Incest, Incest Avoidance, and Attachment: Revisiting the Westermarck Effect

Philosophy of Science 86 (3):391-411 (2019)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
This article defends a version of the Westermarck Effect, integrating existing clinical, biological, and philosophical dimensions to incest avoidance. By focusing on care-based attachment in primates, my formulation of the effect suggests the power of a phylogenetic argument widely accepted by primatologists but not by cultural anthropologists. Identifying postadoption incest as a phenomenon with underexplored evidential value, the article sketches an explanatory strategy for reconciling the effect with the clinical reality of incest, concluding with an explicit argument against culture-first or conventionalist accounts of incest avoidance prevalent in anthropology.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
Upload history
Archival date: 2018-10-18
View other versions
Added to PP index

Total views
370 ( #18,856 of 65,694 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
39 ( #21,884 of 65,694 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.