Are beliefs the proper targets of adaptationist analyses?

Behavioral and Brain Sciences 32 (6):528-528 (2009)
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McKay & Dennett's (M&D's) description of beliefs, and misbeliefs in particular, is a commendable contribution to the literature; but we argue that referring to beliefs as adaptive or maladaptive can cause conceptual confusion. “Adaptive” is inconsistently defined in the article, which adds to confusion and renders it difficult to evaluate the claims, particularly the possibility of “adaptive misbelief.”



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Daniel C. Dennett
Tufts University

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The Adapted Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and the Generation of Culture.Jerome H. Barkow, Leda Cosmides & John Tooby - 1992 - Oxford University Press. Edited by Jerome H. Barkow, Leda Cosmides & John Tooby.
The Economy of Nature and the Evolution of Sex.Michael T. Ghiselin - 1976 - Journal of the History of Biology 9 (2):324-324.

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