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Homo Biologicus

An Evolutionary Model for the Human Sciences

Elworthy, Charles

Sozialwissenschaftliche Schriften, Vol. 25

(1993)

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Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
Preface vii
Acknowledgements ix
Contents xi
Illustrations xiv
I. Introduction 1
II. The Elements of Evolution 3
1. Hierarchies and Reductionism 3
2. Elements of the Evolutionary Process 6
a) Inheritance, Replicators, and Vehicles 6
b) Variation 9
c) Selection 13
d) Genetic Drift 16
e) Isolation and Speciation 17
3. Levels of Selection 18
a) Genets 18
b) Kin-Groups 21
c) Groups 24
4. Other Replicators and Vehicles 28
III. Adaptations and their Characteristics 34
1. The Meaning of Adaptation 34
2. Adaptations from Four Perspectives 41
a) Phylogeny 41
b) Function 47
c) Mechanism 48
d) Ontogeny 50
3. Analysing Adaptations 52
a) Maximisation Subject to Constraints 52
b) Optimisation and Maximisation 59
c) The Manifestation of Adaptations 65
IV. Evolution and the Human Psyche 71
1. The Cognitive Level and Evolutionary Psychology 71
2. Investigating the Cognitive Level 74
a) The Environment of Evolutionary Adaptedness 74
b) Cognitive Programs and Computational Theories 75
c) Darwinian Algorithms 78
d) Ontogeny and Behaviour 82
3. Evolutionary Psychology and the Wason Selection Task 83
a) Content Effects on the Wason Selection Task 83
b) A Computational Analysis of Social Exchange 86
c) The “Look for Cheaters” Darwinian Algorithm 89
4. Accounting for Hominid Cognitive Development 93
a) Encephalisation 93
b) The Capacity for Sociality 101
c) The “Balance of Power” Hypothesis 103
V. From Psychology to Behaviour 113
1. Genet Maximisation 113
a) Specification of Somatic Maximisation 113
b) Habitat Selection 118
c) Responses to Hazards and Risks 121
d) Avoidance of Unprofitable Investment 127
2. Kin-Group Maximisation 133
a) Specification of Kin-Group Maximisation 133
b) Sexual Preferences 137
c) Male Reproductive Strategies 139
3. Group Maximisation 146
a) Specification of Group Maximisation 146
b) Obedience 149
c) Conformity 153
d) Obedience and Conformity as Community Effort 157
4. Aggregate Maximisation and Non-Optimality 165
VI. Homo Biologicus and Human Characteristics 168
1. Characterising Homo Biologicus 168
2. Homo Biologicus versus Homo Oeconomicus 181
a) Choice under Uncertainty 181
b) Excess Volatility in Securities Markets 188
c) Household Behaviour and Family Altruism 193
d) War 196
3. Linking the Human Sciences 201
4. Evolutionary Research and Human Characteristics 212
a) Opposition to Evolutionary Research 212
b) Consequences of “Biophobia” 215
c) Diversity and Discrimination 218
d) Determinism and Freedom 221
VII. Summary and Implications 226
Glossary 228
Subject Index 239
Author Index 249
Selected Bibliography 257