Affiliations: University of Hildesheim, Institute of Psychology, Hildesheim, Germany | Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, Germany
Note:  Addresses for correspondence: Werner Greve, Institute of Psychology, University of Hildesheim, Marienburger Platz 22, D-31141 Hildesheim, Germany, fax: +49(0)5121883479; E-mail: [email protected]
Note:  Addresses for correspondence: Natalie C. Ebner, Center for Lifespan Psychology, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Lentzeallee 94, D-14195 Berlin, Germany, fax: +49(0)308249939; E-mail: [email protected]
Abstract: Is human ontogenesis a product of evolution or a result of individual decisions and actions? In the present paper we aim at solving this apparent conflict between a behavioral genetics approach and an action-theoretical perspective to human development. After a discussion of the idea of active and intentional self-development and the role of genes in development we argue for adequate conceptualizations of development, evolution, and self-determination that allow to understand human development as a joint product of evolution and intention. The paper concludes by proposing an evolutionary developmental psychology that integrates the two positions in that it “adapts” the concept of evolution to the development of the individual.
Keywords: Human evolution and ontogenesis, intentional self-development, role of genes in development, evolutionary developmental psychology