"...Just what do they want? You always find them at the same task, whether they want to or not, pushing the partie honteuse of our inner world into the foreground, and looking for what is really effective, guiding and decisive for our development where man's intellectual pride would least wish to find it (for example, in the vis inertiae of habit, or in forgetfulness, or in a blind and random coupling of ideas, or in something purely passive, automatic, reflexive, molecular, and thoroughly stupid) -- what is it that actually drives these psychologists in precisely this direction all the time? Is it a secret, malicious, mean instinct to belittle man, which is perhaps unacknowledged? Or perhaps a pessemistic suspicion, the mistrust of disillusioned, surly idealists who have turned poisonous and green? Or a certain subterranean animosity and racune toward Christianity (and Plato), which has perhaps not even passed the threshold of consciousness? Or even a lewd taste for the strange, for the painful paradox, for the dubious and nonsensical in life? Or finally -- a bit of everything, a bit of meanness, a bit of gloominess, a bit of anti-Christianity, a bit of a thrill and need for pepper? -- But people tell me that they are just old, cold, boring frogs crawling round humans and hopping into them as if they were in their element, namely a swamp. I am resistant to hearing this and, indeed, I do not believe it; and if it is permitted to wish where it is impossible to know, I sincerely hope the reverse is true, -- that these analysts holding a microscope to the soul are actually brave, generous and proud animals, who know how to control their own pleasure and pain and have been taught to sacrifice desirability to truth, every truth, even a plain, bitter, ugly, foul, unchristian, immoral truth -- because there are such truths."
I have a friend who's an evolutionary psychologist, and naturally I often make fun of her for it. However, since I am interested in philosophy of science, and have long thought I'd like to do some work on the interactions of bias and methodology in the social sciences, I've started looking in detail at some evolutionary psychology, starting with books she's recommended. The first I read was A Natural History of Rape, since controversial topics are certain to at least have accusations of bias flying around. I must admit to having more than a little suspicion that it will turn out to be a fact about the evolutionary psychologists, as with the English psychologists Nietzsche talks about in my quote, "that historical spirit itself is lacking in them." (Surely those quotes are appropriate, as one of Nietzsche's targets was the famous early blender of psychology and evolutionary biology, Herbert Spencer). I don't feel quite ready yet to post any definite conclusions, but I certainly will be posting more about a positivist revivalist's perspective on evolutionary psychology shortly.