Monday, August 31, 2009

Evolutionary Psychology: Am I Nuts or Is It Nuts?

Men and women? Both from Earth | Comment is free |

I have been reading quite a bit about Evolutionary Psychology lately, Steven Pinker's The Blank Slate and Ian McEwan's Enduring Love in the past week for example.

Like other psychological theories (Freudianism, Behaviourism) is seems to offer some interesting insights.

But its overall tone, as noted elsewhere, is a series of Just so stories that confirm current prejudices. [For Steven Pinker the thoughts and ideals of a Harvard psychology professor in the Late Clinton era represent "Human Nature"...].

More than that, it shares with Freudianism the typical bully stance of "everything you say proves my point." (Pinker specifically approves of Freudianism on this point.)

In fact it is another "scientific theory" built on far too little data and far too much assumption of Divine authority by its writers.

I look forward to its rapid deconstruction.

What are the books doing this now?

1 comment:

Anne Gilbert said...

I think your comment about evolutionary psychology sharing a "mindset" with the Freudians is right on target. I noticed this years ago, when I first started doing research for my novel(which relies very heavily on certain aspects of the human evolution story, among other things), and personally, I found this quite distressing. I have also found it distressing that evolutionary psychology often tends to side with "conventional wisdom", particularly when it comes to the women and men are "supposed" to be. They are nto different from Freudians in this respect, either. And, like the Freudians, I have a feeling that unless they get their act together, they will end up being just about as relevant, and science by that time will have moved on to other things.
Anne G