Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary
Atran: Folk biology

Atran's evolutionary psychology: “Say it ain't just-so, Joe”

James Maffie a1
a1 Department of Philosophy, Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, CO 80523-1781


Atran advances three theses: our folk-biological taxonomy is (1) universal, (2) innate, and (3) the product of natural selection. I argue that Atran offers insufficient support for theses (2) and (3) and that his evolutionary psychology thus amounts to nothing more than a just-so story.