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  • Cited by 3
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    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Atran, Scott 2005. Adaptationism for Human Cognition: Strong, Spurious or Weak?. Mind and Language, Vol. 20, Issue. 1, p. 39.

    Atran, Scott Medin, Douglas and Ross, Norbert 2004. Evolution and devolution of knowledge: a tale of two biologies. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Vol. 10, Issue. 2, p. 395.

    Medin, Douglas L. and Atran, Scott 2004. The Native Mind: Biological Categorization and Reasoning in Development and Across Cultures.. Psychological Review, Vol. 111, Issue. 4, p. 960.


Modest adaptationism: Muddling through cognition and language

  • Scott Atran (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 August 2002

Strong adaptationists would explain complex organic designs as specific adaptations to particular ancestral environments. Weak adaptationists don't assume that complex organic functioning represents evolutionary design in the sense of niche-specific adaptation. For some domain-specific competencies (folkbiology) strong adaptationism is useful, not necessary. With group-level belief systems (religion), strong adaptationism can become spurious pseudo-adaptationism. In other cases (language), weak adaptationism proves productive.

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Behavioral and Brain Sciences
  • ISSN: 0140-525X
  • EISSN: 1469-1825
  • URL: /core/journals/behavioral-and-brain-sciences
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