Evolutionary psychologist Robert Kurzban challenges the traditional notion of the integrated self. The human mind’s very structure makes for behavioral inconsistency, he argues, so it is perfectly natural to believe that everyone else is a hypocrite.
In Kurzban’s stunningly new thesis, our human mind is made up of specialized modules, each with its own evolution by natural selection. While these modules sometimes work together seamlessly. But, when they do not, it results in impossibly contradictory beliefs, vacillations between patience and impulsiveness, violations of our supposed moral principals and overinflated views of ourselves. Kurzban challenges the current thinking in the field of psychology, arguing that it has not yet adopted the findings of deep evolution. He argues for a totally new view: no “I” but a contentious “we”.
What is meant by the concept of the” modular mind?” What are the implications of inevitable human inconsistency in a world built around rational models?
Robert Kurzban, received his Ph.D. from the Center for Evolutionary Psychology, at the University of California, Santa Barbara and did postdoctoral work in economics and anthropology. In 2008, he won the inaugural Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution from the Human Behavior and Evolution Society.
Recorded March 21, 2011