The Evolution of Human Emotion

∾APE MIND • OLD MIND • NEW MIND: The Evolution of the Human Spirit∾ now on Amazon

Filed under: Human Nature, Justice, Mental illness, Myth, Self domestication, Sexual Selection, The Ascension of the Human Spirit, Two Mind Hypothesis

BACK COVER OF THE BOOK The Ascension of the Human Spirit (excerpt) The remarkable aspect of evolution by sexual selection, which Darwin so courageously proposed, is that it is driven merely by the desire for a trait, in this case the desire for justice. I had realized that sexual selection is not only driven by …

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A Liberal Theory of Human Nature

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 …

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What we caught from Neandertals

SAD is an STD (and we caught it from the Neandertals!)

Filed under: Mental illness

major mental illnesses are an epiphenomenon—or “side effect”—of the major adaptation that bestowed upon us the miraculous capacities of reflective self-consciousness and the deep complexity of syntactical language that has enabled our rich symbolic culture. Therefore we should look at the mentally ill as paying the price for our extraordinary capacities.

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What’s Missing in Matt Ridley’s “The Evolution of Everything?”

Filed under: Dominance and Submission, Enlightenment Narrative, Evolutionary psychology, Group Selection, History, Mental illness | 2 Comments

You can quibble around the edges about his analysis (and painfully trite take on religion), but I think he is generally right just as I have been claiming in this blog: over the long haul, human history has been in the direction of greater justice accompanied by prosperity—resulting from the progressive coordination of our increasingly divided labor.

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The Cause of Mental Illness: “The Answer Is Just Around the Corner”

Filed under: cognitive capacities, Evolution of Emotion, Evolutionary psychology, Mental illness, Two Mind Hypothesis

Our vulnerability to mental illness is similar to our vulnerability to lower back, hip, and knee pathology, which is the price we pay for the adaptive advantages of upright posture. Mental illness is similarly the price we pay for our mental capacities for large-group bonding, reflective self-awareness, and the complexity of linguistic syntax.

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