RE: The SSSM revisited

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Wed Dec 04 2002 - 05:13:21 MST

> > Ehm, I would dispute that this was "a firmament of intellectual life".
> > It may have been (and still to a degree be) a pop science notion but I
> > doubt you'd see much support for it in academia after the early 20th
> > century. See Freud, Jung, etc. Of course it all depends on how you
> > define "intellectual life", perhaps you can clarify which circles such
> > ideas were supposedly taken seriously in.
> >
> > --
> > Cliff
> That is incorrect. It was *the* standard in Sociology,
> Anthropology, Psychology for most of the 20th century. Check
> out Chapter 1 of "The Adapted Mind" by Barkow, Cosmides, Tooby
> for corroborating evidence and a detailed analysis and critique
> of SSSM. SSSM also had deep effects on educational and social
> policies.
> - samantha

Having grown up around (mostly leftist) sociologists in the 1970's, I can
say quite firmly that Barkov, Cosmides & Tooby's treatment -- applied to
sociology -- is an exaggeration motivated by their own political and
philosophical views.

The views bundled into SSSM may have been moderately common, but far from
consensus. Reality is rarely as cleanly defined as our retrospective models
of it!

In experimental psychology, things veered from behaviorism in the 50's and
60's, to a focus on cognitive modeling and information processing in the
70's, 80's and 90's. Clinical psychology moved from Freud/Jung to Maslow,
Erich Fromm, and so forth. The SSSM concept seems even less relevant...

-- Ben

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