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An evolutionary account of chronic pain: Integrating the natural method in evolutionary psychology

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Abstract:

This paper offers an evolutionary account of chronic pain. Chronic pain is a maladaptive by-product of pain mechanisms and neural plasticity, both of which are highly adaptive. This account shows how evolutionary psychology can be integrated with Flanagan's natural method, and in a way that avoids the usual charges of panglossian adaptationism and an uncritical commitment to a modular picture of the mind. Evolutionary psychology is most promising when it adopts a bottom-up research strategy that focuses on basic affective and motivational systems (as opposed to higher cognitive functions) that are phylogenetically deep.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09515080500169488

Publication date: April 1, 2005

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