Baldwin's organic selection theory and the nature/culture gap


  • José Carlos Loredo Narciandi Departamento Departamento de Psicología Básica I. Facultad de Psicología (UNED)



James Mark Baldwin, organic selection, Baldwin effect, nature/culture controversy, social heredity


This paper aims to expound the Organic Selection theory proposed in 1896 by the North American functionalist psychologist James Mark Baldwin in order to explain the evolutive value or learning. This theory is linked to a constructivist conception of the psychological activity. However, none of the current interpretations of organic selection is linked to a constructivist psychology. This gap between psychology and evolution is identified as one of the reasons for the current nature/culture dualism, which Organic Selection aimed to break. Nowadays, Cultural Psyhology is analized as a current version of such a dualism.


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How to Cite

Loredo Narciandi, J. C. (2012). Baldwin’s organic selection theory and the nature/culture gap. Acción Psicológica, 3(3), 187–198.



Teoría e Investigación [Theory & Research]