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

3.6 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Anthony Stevens is also the author of Archetype: A Natural History of the Self (1982), On Jung (1990), and, most recently, The Two Million-Year-Old Self (1993).


John Price is an associate professor of English at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. His essays on nature have appeared, among other places, in "Orion," "The Christian Science Monitor," and "Best Spiritual Writing 2000,"
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 2 edition (August 13, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415219795
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415219792
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9.4 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: #914,961 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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Format: Paperback
For any psychiatrist seeking ultimate explainations you need to read this.

Finially I read a book that offers something more than dry biology or wolly social theory. This theory offers a robust framework for organising thoughts. I really connected with the idea of a triune brain which seems to mirror Freud's ideas.

Some parts seem more solid than others but it demonstrates connections between various areas of psychiatry and has a unifying quality, i.e it adds rather than replace.

If you turn up at the office each day just to earn money and prestige then don't waste your time or money otherwise buy and read it
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