Table of contents
Evolution and Human Nature
1.1. Historical Overview
1. David Buss. Evolutionary Psychology: The New
Science of the Mind (2008)
Theory of Evolution
2. Charles Darwin. On the Origin of Species: Recapitulation and Conclusion. (1859)
3. Richard Dawkins. The Digital River.
Evolution and Humankind
4. Charles Darwin. The Descent of Man: General Summary and Conclusion. (1871)
5. Edward O. Wilson. Man: From Sociobiology to
6. Donald E. Brown. The Universal People.
7. Edward O. Wilson. Sociobiology at Century’s
8. Steven Pinker. Evolution and Explanation (2005)
9. David Sloan Wilson. Evolution and Social
Part 2: The
Riddle of Art
10. Steven Pinker. Art
and Adaptation (1997)
11. Edward O. Wilson.
The Arts and Their Interpretation. (1998)
12. Ellen Dissanayake.
Art and Intimacy: How the Arts Began. (2000)
13. Geoffrey Miller. Arts of Seduction. (2000)
14. John Tooby and Leda Cosmides.
Does Beauty Build Adapted Minds? (2001)
15. Denis Dutton. The Uses of Fiction. (2009)
Literature, Film, and Evolution: Theory
16. Brian Boyd.
Getting It All Wrong: Bioculture Critiques Cultural Critique. (2006)
17. Joseph Carroll, Jonathan Gottschall, John
Johnson, and Daniel Kruger.
Imagining Human Nature.
Slingerland. Two Worlds: The Ghost and the Machine. (2008)
19. Marcus Nordlund.
Consilient Literary Interpretation. (2002)
20. Robin Headlam
Wells. Humanism and Human Nature in the Renaissance (2005)
21. Joseph Anderson. The Reality of Illusion. (1996)
Smith. Darwin and the Directors. (2003)
23. David Bordwell.
What Snakes, Eagles, and Rhesus Macaques Can Teach Us. (2008)
24. Jonathan Gottschall. Homeric Women: Re-imagining the Fitness
25. Michelle Scalise Sugiyama. New Science, Old Myth: An Evolutionary
Critique of the Oedipal Paradigm. (2001)
26. Daniel Nettle. The Wheel of Fire and the Mating Game: Explaining
the Origins of Tragedy and Comedy. (2005)
27. Marcus Nordlund. Jealousy in Othello.
28. Nancy Easterlin. Wordsworth, Psychoanalysis and the
‘Discipline of Love.’ (2000)
29. William Flesch. Vindication and Vindictiveness: Oliver Twist. (2007)
30. Joseph Carroll. The Cuckoo’s
History: Human Nature in Wuthering Heights.
31. Brett Cooke. Human Nature, Utopia and Dystopia: Zamyatin’s We. (2002)
32. Judith P. Saunders. Paternal Confidence in Zora Neale Hurston’s
‘The Gilded Six Bits.’
33. Joseph Anderson. Character in Citizen
34. David Bordwell.
Convention, Construction, and Cinematic Vision. (1996/2008)
35. Brian Boyd.
Art and Evolution: The Avant-Garde as Test Case: Spiegelman in The Narrative Corpse. (2008)
Literature as Laboratory
36. Jonathan Gottschall.
Literature, Science, and a New Humanities. (2008)
37. Catherine Salmon
and Donald Symons. Slash Fiction and Human Mating Psychology. (2004)
38. Michelle Scalise Sugiyama. Cultural Variation is Part of Human
Nature: Literary Universals, Context-Sensitivity and ‘Shakespeare in the Bush.’
39. Joseph Carroll, Jonathan Gottschall, John Johnson, and Daniel
Kruger. Paleolithic Politics in British Novels of the Nineteenth Century.
Joseph Anderson is
Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Central Arkansas
and founding director of the Society for Cognitive Studies of the
Moving Image. He is the author of The Reality of Illusion: An Ecological Approach to Cognitive Film Theory (1996, 1998) and coeditor (with Barbara Fisher Anderson) of Moving Image Theory: Ecological Considerations (2005, 2006) and Narration and Spectatorship in Moving Images (2007).
