Psychology and evolutionary biology: Causal analysis, evidence, and nomothetic laws

René van Hezewijk

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    Abstract

    SUMMARY
    Since James, some psychologists have referred to evolutionary psychology as one of the sources of explaining behaviour (James, 1890). However, the status of such references is not always clear. In the recent work of many authors, it is not always clear (1) what kind of causal analyses are appropriate in psychology beyond those psychologists already use; (2) how psychological explanations fit in the general scheme of explanations in the life sciences, especially in biological explanatory schemes; and (3) what this implies for the evaluation of available evidence. This chapter is about these questions. I discuss five types of explanations involved in psychological explanations using an evolutionary perspective, and I discuss how these types of analysis relate to types of propositions and types of evidence.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationTheoretical Psychology
    Subtitle of host publicationCritical Contributions
    EditorsNiamh Stephenson, H. Lorraine Radtke, R. Jorna, H.J. Stam
    Place of PublicationConcord, Ontario
    PublisherCaptus University Publications
    Pages405-415
    Number of pages11
    Edition1
    ISBN (Print)1553220552, 9781553220558
    Publication statusPublished - 2003

    Keywords

    • evolutionary psychology
    • biology
    • explanation
    • causal analysis

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