Paving the Way for an Evolutionary Social Constructivism

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Andreas De Block; Bart Du Laing
social constructivism; evolutionary theory; maladaptive culture
paper description
The idea has recently taken root that evolutionary theory and social constructivism are less antagonistic than most theorists thought, and we have even seen attempts at integrating constructivist and evolutionary approaches to human thought and behaviour. We argue in this article that although the projected integration is possible, indeed valuable, the existing attempts have tended to be vague or overly simplistic about the claims of social constructivist. We proceed by examining how to give more precision and substance to the research programme of evolutionary social constructivism, a task we accomplish by focusing on the specific selection pressures that may have shaped the psychological and cultural mechanisms that give rise to social constructions. The benefit of such an integration for social constructivism is to have a solid foundation in the natural sciences. For evolutionists, evolutionary social constructivism offers a wider assortment of methods with which to study the interplay between culture and human nature.