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Abstract

Evolutionary Developmental Biology (Evo-Devo) is becoming to be popular in psychology, and by certain is even seen as a new biology for psychology (Hofer 2014). In particular, it is about the concept of extended inheritance This concept claims to be (neo-) Lamarckian. According to it inherited is everything that contributes to resemblance across generations and that strongly affects the fitness of the offspring—starting by nuclear genes, by genes expression, maternal care, ecological niche, cultural niche, language, etc. In this paper I analyse the potential of the concept of extended inheritance on the example of transgenerational transmission of attachment style and mentalizing capacity. I present the neuroendocrine mechanism of transmission. Then I show that a) DNA methylation is complementary to neuroendocrine mechanism, but it does not revolutionize the latter as it is claimed; b) the concept of extended inheritance confounds the three questions rightly separated by Neo-Darwinism: origin of variation, fate of variation and inheritance, c) although the motivation of Evo-Devo goes against the alleged genetic determinism of neodarwinism, the concept of transgeneration inheritance is determinist (although it is an epigeneetic determinism).
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