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  1. The Strange Survival and Apparent Resurgence of Sociobiology.Alex Dennis - 2018 - History of the Human Sciences 31 (1):19-35.
    A recent dispute between Richard Dawkins and Edward O. Wilson concerning fundamental concepts in sociobiology is examined. It is argued that sociobiology has not fared well since the 1970s, and that its survival as a ‘scientific’ perspective has been increasingly tenuous. This is, at least in part, because it has failed to move forward in the ways its developers anticipated, but also because it has not seen the developments in natural history, genomics and social science it was relying upon. It (...)
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  • Naturalistic Explanations of Apodictic Moral Claims: Brentano’s Ethical Intuitionism and Nietzsche’s Naturalism. [REVIEW]Imtiaz Moosa - 2007 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 10 (2):159 - 182.
    In this article (1) I extract from Brentano’s works (three) formal arguments against “genealogical explanations” of ethical claims. Such explanation can also be designated as “naturalism” (not his appellation); (2) I counter these arguments, by showing how genealogical explanations of even apodictic moral claims are logically possible (albeit only if certain unlikely, stringent conditions are met); (3) I show how Nietzsche’s ethics meets these stringent conditions, but evolutionary ethics does not. My more general thesis is that naturalism and intuitionism in (...)
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  • Criteria of Facial Attractiveness in Five Populations.Doug Jones & Kim Hill - 1993 - Human Nature 4 (3):271-296.
    The theory of sexual selection suggests several possible explanations for the development of standards of physical attractiveness in humans. Asymmetry and departures from average proportions may be markers of the breakdown of developmental stability. Supernormal traits may present age- and sex-typical features in exaggerated form. Evidence from social psychology suggests that both average proportions and (in females) “neotenous” facial traits are indeed more attractive. Using facial photographs from three populations (United States, Brazil, Paraguayan Indians), rated by members of the same (...)
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  • The Biology and Evolution of the Three Psychological Tendencies to Anthropomorphize Biology and Evolution.Marco Antonio Correa Varella - 2018 - Frontiers in Psychology 9.
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  • The Darwinian Cage.Richard Hamilton - 2008 - Theory, Culture and Society 25 (2):105-125.
    The jargon of evolutionary psychology has recently migrated from a few minor American universities into the academic mainstream and thence into Sunday supplements and dinner party conversations. It has even formed the backdrop to at least one award-winning novel (McEwan, 1997). Evolutionary psychology and other similar ‘biological’ explanations of human conduct pervade the Zeitgeist and, as Kenan Malik has persuasively argued, they tap into a prevailing mood of cultural pessimism. Evolutionary psychology, it seems, speaks to our desire to see the (...)
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  • Biological Altruism.Samirn D. Okasha - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Group Selection: The Theory Replaces the Bogey Man.David Sloan Wilson & Elliott Sober - 1994 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 17 (4):639-654.
    In both biology and the human sciences, social groups are sometimes treated as adaptive units whose organization cannot be reduced to individual interactions. This group-level view is opposed by a more individualistic one that treats social organization as a byproduct of self-interest. According to biologists, group-level adaptations can evolve only by a process of natural selection at the group level. Most biologists rejected group selection as an important evolutionary force during the 1960s and 1970s but a positive literature began to (...)
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  • Author’s Response: Evelleen Richards: Darwin and the Making of Sexual Selection. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2017, Xxxiii+669pp, $47.50 HB.Evelleen Richards - 2018 - Metascience 27 (3):411-420.
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  • Altruism and the Golden Rule.Jonathan Goodman - 2014 - Zygon 49 (2):381-395.
    This essay addresses recent claims about the compatibility of the sociobiological theory of reciprocal altruism with standard Western formulations of the Golden Rule. Derek Parfit claims that the theory of reciprocal altruism teaches us to be “reciprocal altruists,” who benefit only those people from whom we can reasonably expect benefits in the future. The Golden Rule, on the other hand, teaches us to benefit anyone regardless of their intention or ability to return the favor, or as Parfit puts it, the (...)
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  • A Critique of R.D. Alexander's Views on Group Selection.David Sloan Wilson - 1999 - Biology and Philosophy 14 (3):431-449.
    Group selection is increasingly being viewed as an important force in human evolution. This paper examines the views of R.D. Alexander, one of the most influential thinkers about human behavior from an evolutionary perspective, on the subject of group selection. Alexander's general conception of evolution is based on the gene-centered approach of G.C. Williams, but he has also emphasized a potential role for group selection in the evolution of individual genomes and in human evolution. Alexander's views are internally inconsistent and (...)
