The Evolutionary Biology of Left and Right

Republicans Democrats and Human Nature

Filed under: Author narrative, Dominance and Submission, Emotional Fossils, Evolution of Emotion, Evolutionary psychology, Group Selection, Human Nature, Mental illness, Sexual Selection | 3 Comments

A glaring weakness of the agenda of the political left is that social justice does not appear to be rooted in the flesh and blood of human nature. The two most influential thinkers on our attitudes about what makes us tick are Charles Darwin and Sigmund Freud: we are ape-men who when psychoanalyzed are revealed …

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Solomon, Andrew

Andrew Solomon: “Breathtakingly original. . . . A great endeavor of the intellect”

Filed under: Emotional Fossils, Evolution of Emotion, Mental illness | 1 Comment

Andrew Solomon, after reading Old Mind, New Mind sent me these two sentences: In this breathtakingly original book, John Wylie proposes a new theory of mind, one that reconciles evolutionary biology with psychodynamics. This is a great endeavor of the intellect and a deep review of consciousness itself. In this post, I return the compliment. …

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OLD MIND NEW MIND EMOTIONAL FOSSILS THE EVOLUTION OF THE HUMAND SPIRIT

Old Mind New Mind

Filed under: Author narrative, Emotional Fossils, Evolution of Emotion, Evolutionary psychology, Mental illness

An Evolved Will for Justice Separates Us from Apes Perhaps the world’s foremost scientist on the subject of mind evolution, Michael Tomasello, states in his recent book, A Natural History of Human Thinking (2014): The main problem is that collaboration, communication, and thinking do not fossilize, so we will always be in a position of …

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Hiding in a hole

SNIT DISORDER AND HUMAN EVOLUTION

Filed under: Dominance and Submission, Emotional Fossils, Evolution of Emotion, Evolutionary psychology, Mental illness

We pick up the narrative as I am describing a prison inmate: He spoke slowly and deliberately with no emotion whatsoever. He had shot his wife dead after drinking one night. He said that he would always love her and was just waiting to die. He then went on to describe in spare, clear language …

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10,000 yr old war

Our Intense Sexuality Is Why We Are We So Violent

Filed under: Emotional Fossils, Evolution of Emotion, Evolutionary psychology, History, Sexual Selection

The strengthening of across-group marital-family bonds has exerted a relentless “ground-level” cohesive force that has resulted in the capacity to cohabitate in ever larger groups-of-groups—which is our species root adaptive advantage, upon which all our cognitive and cultural achievements rest.

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Why So Snide About Psychoanalysis?

Filed under: Dominance and Submission, Emotional Fossils, Evolution of Emotion, Evolutionary psychology, Group Selection, The Deep Evolution of Emotion | 5 Comments

When one grasps the Darwinian dimension of psychoanalytic thinking, all the exquisite riches of a century of this creative thought about the inner dynamics of child development can viewed as the effect of natural selection.

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***”Our Two Minds, Emotions and Motivations in Human Evolution”*** The Book

Filed under: Author narrative, Dominance and Submission, Emotional Fossils, Evolution of Emotion, Evolutionary psychology, Group Selection, Language, Monogamy, Sexual Selection, Summary of Philosophy, The Ascension of the Human Spirit, The Deep Evolution of Emotion, Two Mind Hypothesis

This alternative view of human nature is a deeper, richer, and far more noble narrative of our exclusively human legacy: that of an indomitable spirit possessed of a will for justice and sustained through the millennia by the bounty that it fosters.

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Freud and Darwin & Ontogeny and Phylogeny

Filed under: Dominance and Submission, Emotional Fossils, Evolution of Emotion, Evolutionary psychology, Group Selection

Ontology (the development of the individual) recapitulates phylogeny (the evolution of the species) is more applicable to the mind than the body. The process of identification in the oedipal complex is related to communication in early hominins.

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Mate Choice in a Group-Selected Species

Filed under: Emotional Fossils, Evolution of Emotion, Group Selection

When I first entered the field of psychiatry in the early 1970s, by far the most dynamic field in psychotherapeutics was family therapy. Virginia Satir, Carl Whitaker, and Murray Bowen were of few of the prominent figures around at that time whose conferences I attended. My busy clinical practice did not allow me to become …

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What Is Our Ego?

Filed under: Emotional Fossils, Evolution of Emotion, Evolutionary psychology | 1 Comment

As I have said several times in this blog, I decided that mania (the “up” part of bipolar disorder) is a disorder purely of our own species, because one of its main symptoms is the hyperactivity of grammatically complex speech, which is clearly only recently evolved. I then deduced that mania itself represents a pathologically …

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Religion and Mental Illness

Filed under: Emotional Fossils, Evolutionary psychology, God

Religion is present in two of the illnesses I treated and studied. I am fairly certain that, in both of these mental conditions, it had to do with the patients’ belief system prior to the illness—with whether the individual was primarily motivated by money and status or by religion and morality. In a small number …

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