Autor Tópico: Gould fala sobre psicologia evolutiva  (Lida 786 vezes)

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Gould fala sobre psicologia evolutiva
« Online: 01 de Maio de 2007, 13:05:41 »
I suspect that many puzzling features of human mentality would be better resolved if we conceptualized them as historical constraints derived from distant adaptational origins. To cite a hypothetical example (that would attract my substantial and favorable wager were I a betting man): I agree with a major theme of structuralist philosophy and research, as developed most cogently in our times by Claude Lévi-Strauss and his followers, that identifies our tendencies to parse natural variety into pairs of opposed and dichotomous categories as an inherent property of human mental functioning—with male and female, night and day, and culture vs. nature as primary examples. I think that most people would identify this strong preference as a constraint with highly unfortunate consequences for human life—not only because we so often construct invalid dichotomous taxonomies in our real world of complex continua, but primarily because we so often impose another conceptual module for moral judgment upon our pairings (the Manichean good vs. bad), and then proceed to identify one side of the dichotomy (including ourselves and our preferences) as righteous, and the other side (including "foreigners" and competitors) as worthy of anathematization or even ripe for burning. (I need hardly add that yet another aspect of human mentality, or capacity to devise grisly means of death and torture, and or technological ability to apply such means to large numbers of people in short periods of time, makes our innate preferences for dichotomization particularly dangerous.)

Now I am perfectly willing to believe that our brain's preference for dichotomization arose as a highly adaptive attribute in a very distant and ancient small-brained ancestor that, to enhance its prospects for survival, needed to make limited, quick, and twofold decisions that exhausted the maximal capacity of its judgment in any case: mate or wait, eat or sleep, fight or flee. But, whatever the adaptational basis of origin, dichotomization then persisted throughout the subsequent phylogeny of vertebrates as a historical constraint that became more and more quirky, and more and more limiting, as the brain enlarged into the much more sophisticated instrument that eventually generated our exalted, but curiously freighted, selves.


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