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Evolutionary Psychiatry, second edition: A New Beginning Paperback – August 13, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 325 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 2 edition (August 13, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415219795
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415219792
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,591,358 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Anthony Stevens is a psychiatrist and Jungian analyst in London and author of several books, including On Jung (1990). John Price is a psychiatrist and retired Senior Lecturer in Psychological Medicine at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Arkadiy Dubovoy on February 3, 2006
Format: Paperback
Evolutionary Psychiatry: A New Beginning is a thoughtful and systematic discussion of main psychiatric concepts approached from evolutionary perspective. The book is written by two psychiatrists and Oxford graduates with a life-long interest in evolutionary psychiatry.

In order to understand this book you must be familiar fairly well with the psychiatric terms and concepts. The second requirement is being familiar with the modern theory of evolution. It is unfortunate, in my opinion, that this book does not contain any meaningful discussion of modern evolutionary concepts.

Evolutionary Psychiatry: A New Beginning is a fairly advanced scientific text, which is structured as a psychiatric textbook. This book, however, is not a textbook of evolutionary psychiatry. The theories described in this book are either developed or supported by Drs. Stevens and Price. Other ideas are, at best, mentioned in passing. The book is, therefore, necessarily biased.

The authors mentioned that they were criticized for trying to jump ahead of the main pack of researchers. Although the contributions of Drs. Stevens and Price to the field are substantial, there may be some truth in those allegations.

Writing a textbook requires a certain critical mass of knowledge on the subject to become commonly accepted, if not indisputable. Evolutionary psychology and psychiatry have not amassed the necessary amount of accepted facts and theories yet. The other reason why evolutionary psychiatry remains largely speculative is that the very scientific basis of it - the modern evolutionary theory - is far from having certain answers to too many questions (for example, T. J.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Stephen P. Manning on December 29, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Stevens has long been an almost lone champion of the biological aspect of Jungian thought. While Jung himself spent most of his energy on the products of the psyche --dreams and mythology-- he was very clear that at base he was talking about the common biological and genetic inheritance and structures of the human species. The archetypal theory is rooted in an observation of the instinctual patterns of the species. Beginning a dialogue with the emerging work of evolutionary psychology helps to anchor some of Jung's basic theories in a more contemporarily scientific frame (something he himself always insisted was crucial to his self-understanding as an empiricist). Stevens' contribution can help to balance the sometimes lopsided captivity of Jungian thought to such disparate enterprises as psychoanalysis and Goddess ecofeminism.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Rosanna Tarsiero on November 28, 2007
Format: Paperback
The topic of this book is a very interesting one, and the book itself does delivery what promised.

However, while some chapters contain pristine accounts of how disorders concerning mood and anxiety are linked to the evolution of rank and affiliation traits, others (schizophrenia and borderline disorder) fail to explain symptoms from an evolutionary perspective. Furthermore, Stevens grounds his work more in psychoanalytical psychology (Jung, Bowlby) than in psychiatry.

Overall, this is a good primer, and some chapters might also be included in undergraduate syllabi in an evolutionary psychiatry classes.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Mike on December 31, 2001
Format: Paperback
It is an exceptional and very rare scholarly work of incredible science that tries to avoid human biases that can easily creep into the evaluation of psychoanalysis, psychotherapy, and other therapies. As other good reviewers have said this book is very
comprehensive and written for the advanced reader but it is a MUST for ALL and should be mandatory reading for any
progressive school or person. The book discusses several human brain conditions from anxiety all to way to schizophrenia and
discusses their definition, diagnosis, origins, prevalence, reasons for existing, etc.... What I specifically noted about this book, apart from all the good that has been written, is its attempt to remove, as much as possible, human biases in the science of psychology and psychiatry and to just state "Just the facts mam". They even admit to the pitfalls of the traditional fields of psychology and psychiatry (e.g. psychoanalysis). A MUST for those wanting to move on beyond the traditional psychobable
and self-help; towards real science.
An extremely interesting book detailing evolutionary human behavior. Covers a very wide range from the history of evolutionary
thinking to the latest views. Includes: kin selection, friendship, family, group, and tribal behavioral dynamics as viewed from an
evolutionary point of view.
For further reading:
The Moral Animal : The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology by Robert Wright
Charles Darwin by John Bowlby
Darwinian Psychiatry by Michael T. McGuire, Alfonso Troisi
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Peter McCluskey on July 14, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is the kind of book that creates the impression that psychiatry deals with arbitrary collections of symptoms, with little understanding of what causes the symptoms. The book's occasional attempts to describe evolutionary influences rarely describe any connection between the symptoms and reproductive fitness, leave me wondering whether they have a clue about evolutionary theory.
For better insights into this subject, read the book Shadow Syndromes, which describes some disorders as extremes of traits which provide benefits in more moderate forms. And read The Nurture Assumption to see what's wrong with Bowlby's attachment theory that Stevens and Price mention approvingly.
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