Book Description

Review Barker's focus on the conjunction of plasticity and stability, on viewing adaptations as a space of alternatively realizable equilibria between phenotypic distributions and environmental states, is as unique as it is insightful. (Bruce Glymour, Kansas State University)Beyond Biofatalism is an indispensable antidote to dangerous complaisance about contemporary social institutions and unwarranted resignation about our powers to improve them, both fostered by a superficial Darwinism. All who are committed to employing Darwin's insights about adaptation to understanding and ameliorating social life need to read this book. (Alex Rosenberg, Duke University)Deeply informed, cogently argued, and lucidly written, Beyond Biofatalism offers the most constructive discussion of evolutionary psychology currently available. If the evolutionary understanding of human thought and action is ever to fulfill its promise, it will be through absorbing Gillian Barker's wise counsel. (Philip Kitcher, Columbia University)Had you read only popularizers of evolutionary psychology, you might be forgiven for thinking that the message about human potential from evolutionary theory is grim. Gillian Barker, in this succinct and well-written book, shows that specific empirical findings in evolution, social psychology, and behavioral ecology?evolutionary psychology writ large?suggest that human biology, as biology more generally, is open to more varied social futures than is commonly thought (Helen Longino, Stanford University)Fascinating philosophical examination of the roots of human behavior. (Library Journal)This well-crafted study clearly and concisely reinterprets the nature/nurture and facts/value debates. (Choice)An original and provocative book evaluating the potential for evolutionary psychology to guide social policy... Philosophers, please read this book. (Metascience)A clear and insightful negotiation... Barker's critical endeavour is of great value for expanding the potential for dialogue between biological theory and political and ethical thought. (Contemporary Political Theory) Read more About the Author Gillian Barker is assistant professor in the Rotman Institute of Philosophy at the University of Western Ontario. She has also taught at Indiana University, Simon Fraser University, and Bucknell University. She is the author, with Philip Kitcher, of Philosophy of Science: A New Introduction, and editor, with Eric Desjardins and Trevor Pearce, of Entangled Life: Organism and Environment in the Biological and Social Sciences. Read more