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  • The sociobiology of genes: the gene’s eye view as a unifying behavioural-ecological framework for biological evolution.Alexis De Tiège, Yves Van de Peer, Johan Braeckman & Koen B. Tanghe - 2017 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 40 (1):6.
    Although classical evolutionary theory, i.e., population genetics and the Modern Synthesis, was already implicitly ‘gene-centred’, the organism was, in practice, still generally regarded as the individual unit of which a population is composed. The gene-centred approach to evolution only reached a logical conclusion with the advent of the gene-selectionist or gene’s eye view in the 1960s and 1970s. Whereas classical evolutionary theory can only work with fitness differences between individual organisms, gene-selectionism is capable of working with fitness differences among genes (...)
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  • How Fast Does Darwin’s Elephant Population Grow?János Podani, Ádám Kun & András Szilágyi - 2018 - Journal of the History of Biology 51 (2):259-281.
    In “The Origin of Species,” Darwin describes a hypothetical example illustrating that large, slowly reproducing mammals such as the elephant can reach very large numbers if population growth is not affected by regulating factors. The elephant example has since been cited in various forms in a wide variety of books, ranging from educational material to encyclopedias. However, Darwin’s text was changed over the six editions of the book, although some errors in the mathematics persisted throughout. In addition, full details of (...)
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  • Coevolutionary Aesthetics in Human and Biotic Artworlds.Richard O. Prum - 2013 - Biology and Philosophy 28 (5):811-832.
    This work proposes a coevolutionary theory of aesthetics that encompasses both biotic and human arts. Anthropocentric perspectives in aesthetics prevent the recognition of the ontological complexity of the aesthetics of nature, and the aesthetic agency of many non-human organisms. The process of evaluative coevolution is shared by all biotic advertisements. I propose that art consists of a form of communication that coevolves with its own evaluation. Art and art history are population phenomena. I expand Arthur Danto’s Artworld concept to any (...)
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  • Helical Biography and the Historical Craft: The Case of Altruism and George Price. [REVIEW]Oren Harman - 2011 - Journal of the History of Biology 44 (4):671 - 691.
    The life of George Price (1922-1975), the eccentric polymath genius and father of the Price equation, is used as a prism and counterpoint through which to consider an age-old evolutionary conundrum: the origins of altruism. This biographical project, and biography and history more generally, are considered in terms of the possibility of using form to convey content in particular ways. Closer to an art form than a science, this approach to scholarship presents both a unique challenge and promise.
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  • Valence: A Reflection.Luca Barlassina - 2021 - Emotion Researcher: ISRE's Sourcebook for Research on Emotion and Affect (C. Todd and E. Wall Eds.).
    This article gives a short presentation of reflexive imperativism, the intentionalist theory of valence I developed with Max Khan Hayward. The theory says that mental states have valence in virtue of having reflexive imperative content. More precisely, mental states have positive valence (i.e., feel good) in virtue of issuing the command "More of me!", and they have negative valence (i.e., feel bad) in virtue of issuing the command "Less of me!" The article summarises the main arguments in favour of reflexive (...)
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  • Reintroducing Group Selection to the Human Behavioral Sciences.David Sloan Wilson & Elliott Sober - 1994 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 17 (4):585-608.
    In both biology and the human sciences, social groups are sometimes treated as adaptive units whose organization cannot be reduced to individual interactions. This group-level view is opposed by a more individualistic one that treats social organization as a byproduct of self-interest. According to biologists, group-level adaptations can evolve only by a process of natural selection at the group level. Most biologists rejected group selection as an important evolutionary force during the 1960s and 1970s but a positive literature began to (...)
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  • Units and Levels of Selection.Elisabeth Lloyd - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    The theory of evolution by natural selection is, perhaps, the crowning intellectual achievement of the biological sciences. There is, however, considerable debate about which entity or entities are selected and what it is that fits them for that role. This article aims to clarify what is at issue in these debates by identifying four distinct, though often confused, concerns and then identifying how the debates on what constitute the units of selection depend to a significant degree on which of these (...)
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  • Another Darwinian Aesthetics.Catherine Wilson - 2016 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 74 (3):237-252.
    I offer a Darwinian perspective on the existence of aesthetic interests, tastes, preferences, and productions. It is distinguished from the approaches of Denis Dutton and Geoffrey Miller, drawing instead on Richard O. Prum's notion of biotic artworlds. The relevance of neuroaesthetics to the philosophy of art is defended.
