evolution and the ‘other’ disciplines

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In the last decades of the twentieth century, constructivism became less dominant in the social sciences. Mead’s own work was brought into question, and evolutionary psychology gained credence, if not full acceptance, under the leadership of entomologist E. O. Wilson. In 1998, Ekman published a landmark edition of Darwin’s book that included Darwin’s original photographs and his own, along with related contemporary research.

In this decade, the evolutionary approach to psychology has almost become an orthodoxy in its own right: bestsellers such as Steven Pinker’s The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature scathingly denounce social constructivism, while Marc Hauser’s Moral Minds: How Nature Designed Our Universal Sense of Right and Wrong posits a “universal moral grammar” in an attempt to explain why humans are nice to one another when from a narrowly evolutionary standpoint they have no apparent reason to be. Evolutionary ideas are also remarkably common in a wide range of popular self-help works, such as Ekman’s own Emotions Revealed and John Gray’s Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus.

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