[FRIAM] the pseudoscience of evolutionary psychology?

Nick Thompson nickthompson at earthlink.net
Thu Feb 22 19:58:59 EST 2018

Well, that was the point of my bee comment.  We start in the middle somewhere and work out from there.  There is no absolute boundary of the organism.  But as boundaries go, it's a pretty good one, and so we start there.  Once started, we don't switch without a good reason.  

Did you ever answer my question about how you understand "causality"?   So, let's say I give you a pill and you get happy.  At the behavioral level, I would say that the pill caused the happiness.  At the physiological level, I would say that the chemical in the pill slowed the uptake of serotonin.  Then I might say that the slowing of the uptake of serotonin mediated your improvement of mood.  I am not sure I would say it caused it because CAUSES by my definition have to occur BEFORE the events they cause and the up-take slowing and the mood-improving are going on simultaneously. 


Nicholas S. Thompson
Emeritus Professor of Psychology and Biology
Clark University

-----Original Message-----
From: Friam [mailto:friam-bounces at redfish.com] On Behalf Of u?l? ?
Sent: Thursday, February 22, 2018 4:24 PM
To: FriAM <friam at redfish.com>
Subject: Re: [FRIAM] the pseudoscience of evolutionary psychology?

Hm.  To be clear, I'm not only talking about the testes and adrenals.  I'm talking about the parts of the system that are modulated by testosterone as well ... which, given that testosterone partly determines our gender-associated traits, seems like a "behavior of the individual organism".  So, you're position still seems muddled and vague.  If there's no clear line between "behavior of the individual organism" and "behavior of a significant part of the organism", then what *IS* the subject of evopsych?  Really?

On 02/22/2018 03:07 PM, Nick Thompson wrote:
> Well, than that is exactly where we part company.  You're talking about the behavior of the testes (and the adrenals);  I am talking about the behavior of the individual organism.  Gets fuzzy when we talk about bees. 

☣ uǝlƃ

FRIAM Applied Complexity Group listserv
Meets Fridays 9a-11:30 at cafe at St. John's College to unsubscribe http://redfish.com/mailman/listinfo/friam_redfish.com
FRIAM-COMIC http://friam-comic.blogspot.com/ by Dr. Strangelove

More information about the Friam mailing list