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  • Understanding Life: Recent Work in Philosophy of Biology.Kim Sterelny - 1995 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 46 (2):155-183.
    This paper surveys recent philosophy of biology. It aims to introduce outsiders to the field to the recent literature (which is reviewed in the footnotes) and the main recent debates. I concentrate on three of these: recent critiques of the replicator/vehicle distinction and its application to the idea of the gene as the unit of section; the recent defences of group selection and the idea that standard alternatives to group selection are in fact no more than a disguised form of (...)
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  • Evolution’s Republic: Groundwork for a Biosocial Contract.Alex Schulman - 2014 - Social Science Information 53 (4):518-541.
    Are the concepts of the state of nature and the social contract still relevant for contemporary political theory? I argue that these ideas from early modern and Enlightenment political theory can be fruitfully reapplied via the data and methods of evolutionary biology. Alignment of evolutionary theory with social contract theory can answer the charge that Darwinism, however accurate its picture of the natural world or natural history, provides no defensible grounding for ethics or politics. The implications of the biosocial contract (...)
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  • Three Approaches to Human Cognitive Development: Neo-Nativism, Neuroconstructivism, and Dynamic Enskillment.Mirko Farina - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (2):617-641.
    In Section 1, I introduce three views that explain human cognitive development from different standpoints: Marcus’s neo-nativism, standard neuroconstructivism, and neo-neuroconstructivism. In Section 2, I assess Marcus’s attempt to reconcile nativism with developmental flexibility. In Section 3, I argue that in structurally reconfiguring nativism, Marcus ends up transforming it into an unrecognizable form, and I claim that his view could be accommodated within the more general framework provided by standard neuroconstructivism. In Section 4, I focus on recent empirical findings in (...)
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  • Sexual Selection: A Tale of Male Bias and Feminist Denial.Griet Vandermassen - 2004 - European Journal of Women's Studies 11 (1):9-26.
    Today the modern Darwinian theory of evolution is the unifying theory within the biological sciences. A consideration of its implications for feminism is, however, impossible without a critical evaluation of its history of male bias. The aim of this article is therefore threefold. First, to explain what sexual selection entails. Second, to discuss male bias in and feminist reactions to Darwinian theory in general and sexual selection theory in particular. Third, to demonstrate that it would be a loss for feminism (...)
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  • Evolutionary Influences on Attribution and Affect.Jennie Brown & David Trafimow - 2017 - Frontiers in Psychology 8.
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  • Driving Both Ways: Wilson & Sober's Conflicting Criteria for the Identification of Groups as Vehicles of Selection.John Alroy & Alexander Levine - 1994 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 17 (4):608-610.
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  • Gender, Immunity and the Regulation of Longevity.Robin C. May - 2007 - Bioessays 29 (8):795-802.
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  • Assertions, Handicaps, and Social Norms.Peter J. Graham - 2020 - Episteme 17 (3):349-363.
    How should we undertand the role of norms – especially epistemic norms – governing assertive speech acts? Mitchell Green has argued that these norms play the role of handicaps in the technical sense from the animal signals literature. As handicaps, they then play a large role in explaining the reliability – and so the stability – of assertive speech acts. But though norms of assertion conceived of as social norms do indeed play this stabilizing role, these norms are best understood (...)
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  • Genetic Influences on Sex Differences in Outstanding Mathematical Reasoning Ability.Ada H. Zohar - 1996 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 19 (2):266-267.
    Sexual selection provides an adequate partial explanation for the difference in means between the distributions, but fails to explain the difference in variance, that is, the overrepresentation of both boys with outstanding mathematical reasoning ability and boys with mental retardation. Other genetic factors are probably at work. While spatial ability is correlated with OMRA, so are other cognitive abilities. OMRA is not reducible to spatial ability; hence selection for navigational skill is unlikely to be the only mechanism by which males (...)
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  • Sex Differences and Evolutionary by-Products.Thomas Wynn, Forrest Tierson & Craig Palmer - 1996 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 19 (2):265-266.
    From the perspective of evolutionary theory, we believe it makes more sense to view the sex differences in spatial cognition as being an evolutionary by-product of selection for optimal rates of fetal development. Geary does not convince us that his proposed selective factors operated with “sufficient precision, economy, and efficiency.” Moreover, the archaeological evidence does not support his proposed evolutionary scenario.
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  • Between-Sex Differences Are Often Averaging Artifacts.Hoben Thomas - 1996 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 19 (2):265-265.
