Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Psychic Unity

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_2798-1



The “psychic unity” idea denotes the existence of a set of psychological and cognitive capacities universally shared by human beings and grounded in biological equality.


The psychic unity idea assumes that all humans share cognitive and linguistic capacities that are grounded in biology and that uniformly underlie how we relate to one another and to the world we live in, regardless of differential cultural upbringing. This chapter is divided into three sections. In the first section, we detail how the idea originates in ancient Greek philosophy and how throughout the ages it has spread toward the different sociocultural and linguistic disciplines. In the second part, we discuss how today, researchers in the cognitive, behavioral, and cultural sciences are providing a new biological foundation to the search for human universals. And in part three, we point toward current debates on the nature and...

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This work is financed by FCT, the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology, Grant ID DL57/2016/CP1479/CT0066 and Project ID: UIDB/00678/2020. (Este trabalho é financiado por fundos nacionais através da FCT – Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, I.P., no âmbito da Norma Transitória – DL57/2016/CP1479/CT0066; UIDB/00678/2020).


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Applied Evolutionary Epistemology Lab, Centro de Filosofia das Ciências, Departamento de História e Filosofia das Ciências, Faculdade de CiênciasUniversidade de LisboaLisbonPortugal

Section editors and affiliations

  • Pavol Prokop
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Environmental EcologyComenius UniversityBratislavaSlovakia
  2. 2.Institute of ZoologySlovak Academy of SciencesBratislavaSlovakia