chapter  6
30 Pages

Uncertainty, Contingency, and Attachment: A Life History Theory of Theory of Mind

One hallmark of evolutionary psychology is the proposition that the mind is largely the product of natural selection and so is essentially a set of adaptations for solving the most enduring adaptive problems encountered by our ancestors. Such adaptations are widely referred to as modules, which are conceived as innate, informationally encapsulated, domain-specific brain mechanisms for processing the information logically required to solve particular adaptive problems. Another hallmark of evolutionary psychology, however, is fierce debate about the extent to which modules are informationally encapsulated and domain-specific, how many and how significant they are, how they develop, and what adaptive problems they're supposed to solve. In this chapter I hope to advance our thinking about modularity in general through an evolutionary theoretical critique of one specific candidate module, the theory of mind module.