The jargon of evolutionary psychology has recently migrated from a few minor American universities into the academic mainstream and thence into Sunday supplements and dinner party conversations. It has even formed the backdrop to at least one award-winning novel (McEwan, 1997). Evolutionary psychology and other similar ‘biological’ explanations of human conduct pervade the Zeitgeist and, as Kenan Malik has persuasively argued, they tap into a prevailing mood of cultural pessimism. Evolutionary psychology, it seems, speaks to our desire to see the worst in ourselves (Malik, 2002).


Peer-reviewed, sociobiology, neo-darwinian

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