    The central problem in Geary's theory is how differences are conceptualized. Recent research has shown that between-sex differences on certain tasks are a consequence of averaging within sex differences. A mixture distribution models between-sex differences on several tasks well and does not appear congenial to a sexual-selection perspective.
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  • Able Youths and Achievement Tests.Julian C. Stanley & Heinrich Stumpf - 1996 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 19 (2):263-264.
    Achievement test differences between boys and girls and between young men and young women, mostly favoring males, extend far beyond mathematics. Such pervasive differences, illustrated here, may require an explanatory theory broader than Geary's.
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  • The Twain Shall Meet: Uniting the Analysis of Sex Differences and Within-Sex Variation.David C. Rowe - 1996 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 19 (2):262-262.
    Spatial and mathematical abilities may be “sex-limited” traits. A sex-limited trait has the same determinants of variation within the sexes, but the genetic or environmental effects would be differentially expressed in males and females. New advances in structural equation modeling allow means and variation to be estimated simultaneously. When these statistical methods are combined with a genetically informative research design, it should be possible to demonstrate that the genes influencing spatial and mathematical abilities are sex-limited in their expression. This approach (...)
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  • The Logic of the Sociobiological Model Geary-Style.Diane Proudfoot - 1996 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 19 (2):261-261.
    Geary's is the traditional view of the sexes. Yet each part of his argument – the move from sex differences in spatial ability and social preferences to a sex difference in mathematical ability, the claim that the former are biologically primary, and the sociobiological explanation of these differences – requires considerable further work. The notion of a biologically secondary ability is itself problematic.
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  • Authoritarianism as a Group-Level Adaptation in Humans.Sven van de Wetering - 1996 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 19 (4):780-781.
    Wilson & Sober's discussion of group selection is marred by the absence of plausible examples of human group-level behavioral adaptation. The trait of authoritarianism is one possible example of such an adaptation. It reduces within-group variance in reproductive success, manifests itself more strongly in response to group-level threat, and is found in a variety of cultures.
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  • Genier Than Thou.Mike Waller - 1996 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 19 (4):781-782.
    Many neo-Darwinists treat natural selection of genes and individual organisms as broadly equivalent. This enables Wilson & Sober to propose a multilevel group selection model by drawing parallels between individuals and groups. The notion of gene/individual equivalence is a profound misconception. Its elimination negates W&S's current approach but offers the best way forward for both life and behavioural sciences.
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  • What is Selected in Group Selection?Michael E. Lamb - 1996 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 19 (4):779-779.
    Misunderstandings often develop when scientists from different backgrounds use the same words when they mean different things by them. Theorists must therefore choose and define their terms carefully. In addition, proponents of “new” theories need to demonstrate empirically that theirs are more powerful than the existing theories they wish to supplant. Wilson & Sober have not yet done this.
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  • Group Selection or Categorical Perception?Craig T. Palmer, B. Eric Fredrickson & Christopher F. Tilley - 1996 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 19 (4):780-780.
    Humans appear to be possible candidates for group selection because they are often said to live in bands, clans, and tribes. These terms, however, are only names for conceptual categories of people. They do not designate enduring bounded gatherings of people that might be “vehicles of selection.” Hence, group selection has probably not been a major force in human evolution.
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  • Varieties of Group Selection.Doug Jones - 1996 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 19 (4):778-779.
    Group selection may be defined either broadly or narrowly. Narrowly defined group selection may involve either selection for altruism or group selection between alternative evolutionarily stable states. The last variety of group selection is likely to have been particularly important in human evolution.
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  • Group Selection and “the Pious Gene”.John Barresi - 1996 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 19 (4):777-778.
    If selection at the group level is to be considered more than a mere possibility, it is important to find phenomena that are best explained at this level of selection. I argue that human religious phenomena provide evidence for the selection of a “pious gene” at the group level, which results in a human tendency to believe in a transcendental reality that encourages behavioral conformity to collective as opposed to individual interest.
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  • Resources Dimorphism Sexual Selection and Mathematics Achievement.Diana Eugenie Kornbrot - 1996 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 19 (2):259-259.
    Geary's model is a worthy effort, but ambiguous on important issues. It ignores differential resource allocation, although this follows directly from sexual selection via differential parental investment. Dimorphism in primary traits is arbitrarily attributed to sexual selection via intramale competition, rather than direct evolutionary pressures. Dubious predictions are made about the consequences of raising mathematics achievement.
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  • Some Problematic Links Between Hunting and Geometry.Meredith M. Kimball - 1996 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 19 (2):258-259.
