Conflicts in our mind

H. Smit*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


According to evolutionary theorists, there are conflicts in our minds between genes and ideas. Evolutionary theorists investigate how natural selection has moulded possible outcomes of these conflicts. This essay investigates the conceptual framework that is used by evolutionary theorists when they develop explanations. This framework is advanced as an extension of ideas of William James on intrapsychic conflicts. It is argued that this framework is best characterized as crypto-Cartesian. The problems associated with this conceptual framework are analysed and it is suggested that the alternative, Aristotelian framework extended with Darwin's theory is a better starting point for studying possible conflicts in the mind. The advantages of the Aristotelian framework are discussed with regard to both human and animal behaviour.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-395
JournalTheory & Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011

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