Re: panksepp and evolutionary psychology

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Wed Jun 22 2005 - 10:37:25 MDT

Daniel Radetsky wrote:
> On Tue, 21 Jun 2005 12:10:57 -0700
> justin corwin <> wrote:
>>His primary objection appears to be an underrepresentation in
>>Evolutionary Psychology of the role of general capability that reacts
>>with specific capability and environment within the life of the
>>organism. This is an important perspective, but it's not a knockdown
>>argument against established EP theory, it's in fact, an argument for
>>more theory, in a sense.
> Again, I'm not familiar with EP, but I was under the impression that Massive
> Modularity was a big part of at least Pinker's take on EP. As far as I know,
> C&T as well. If so, then I fail to see how Panksepp's point is not a knockdown
> argument (or wrong).
>>In short, his 'criticism of EP', published, you'll note, in "Evolution
>>and Cognition", is more of a criticism of some interpretation, and the
>>state of the field, confirming in wide view, and disagreeing upon
> Well, okay, let's just say EP1 = "EP as practiced by individuals X, Y and Z."
> Now it's a criticism of EP1, right?

No, now it's an incremental improvement to the field of evolutionary
psychology (if it's correct).

"Levels of Organization in General Intelligence" also tries to bring human
general intelligence, or rather, human "significantly more generally
applicable" intelligence, into the realm of evolutionary psychology. That's
not a challenge to the field. Just one more thing that, I would assert, it
can successfully explain.

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky                
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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