    Geary's emphasis on hunting ignores the possible importance of other human activities, such as scavenging and gathering, in the evolution of spatial abilities. In addition, there is little evidence that links spatial abilities and math skills. Furthermore, such links have little practical importance given the small size of most differences and girls' superior performance in mathematics classrooms.
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  • A Critic with a Different Perspective.Lloyd G. Humphreys - 1996 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 19 (2):257-258.
    To the extent that Geary's theory concerning biologically primary and secondary behaviors depends on factor analytic methods and findings, it is woefully weak. Factors have been mistakenly called primary mental abilities, but the adjective “primary” represents reification of a mathematical dimension defined by correlations. Fleshing out a factor beyond its mathematical properties requires much additional quantitative experimental and correlational research that goes far beyond mere factoring.
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  • Mating, Math Achievement, and Other Multiple Relationships.Diane F. Halpern - 1996 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 19 (2):256-256.
    Although Geary's partitioning of mathematical abilities into those that are biologically primary and secondary is an advance over most sociobiological theories of cognitive sex differences, it remains untestable and ignores the spatial nature of women's traditional work. An alternative model based on underlying cognitive processes offers other advantages.
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  • Differences in Male and Female Cognitive Abilities: Sexual Selection or Division of Labor?Michael T. Ghiselin - 1996 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 19 (2):254-255.
    In Darwinian terminology, “sexual selection” refers to purely reproductive competition and is conceptually distinct from natural selection as it affects reproduction generally. As natural selection may favor the evolution of sexual dimorphism by virtue of the division of labor between males and females, this possibility needs to be taken very seriously.
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  • Is There a Comparative Psychology of Implicit Mathematical Knowledge?Hank Davis - 1996 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 19 (2):250-250.
    Geary suggests that implicit mathematical principles exist across human cultures and transcend sex differences. Is such knowledge present in animals as well, and is it sufficient to account for performance in all species, including our own? I attempt to trace the implications of Gearys target article for comparative psychology, questioning the exclusion of “subitizing” in describing human mathematical performance, and asking whether human researchers function as cultural agents with animals, elevating their implicit knowledge to secondary domains of numerical performance.
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  • Still Far Too Sexy a Topic.Susan F. Chipman - 1996 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 19 (2):248-249.
    Geary is highly selective in his use of the literature on gender differences. His assumption of consistent female inferiority in mathematics is not necessarily supported by the facts.
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  • Does Sexual Selection Explain Why Human Aggression Peaks in Early Childhood?Christina Behme - 2009 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 32 (3-4):267-268.
    Archer provides seemingly compelling evidence for his claim that sexual selection explains sex differences in human aggression better than social role theory. I challenge Archer's interpretation of some of this evidence. I argue that the same evidence could be used to support the claim that what has been selected for is the ability to curb aggression and discuss implications for Archer's theory.
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  • Assertions, Handicaps, and Social Norms.Peter J. Graham - 2020 - Episteme 8:1-15.
    How should we undertand the role of norms—especially epistemic norms—governing assertive speech acts? Mitchell Green (2009) has argued that these norms play the role of handicaps in the technical sense from the animal signals literature. As handicaps, they then play a large role in explaining the reliability—and so the stability (the continued prevalence)—of assertive speech acts. But though norms of assertion conceived of as social norms do indeed play this stabilizing role, these norms are best understood as deterrents and not (...)
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  • Facial Expression of Pain: An Evolutionary Account.Amanda C. De C. Williams - 2002 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (4):439-455.
    This paper proposes that human expression of pain in the presence or absence of caregivers, and the detection of pain by observers, arises from evolved propensities. The function of pain is to demand attention and prioritise escape, recovery, and healing; where others can help achieve these goals, effective communication of pain is required. Evidence is reviewed of a distinct and specific facial expression of pain from infancy to old age, consistent across stimuli, and recognizable as pain by observers. Voluntary control (...)
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  • Attention to Suffering: A Feminist Caring Ethic for the Treatment of Animals.Josephine Donovan - 1996 - Journal of Social Philosophy 27 (1):81-102.
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  • Feminist Engagement with Evolutionary Psychology.Carla Fehr - 2012 - Hypatia 27 (1):50-72.
    In this paper, I ask feminist philosophers and science studies scholars to consider the goals of developing critical analyses of evolutionary psychology. These goals can include development of scholarship in feminist philosophy and science studies, mediation of the uptake of evolutionary psychology by other academic and lay communities, and improvement of the practices and products of evolutionary psychology itself. I evaluate ways that some practices of feminist philosophy and science studies facilitate or hinder meeting these goals, and consider the merits (...)
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