Graduate Liberal Studies Program

Course Description

GLS 592: Evolution, Culture, and Gender

Instructor: George Felis

In the first section (between one-third and one-half of the term) of the course, we will examine core issues in philosophy of biology, such as the conceptual foundations of the theory of evolution by natural selection, the character of biology as a historical science, definitions of fitness, disputes over the level(s) at which selection operates, adaptationism and its critics, the evolution of altruism, etc. Those studies will serve as the foundation for the remainder of the course, a critical examination of some claims about human psychology and culture supposedly based on human evolution, with an emphasis on claims about gender and sexuality. There is no issue more subject to prejudices, blind spots, misconceptions, and social power dynamics than discussion of purported differences between wormen and men.

Last Update: April 5, 2013