Henry Plotkin:
EVOLUTION IN MIND (Allen Lane, 1997)

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(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

This book by the British psychologist Henry Plotkin offers an opinionated and stimulating introduction to evolutionary psychology.
Throughout the book the main theme is the nature-nurture debate, which is a central issue of psychology and which Plotkin follows from the times of Galton's eugenetics to Chomsky's universal grammar and to contemporary experiments. His favorites seem to be Freud and Piaget, who both adopted a dualist stance towards nurture and nature: humans are born with some cognitive basis but then experience shapes who we become.
Plotkin reviews etology, sociobiology (all three strands: Dawkins, Wilson and Maybard-Smith), language and memes.
Although his obsession with the British empiricists is a little funny (they have probably nothing to do with any modern theory of mind, certainly far less than many other non-British philosophers of those centuries) (and, perhaps, previous centuries and millennia?), this book makes for a very easy-to-read and up-to-date account of modern theories of mind that border on Psychology, and the perfect introduction to "cognitivism".

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