Adaptationism for Human Cognition: Strong, Spurious or Weak?

$48.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Download / Buy Article:



Strong adaptationists explore complex organic design as task‐specific adaptations to ancestral environments. This strategy seems best when there is evidence of homology. Weak adaptationists don’t assume that complex organic (including cognitive and linguistic) functioning necessarily or primarily represents task‐specific adaptation. This approach to cognition resembles physicists’ attempts to deductively explain the most facts with fewest hypotheses. For certain domain‐specific competencies (folkbiology) strong adaptationism is useful but not necessary to research. With group‐level belief systems (religion) strong adaptationism degenerates into spurious notions of social function and cultural selection. In other cases (language, especially universal grammar) weak adaptationism's ‘minimalist’ approach seems productive.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: February 1, 2005

Related content



Share Content

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
ingentaconnect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more