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The Adapted Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and the Generation of Culture

edited by Jerome H Barkow, Leda Cosmides, and John Tooby
New York: Oxford University Press, 1995. 688 pages.

In the introduction to The Adapted Mind (published originally in 1992 and a recognized classic in the field), the editors explained, "we hope to provide a preliminary sketch of what a conceptually integrated approach to the behavioral and social sciences might look like." Their approach is premised on the existence of a universal human nature, manifest primarily as psychological mechanisms constructed by natural selection to adapt humans to the way of life of Pleistocene hunter–gatherers, and the contributors use the approach in considering such phenomena as cooperation, mating and sex, parental care, and perception and language. The reviewer for the Journal of Anthropological Research described The Adapted Mind as "a critically important book."