Biography:

One of their most recent publications is Chapter 2 - Evolutionary Theory and Human Evolution. Which was published in journal .

More information about Russil Durrant research including statistics on their citations can be found on their Copernicus Academic profile page.

Russil Durrant's Articles: (4)

Chapter 2 - Evolutionary Theory and Human Evolution

AbstractIn this chapter, we introduce some key theoretical concepts that evolutionary biologists employ to understand the biological world, and offer a sketch of the unique trajectory of hominin evolution over the past seven million years. An important evolutionary feature of all living organisms is adaptation. We begin this chapter with a discussion of plant adaptation in the presence of (now extinct) predators, and then proceed to the more specific instance of human evolution. Although it is largely understood that all forms of life on our planet have evolved in some way from their ancestral lineage, Homo sapiens is unique among Earth’s creatures for its astounding (and continuing) evolutionary success. Much of this success can be attributed not only to an amazing ability to adapt to, and in fact change, the external environment, but also to an ability to construct social norms, expectations, and penalties, through a positive feedback mechanism, that ensure the best possible evolutionary outcome for the species as a whole.

Chapter 4 - Levels of Analysis and Explanations in Criminology

AbstractIn this chapter we provide an analysis of three conceptual frameworks for organizing the different theoretical approaches that we find in criminology. The first framework addresses ontological concerns about the fundamental structure of humans and human social relations. Here the issue concerns levels of organization. The second framework addresses epistemological concerns and focuses on the kinds of questions that we can ask of any given behavior. We adopt here a modified version of Tinbergen's (1963) well known and widely employed four types of explanation (evolution, function, ontogeny, and causation) and argue that this framework can serve the useful purpose of organizing explanation types in criminology. Finally, our third framework is also an epistemological one but focuses on the kinds of theory-development strategies—rather than the types of causes—that are reasonable in the light of the fundamental structure of the world and human beings. We argue that criminology, as with the social and behavioral sciences more generally, is best served by a version of integrative pluralism that emphasizes the importance of achieving consistency among theories while pursuing typically small scale local integrations.

Chapter 8 - Proximate Explanations: Individuals, Situations, and Social Processes

AbstractIn this chapter, we concentrate on Tinbergen’s fourth type of causal explanation: proximate mechanisms operating at the time the offence occurs. In selecting the proximate mechanisms to discuss in this chapter, our intention is to focus on those that have been linked to the onset and reoccurrence of offending, and can be plausibly conceptualized as adaptations or by-products of adaptations. We first outline the concepts of dynamic risk factors, criminogenic needs, protective factors, and desistance processes. The ability of these concepts to function as explanations of crime is critically evaluated and their relationships to adaptations are explored. Second, the agency model of risk is systematically outlined and its grounding in biological and cultural processes is discussed. Third, we demonstrate how dynamic risk factors and protective factors once distributed across the components of human agency contribute to the occurrence of crime. Finally, we conclude the chapter with a discussion of some research implications of our model.

Evolutionary explanations in the social and behavioral sciences: Introduction and overview

AbstractDespite a growing acceptance of the value of evolutionary approaches to understanding the natural world there has been relatively little attention paid to evolutionary ideas in sociology, socio-cultural anthropology, and — of particular relevance for this special issue — criminology and forensic/correctional psychology. The aim of this paper is to provide an introductory overview of evolutionary approaches to human behavior with a focus on illuminating the role they can play in enriching our understanding of criminal and antisocial behavior. We begin with an overview of the main approaches to applying evolutionary theory to human behavior and we suggest that a pluralistic perspective is most likely to advance conceptual and empirical work in the field. We then turn to a brief discussion of some common, but misguided criticisms of this approach. Some of the more substantive conceptual and methodological issues that evolutionary approaches need to address are then explored. Finally, we engage with the broader issues that relate to the role of evolutionary explanations in the social and behavioral sciences.

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