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The case for the opposition

There are many points raised by critics of evolutionary psychology (EP) and defenders of the SSSM, and we should consider what they have to say. First it is important to note that not every critique of evolutionary psychology is a defence of the SSSM. We cannot stress this too much. It is perfectly possible to reject both the SSSM and EP as universalists do.

We feel that the facts about human universals, once we are no longer blinded by the spectrum illusion, demolish the SSSM. We hope that we have indicated why we believe that not everything interesting about the mind and the way we think, including values, norms, reasoning, etc is the product of an arbitrary culture. But that the constrained range of possible human cultures may be a fact about the nature of the human mind. Like Ridley, we believe the point is obvious once stated, and so the puzzle is to understand why the SSSM has maintained such a firm grip on social thought for so long. What's its appeal? Why is it so difficult to reject? We also need to understand its appeal to help separate the legitimate concerns about EP from the misplaced fears.

Mon Sep 8 18:21:39 BST 1997