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Can Evolution Explain Insanity?

Murphy, D. (2005) Can Evolution Explain Insanity? Biology and Philosophy, 20 (4). pp. 745-766. ISSN 0169-3867. doi:10.1007/s10539-004-2279-3.

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I distinguish three evolutionary explanations of mental illness: first, breakdowns in evolved computational systems; second, evolved systems performing their evolutionary function in a novel environment; third, evolved personality structures. I concentrate on the second and third explanations, as these are distinctive of an evolutionary psychopathology, with progressively less credulity in the light of the empirical evidence. General morals are drawn for evolutionary psychiatry.

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Additional Information:© 2005 Springer. Received 09 March 2004; Accepted 16 August 2004; Issue Date September 2005. Thanks to Fiona Cowie, Jim Woodward and a reviewer for Biology and Philosophy for helpful comments on earlier drafts. This paper is a more skeptical amplification of some of the themes in Murphy and Stich (2000); I remain indebted to Steve Stich for his help back then, and at many other times.
Subject Keywords:Adaptation, Depression, Evolutionary psychology, Phobia, Psychopathy
Issue or Number:4
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200106-142602897
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Official Citation:Murphy, D. Can Evolution Explain Insanity?. Biol Philos 20, 745–766 (2005) doi:10.1007/s10539-004-2279-3
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:100531
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:08 Jan 2020 20:06
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 17:54

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