Encyclopedia of the History of Psychological Theories

2012 Edition
| Editors: Robert W. Rieber

Evolutionary Psychology

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0463-8_4

This entry has three sections. The first concerns the beginnings of evolutionary psychology in the late nineteenth century. The second briefly provides a historical background, set between 1900 and 1975, for the third section, which concerns evolutionary psychology from about 1975 to mid-2010.

Late Nineteenth-Century Evolutionary Psychology

Anaximander, a pre-Socratic philosopher of the sixth century BCE, was quoted by the Roman scholar Plutarch as having said that

[At] the beginning man was generated from all sorts of animals, since all the rest can quickly get food for themselves, but man alone requires careful feeding for a long time; such a being at the beginning could not have preserved his existence. (Nahm 1964, pp. 42–43)

Moreover, Plato wrote that Anaximander declared

[Not] that fish and men were generated at the same time, but that at first men were generated in the form of fishes, and that growing up as sharks do till they were able to help themselves, they then came forth on...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.History & Theory of PsychologyYork UniversityTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyQueen’s UniversityKingstonCanada