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Evolutionary Theory and the Ultimate-Proximate Distinction in the Human Behavioral Sciences

Abstract:

To properly understand behavior, we must obtain both ultimate and proximate explanations. Put briefly, ultimate explanations are concerned with why a behavior exists, and proximate explanations are concerned with how it works. These two types of explanation are complementary and the distinction is critical to evolutionary explanation. We are concerned that they have become conflated in some areas of the evolutionary literature on human behavior. This article brings attention to these issues. ...

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Publication status:
Published

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Publisher copy:
10.1177/1745691610393528

Authors


Scott-Phillips, TC More by this author
Dickins, TE More by this author
Journal:
PERSPECTIVES ON PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE
Volume:
6
Issue:
1
Pages:
38-47
Publication date:
2011-01-05
DOI:
EISSN:
1745-6924
ISSN:
1745-6916
URN:
uuid:a78e07f6-cbf9-4732-80fb-d83c09bad01c
Source identifiers:
211173
Local pid:
pubs:211173

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