. Even after decades of intensive research, these two perspectives on human psychology have remained largely divorced from each other. But that is now changing - and that is what this book is about. Evolution, Culture, and the Human Mind is the first scholarly book to integrate evolutionary and cultural perspectives on human psychology. The contributors include world-renowned evolutionary, cultural, social, and cognitive psychologists. These chapters reveal many novel insights linking human evolution to both human cognition and human culture – including the evolutionary origins of cross-cultural differences. The result is a stimulating introduction to an emerging integrative perspective on human nature.
For some, biology explains all there is to know about the mind. Yet many big questions remain: is the mind shaped by genes or the environment? If mental traits are the result of adaptations built up over thousands of years, as evolutionary psychologists claim, how can such claims be tested? If the mind is a machine, as biologists argue, how does it allow for something as complex as human consciousness? The Biological Mind: A Philosophical Introduction explores these questions and more, using the philosophy of biology to introduce and assess the nature of the mind. Drawing on the four key themes of evolutionary biology; molecular biology and genetics; neuroscience; and biomedicine and psychiatry Justin Garson addresses the following key topics: moral psychology, altruism and levels of selection evolutionary psychology and modularity genes, environment and the nature-nurture debate neuroscience, reductionism and the relation between biology and free will function, selection and mental representation psychiatric classification and the maladapted mind. Extensive use of examples and case studies is made throughout the book, and additional features such as chapter summaries, annotated further reading and a glossary make this an indispensable introduction to those teaching philosophy of mind and philosophy of psychology. It will also be an excellent resource for those in related fields such as biology.
Sex, Relationships, and the Mind's Reproductive System
Author: Geoffrey Miller
Pubpsher: Taylor & Francis
Category: Health & Fitness
Human intelligence is sexually attractive, and strongly predicts the success of sexual relationships, but the behavioral sciences have usually ignored the interface between intelligence and mating. This is the first serious scholarly effort to explore that interface, by examining both universal and individual differences in human mating intelligence. Contributors include some of the most prominent evolutionary psychologists and promising new researchers in human intelligence, social psychology, intimate relationships, and sexuality. David Buss' foreword and the opening chapter explore what 'mating intelligence' means, and why it is central to human cognition and sexuality. The book's six sections then examine (1) our mating mechanisms -- universal emotional and cognitive adaptations for mating intelligently -- that guide mate search, mate choice, and courtship; (2) how mating intelligence strategically guides our choice of mating tactics and partners given different relationship goals, personality traits, forms of deception, and the existence of children; (3) the genetic and psychiatric causes of individual differences in mating intelligence; (4) how we use mental fitness indicators -- forms of human intelligence such as creativity, humor, and emotional intelligence -- to attract and retain sexual partners; (5) the ecological and social contexts of mating intelligence; (6) integrative models of mating intelligence that can guide future research. Mating Intelligence is intended for researchers, advanced students, and courses in human sexuality, intimate relationships, intelligence research, behavior genetics, and evolutionary, personality, social, and clinical psychology.
When Darwin proposed that females shape evolution by being choosy in their choice of male suitors, his Victorian contemporaries were shocked that he accorded so much importance to women. But this early view of the female role was far from revolutionary: They were simply allowed to be passive 'quality controllers' of male genes. Recent years have shown that the inert 'coy female' is a myth. For a male, a high sex drive and a taste for variety may improve his fitness. But for a female, successful reproduction goes far beyond copulation. She bears the brunt of parental investment with each child represents years of commitment from pregnancy and breast-feeding to provisioning and guarding. For her genetic lineage to survive, she must do this better than her rivals. Each of us comes from a line of winning mothers. Women are, after all, the first and default sex. It is women who bear children. A child born with a single X chromosome can survive, but not one with a single Y. In a population crash, a female-biased population will survive far better than a male-heavy one. In this book, Anne Campbell redresses the balance of evolutionary theory in favour of women. She examines how selection pressures have shaped the female mind over thousands of generations: Their emotions, friendship, competition, aggression and mate choice. She brings together data from neuroscience, endocrinology, anthropology, primatology as well as psychology to address fundamental questions about sex differences.... Why are women less aggressive than men? Were women designed for monogamy or promiscuity? What do women compete for? Why is conflict between males and females inevitable? What makes each woman unique? Have contraception and IVF subverted the process of natural selection?
Hook Up, Make Up, & Break up with Emotional Intelligence
Author: Michael Ra Bouchard
Thoughts are very real things. They can be compared to the elements that create the weather we experience. From clear and sunny to overcast and dreary, your thought-machine mind creates your reality. Whether or not you are consciously aware of it, you alone control the angles and rotations of the kaleidoscopic mirrors within the workings of your mind. If you dont like your reality, you can always adjust your outlook simply by adjusting your way of thinking. One of lifes mercies is that we can retrain our mind. This guide is an appeal for rational thinking. When all is said and done, there are only three fundamental areas over which you have any real control in your life: how you think/feel (as in two sides of the same coin), how you act, and how you react. When you are unhappy in life or love, the best place to start looking for both the cause and the cure is within the inner narrative of your thoughts. It is here you will find the fountainhead of resiliency from which your strength and well-being flow. Resiliency in people is not an accidental occurrence; rather, it is the cumulative effect of an individuals decision making. In a nutshell, humans need not always interpret things in the negative, instead, the choice to view things either as a positive or as a negative is entirely your own to make. The intelligent approach insists you strive to see both the positive and the negative in people, situations, and events. Doing so wont negate the negative, it simply helps to balance it. The knowledge contained in A Users Guide to Your Mind is threefold: how to live mindfully of your thoughts, how to exercise emotional intelligence in relationships, and how to exercise social intelligence in everyday life. Exercising social and emotional intelligencealong with good old common senseis essential to soundly managing your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. If you are tired of just talking about making changes and are now actually prepared to do something about it, the guidance within will provide detailed blueprints to get you started in redesigning your life and relationships. Best of all, you can implement what you learn as you see fit, according to your own goals, value system, and moral principles. This book shows you how.
Mammals raising their young evolved brains hardwired for emotional relationships. Around this mammalian core, humans evolved a new, larger brain for abstract thinking. Too often our abstract thinking gets in the way of emotionally connecting with other people. Hearts and Minds shows you how to improve your relationships by integrating these different brain systems. Plus, you'll find: The best places to meet single men and women (page 93). How young men and women fall in love with mirrors of themselves (page 74), when mature men and women love their real partners, including accepting their faults (page 83). How switching gender roles moves dating into a committed relationship (page 139). How to use conflicts to strengthen a relationship (page 146).