David Bordwell is Jacques Ledoux Professor Emeritus of Film
Studies, University of Wisconsin—Madison.
He has written several books on the aesthetics and history of cinema, including
Narration in the Fiction Film, On the History of Film Style, and, most recently, Poetics of Cinema (2007).
Brian Boyd is University Distinguished Professor of English,
University of Auckland. His Nabokov work (biography,
criticism, editions) has been translated into twelve languages. His On the Origin of Stories: Evolution, Cognition
and Fiction (2009) proposes art and storytelling as adaptations, explains
the evolved cognitive mechanisms underpinning fiction, and shows the
implications for reading classic fictions. He has also published many evolutionary
literary essays, theoretical and interpretive.
David Buss is Professor of Psychology at the University of Texas, and Past President of the Human
Behavior and Evolution Society. He is author of more than 200 scientific
publications, as well as a number of books, including The Evolution of Desire: Strategies of Human Mating; The Dangerous Passion; and Evolutionary Psychology: The New
Science of the Mind.
Donald E. Brown is professor emeritus of anthropology at the
University of California,
His research focuses on the peoples and cultures of Southeast
Asia, social structure, ethnohistory, human universals and
ethnicity/ethnocentrism. His principal publications include Brunei: The Structure and History of a Bornean
Malay Sultanate; Principles of Social Structure: Southeast
Asia; Hierarchy, History, and Human Nature: The Social Origins of
Historical Consciousness; and Human
Joseph Carroll is Curators' Professor of English at the University of Missouri,
St. Louis. His Evolution and Literary Theory (1995) integrated
traditional humanist theory with evolutionary psychology and set both into
sharp opposition with poststructuralist theory. The essays collected in Literary Darwinism: Evolution, Human Nature,
and Literature (2004) took in new developments in the field and worked
toward a comprehensive theory of human nature and literature, and he has
written many subsequent essays. His annotated edition of Darwin's On the Origin of Species (2003) is widely used in classes
on the history of science.
Brett Cooke is
Professor of Russian at Texas
In addition to Darwinist studies of opera, Western science fiction, Irish art,
ballet, and, naturally, Russian literature, he is the author of Human Nature in Utopia: Zamyatin's We
(2002). He is also co-editor (with Frederick Turner) of Biopoetics: Evolutionary Explorations in the Arts (1999) and (with
Jan Baptist Bedaux) of Sociobiology and
the Arts (1999).
Charles Darwin, independent scholar, biologist, discoverer
of the theory of evolution by natural selection. Author of On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation
to Sex, The Expression of Emotions in
Animals and Man, and many other works.
Richard Dawkins retired in 2009 as the first Charles Simonyi
Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford. Dawkins is the author of many books
including The Selfish Gene, The Blind
Watchmaker, The Ancestor's Tale, The God Delusion and, most recently, The Greatest Show on Earth. He is a
Fellow of the Royal Society and the Royal Society of Literature. His prizes
include the International Cosmos Prize, the Kistler Prize, the Lewis Thomas
Prize, the Shakespeare Prize, and the Nierenberg Prize.
Ellen Dissanayake is an independent scholar, writer, and lecturer,
whose writings about the arts over 35 years synthesize many disciplines and
draw upon fifteen years of living and working in non-Western countries. Author
of three books and numerous scholarly and general articles, she is currently
Affiliate Professor in the School of Music, University
of Washington. Her
book, Homo Aestheticus (1992), has
been translated into Chinese and Korean.
Denis Dutton is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Canterbury
in New Zealand.
He edits the website "Arts & Letters Daily" and the journal Philosophy and Literature,
published by the Johns Hopkins University Press. He is also author of The Art Instinct: Beauty, Pleasure, and
Human Evolution (2009).
