Document Detail

Psychoanalysis and the science of evolution.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  7762698     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
An effort has been made to develop a critical overview of current advances in the psychoanalytic explorations of culture and evolution. The paper delineates some of the basic propositions of Darwinian and neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory, especially those that are pertinent to psychoanalytic investigations. It then attempts to critically evaluate the psychoanalytic literature that has been developed on the basis of these propositions. While acknowledging that these are bold and inventive ventures into new domains that in time are likely to greatly expand and enhance psychoanalytic thinking, the paper discusses some major problems with the methodology and thinking that characterizes this work. Among these troublesome concerns is the tendency of these analytic investigators to rely too heavily on animal data for their thinking about the human psyche and its interactions. There is as well a related failure to deeply appreciate the emergent properties of the human mind. It is suggested that this work needs to be grounded in a clear set of basic units of mental structure and functioning lest the adaptationist programs and theoretical ideas that are developed be badly flawed. Because this work has such great potential, it is hoped that the issues and matters for debate raised in the present paper will lead to fruitful discussion and to a more solid foundation for these imaginative pursuits.
R Langs
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  American journal of psychotherapy     Volume:  49     ISSN:  0002-9564     ISO Abbreviation:  Am J Psychother     Publication Date:  1995  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1995-06-26     Completed Date:  1995-06-26     Revised Date:  2009-11-11    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0110672     Medline TA:  Am J Psychother     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  47-58     Citation Subset:  IM    
Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, New York, NY, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Anthropology, Cultural
Hominidae / psychology
Psychoanalysis / methods*
Psychoanalytic Theory*

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