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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 46 (2004) 12, 799 - 807

Essay

Evolutionary theory and its importance for psychiatry

P.P.G. Hodiamont

From a Darwinian point of view psychiatric symptoms can be regarded as exaggerated or disturbed manifestations of strategies in man's struggle to achieve attachment and rank and in so doing to preserve and pass on his genes. This view is relevant to psychiatry because it is based on a theory of behaviour that provides a framework that can accommodate many features of prevailing models used to explain and treat psychiatric disorders. This article examines the scientific status of the evolutionary theory and psychiatry giving particular attention to socio-historical and logicoepistemologic aspects, and discusses the rise of evolutionary psychiatry and the importance of evolutionary theory for psychiatry.

keywords darwinian psychiatry, evolutionary psychiatry, evolutionary theory