Nancy Easterlin is Research Professor of English at the University of New Orleans. She is coeditor with
Barbara Riebling of After
Poststructuralism: Interdisciplinarity and Literary Theory
(Northwestern,1993) and author of Wordsworth
and the Question of ‘Romantic Religion’ (1996) as well as numerous essays
on biocultural approaches to literature. She is currently completing a book
entitled What Is Literature For?
Biocultural Theory and Interpretation.
William Flesch teaches English, film, and sometimes
philosophy at Brandeis. In addition to Comeuppance (2007), he is the
author of Generosity
and the Limits of Authority: Shakespeare, Herbert, Milton, and The Facts on File
Companion to Nineteenth Century British Poetry.
Jonathan Gottschall is an adjunct in the English Department
at Washington & Jefferson
College. He is the author of The Rape of Troy:
Evolution, Violence, and the World of Homer
(2008) and Literature, Science, and a New
Humanities (2008). He is co-editor of The
Literary Animal: Evolution and the Nature of Narrative (2005).
Robin Headlam Wells is Professor Emeritus of English
Literature at Roehampton University, London.
His most recent book is Shakespeare’s
Humanism (2005). He is currently writing A Short History of Human Nature.
John A. Johnson is Professor of Psychology, at Pennsylvania State University,
DuBois. He has published many articles on the personality and evolutionary
psychology of moral and educational development, career choice, and work
performance. He is currently co-editing a book, Advanced Methods for Conducting Online Behavioral Research.
Daniel J. Kruger is an assistant research professor at the
University of Michigan, where he is affiliated with the Prevention Research Center
in the School of Public Health and the Life Course: Evolutionary and
Ontogenetic Dynamics program at the Institute for
Social Research. His evolutionary research interests include: altruism,
cooperation, competition, risk taking, mortality patterns, mating strategies,
and applications for social and ecological sustainability. Many of his research
projects are grounded in evolutionary life history theory.
Geoffrey Miller teaches evolutionary psychology and human
sexuality, and does research on mate choice, sexual selection, intelligence,
creativity, art, music, personality, psychopathology, consumer behavior, and
behavior genetics. His books include The
Mating Mind (2000), Mating
Intelligence (co-edited with Glen Geher 2008), and Spent: Sex, evolution, and consumer behavior (2009).
Following a B.A. from Columbia and a Ph.D.
from Stanford, he worked at University
of Sussex, University College London,
and London School of Economics, and is currently associate professor of
psychology at University
of New Mexico.
Daniel Nettle is a Reader in the Centre for Behaviour and
University, where he
studies the application of evolutionary theory to human behaviour in many
domains. He is the author of several books including, most recently, Personality: What Makes You
the Way You Are (2007). He also spent several years as a
professional actor and theater director, and still retains an interest in
theater in practice as well as theory.
Marcus Nordlund is an associate professor of English at the University of Gothenburg,
and specializes in English Renaissance literature and biocultural literary
theory. He has published two books -- The
Dark Lantern: A Historical Study of Sight in Shakespeare in Shakespeare,
Webster, and Middleton (1999) and Shakespeare
and the Nature of Love: Literature, Culture, Evolution (2007) -- and
articles on a variety of literary subjects from Shakespeare to Toni Morrison.
Steven Pinker is Harvard College Professor and Johnstone
Family Professor of Psychology at Harvard
University, and the
author of seven books on language, cognition, and human nature, most recently The Stuff of Thought.
Catherine Salmon is an associate professor of psychology at
the University of
Redlands. She is the
author (with Don Symons) of Warrior Lovers
and the co-editor (with Charles Crawford) of Evolutionary Psychology, Public Policy and Personal Decisions
and (with Todd Shackelford) Family Relationships: An Evolutionary
Perspective. Her research interests include female sexuality and
pornography, eating disorders, and birth order and family relationships. When
not in the office, she is usually found working with pit
bull terriers or horseback riding.
Judith P. Saunders is Professor of English at Marist College
in New York State.
