chapter  12
1Chapter 2 Darwinian Medicine and Evolutionary Psychiatry
Pages 24

Two major trends in contemporary research explore issues of human mental and physical health from an evolutionary perspective. Medical anthropologists deal broadly with issues of biological and cultural adaptations that improve or worsen physical health, embracing evolution as a central theoretical concept (Brown, Barrett, & Padilla, 1998; Eaton, Shostak, & Konner, 1998). Similarly, Darwinian medicine (Nesse, 2005; Nesse & Williams, 1994) has elaborated evolutionary explanations for human vulnerabilities to diseases, including mental illness and psychopathology. This chapter draws upon each of these disciplines to understand both physical and mental health and illness from an evolutionary perspective.