A Liberal Theory of Human Nature

Human Nature – Part I: The Conservative Narrative

Filed under: Evolutionary psychology, Group Selection, Human Nature

First of a series: click second Political beliefs both start and end with attitudes toward human nature. The right has long been associated with the Hobbesian view that the natural state of mankind is “warre of every man against every man—Bellum omnium contra omnes” (Leviathan, 1651). Material progress is made possible by business competition permitted …

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The winning cartoon

EGO (Excerpt from book)

Filed under: Human Nature, Two Mind Hypothesis

The motivation for self-display, which is part of virtually all aspects of modern human striving by individuals, throws a different light on the role of ego. Freud cast the ego in modern humans as a mediator between the superego, representing the inhibitions demanded by society, and the antisocial impulses of the (primate) id. To me, …

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The Evolutionary Biology of Destiny

The Evolutionary Biology of Destiny

Filed under: Dominance and Submission, Evolution of Emotion, Group Selection, Justice, Monogamy

First off, biological instincts for morality were evolved and refined over the millions of years of hominin evolution prior to the appearance of our own Homo sapiens species some 200,000 years ago. Over and above deep feelings for justice, our peculiar species has overlain a motivational layer animated by a mania to be admired by …

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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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Secular View of Religion Won’t Cut It In 21st Century

Filed under: Enlightenment Narrative, Faith, God, History | 1 Comment

in the 21st Century, the secularist view that religion is a Darwinian side-effect, or an emotional “complex” of childlike Freudian defenses that should/will go away, has become an alarmingly dangerous abdication—nay, an abject surrendering—of the received power of the collective being that is the very heart of who we are.

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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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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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Freud’s ideas on the Evolution of Emotion

Filed under: Evolution of Emotion, Evolutionary psychology, Myth

My psychiatric training in the early 1970’s was completely dominated by Freudian ideas. After finally comprehending the basics of how the superego is installed into the child’s mind during growth and development (last post), my interest shifted to the evolution of human emotion since the last common ancestor about six million years ago. This blog …

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God FAQ: Did We Make God Up – or Discover Him?

Filed under: FAQ's about God, God | 2 Comments

The stagnant myth that has seeped unnoticed down into a pool beneath our current secular philosophy is that, when humans got smart enough to worry about what happened to us after death and to wonder about the cosmos around us, we invented first religion and then God.  Freud, the philosopher: we concocted a father who …

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God FAQ: Why Do Religions – Particularly Those with One God – Fight So Much? #2 the role of SEX in war

Filed under: FAQ's about God, History, Language, Sexual Selection

The larger question in this series of posts is why monotheistic religions fight so much. The short answer to that question is very simple. The monotheistic, Abrahamic religions have discovered the reality that all human power derives from a single, living Will usually called God. This force brought prosperity to the ancient peoples that walked …

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Therapy for Liberals

Sigmund Freud Meets Charles Darwin in Prison

Filed under: Dominance and Submission, Evolution of Emotion, Evolutionary psychology | 18 Comments

While in my residency, Freudian psychoanalytic theory was still dominant. There are several cornerstones from my training that, through all the vicissitudes of my career, remained as foundations. First and foremost is the validity of the mind as a subject of study as opposed to the brain. This was difficult to maintain when psychiatry was …

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