Her articles take in a wide range of literary figures, including Edgar
Allan Poe, Henry Thoreau, Stephen Crane, Sherwood Anderson, Gertrude Stein,
Virginia Woolf, Gwendolyn Brooks, Elizabeth Bishop, and others. She is the author of a book-length study of
the British poet Charles Tomlinson. She has undertaken Darwinian analysis of a
variety of literary works, most recently in Edith
Wharton and Evolutionary Biology: Reading Her Fiction through a Darwinian Lens
Michelle Scalise Sugiyama is Research Associate at the
University of Oregon Institute of Cognitive and Decision Sciences, and founder
and Director of the Cognitive Cultural Studies Division at the Center for
Evolutionary Psychology, UC Santa Barbara.
Her research focuses on cognitive adaptations for cultural transmission,
with an emphasis on narrative and art behavior in foraging societies. She has written numerous articles on the
origins of storytelling, the role that folklore plays in foraging societies,
and the cognitive foundations of narrative.
Edward Slingerland is Associate Professor of Asian Studies
and Canada Research Chair in Chinese Thought and Embodied Cognition at the University of British Columbia. His first book, Effortless Action: Wu-wei as Conceptual
Metaphor and Spiritual Ideal in Early China
(2003), won the American
Academy of Religion’s
award for the Best First Book in the History of Religions. His most recent
monograph, What Science Offers the
Humanities: Integrating Body and Culture (2008), argues for the relevance
of the natural sciences to the humanities.
Murray Smith is Professor of Film Studies at the University of Kent,
Canterbury, UK. He is the author of Engaging Characters: Fiction, Emotion,
and the Cinema (1995), Trainspotting
(2002), and co-editor of Film Theory and
Philosophy (1997), Contemporary
Hollywood Cinema (1998) and Thinking
through Cinema: Film as Philosophy (2006). His research interests include
the psychology of film viewing and the place of emotion in film reception,
as well as the philosophy of film, music and of art more generally.
He is currently working on the implications of evolutionary
theory for film culture.
Don Symons received a B.A. in psychology and a Ph.D. in
biological anthropology from the University
of California at Berkeley. He has been a faculty member
of the anthropology Department at U.C. Santa Barbara since 1970, and is
currently Professor Emeritus. He studied social play among free ranging
rhesus monkeys (Play and Aggression,
1978) and was an early contributor to the field of evolutionary psychology (The Evolution of Human Sexuality, 1979).
John Tooby and Leda Cosmides are best known for their work
in pioneering the new field of evolutionary psychology. They are professors
of anthropology and psychology at the University
of California, Santa Barbara, where they co-direct the
Center for Evolutionary Psychology. Both were educated at Harvard and
Stanford (postdoctoral). Awards for their research include the NIH Director’s
Pioneer Award, the American Association for the Advancement of Science Prize
for Behavioral Science Research, the American Psychological Association’s Early
Career Award; a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator
Award, and J. S. Guggenheim Fellowships; John Tooby has been president of the
Human Behavior and Evolution Society.
David Sloan Wilson is SUNY Distinguished Professor of
Biology and Anthropology at Binghamton
University. He applies
evolutionary theory to all aspects of humanity in addition to the rest of life,
both in his own research and as director of EvoS, a unique campus-wide
evolutionary studies program. He is known for championing the theory of
multilevel selection, which has implications ranging from the origin of life to
the nature of religion. His books include Darwin’s
Cathedral: Evolution, Religion, and the Nature of Society (2002) and Evolution
for Everyone: How Darwin’s Theory Can Change the Way We Think About Our Lives
(2007). His next book is titled Evolving the City: An Evolutionist
Contemplates Changing the Word—One
City at a Time.
Edward O. Wilson is University Research Professor, Emeritus,
at Harvard University. His 25 books include On Human Nature (1978) and The Ants (1990, with Bert Hölldobler),
which won Pulitzer prizes, Consilience:
The Unity of Knowledge (1998), and most recently The Future of Life (2002), and again with Bert Hölldobler, The Superorganism (2009).