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June 2; evolutionary psychologist Robert Kurzban, PhD, at Free Library, Phila.

FRobert Kurzban, PhDS proudly presents Robert Kurzban, PhD as the Thursday, June 2, 2011 speaker at the Free Library of Philadelphia.  The meeting will begin promptly at 7:00 PM  in the Skyline Room.  The address of the library is 1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Kurzban’s free and open-to-the-public speech, “Why Everyone (Else) is a Hypocrite: Evolution and the Modular Mind,” will explore human inconsistency, including hypocrisy from an evolutionary perspective. Emphasizing how modularity helps to explain various features of human behavior, Kurzban will cover “self deception,” “self control,” “self esteem” and many other aspects of social behavior. This speech is based on  Kurzban’s book of the same title.

From the Wikipedia article on Kurzban:

“Robert Kurzban was trained by two pioneers in the field of evolutionary psychology, John Tooby and Leda Cosmides, and his research reflects this background. He takes an adaptationist view of human psychology, and his work is aimed at understanding the functions of psychological mechanisms designed around social life. He uses methods drawn from social psychology, cognitive psychology, and especially experimental economics. His early work investigated the social category “race” and was directed at the hypothesis that people “automatically” encode the race of people they observe. Kurzban argued that because humans evolved in a world in which they rarely if ever encountered people of very different physical appearance from themselves, it was unlikely that the human mind was designed to encode what is currently referred to as race. A series of experiments showed that with a relatively minor manipulation in the laboratory, the extent to which people categorized others by race could be reduced. He has also done research on cooperation, mate choice (and speed dating), and morality.

Evolutionary psychology has come under attack from a number of critics. Kurzban has been active in defending the discipline from prominent detractors and also worked to clarify the principle of cognitive modularity, which plays an important role in the discipline. In 2009, he also gave a plenary address at the annual meeting of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society in Fullerton, CA.”

His first book, Why Everyone (Else) Is a Hypocrite: Evolution and the Modular Mind, was published by Princeton University Press in December, 2010.

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