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The Social Evolution of Human Nature
From Biology to Language

$35.99 (C)

  • Author: Harry Smit, Universiteit Maastricht, Netherlands
  • Date Published: February 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107697553

$ 35.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • This book sheds new light on the problem of how the human mind evolved. Harry Smit argues that current studies of this problem misguidedly try to solve it by using variants of the Cartesian conception of the mind, and shows that combining the Aristotelian conception with Darwin's theory provides us with far more interesting answers. He discusses the core problem of how we can understand language evolution in terms of inclusive fitness theory, and investigates how scientific and conceptual insights can be integrated into one explanatory framework, which he contrasts with the alternative Cartesian-derived framework. He then explores the differences between these explanatory frameworks with reference to co-operation and conflict at different levels of biological organization, the evolution of communicative behaviour, the human mind, language, and moral behaviour. His book will interest advanced students and scholars in a range of subjects including philosophy, biology and psychology.

    • Proposes a new view of the evolution of human nature which challenges the Cartesian conception of the mind
    • Combines inclusive fitness theory with the (neo-) Aristotelian conception of the mind
    • Provides an explanation for the unique features of the human mind
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Smit’s book displays high levels of expertise in the fields of biology and evolutionary theory. It is a treasure trove of interesting examples and fascinating case studies.' Ryan M. Nefdt, The Philosophical Quarterly

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2017
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107697553
    • length: 240 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 13 mm
    • weight: 0.33kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. The major evolutionary transitions and Homo loquens
    2. The conceptual foundation of human nature
    3. Inclusive fitness theory and genomic imprinting
    4. Evolution, teleology, and the argument from design
    5. Dualism, monism and evolutionary psychology
    6. Weismann, Wittgenstein and the homunculus fallacy
    7. Language evolution: doing things with words versus translating thought into language
    8. Moral behaviour: a conceptual elaboration of Darwin's ideas
    9. Epilogue.

  • Author

    Harry Smit, Universiteit Maastricht, Netherlands
    Harry Smit is Assistant Professor in the Department of Cognitive Neuroscience at Universiteit Maastricht, The Netherlands.

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