Laith Al-Shawaf, Ph.D.


Bilkent University, Ankara

Born in 1988 in Abu Dhabi
Studied Psychology, Philosophy, and Cognitive Science at the American University of Beirut and at the University of Texas at Austin


College for Life Sciences


1. Disgust, Immunology, and Human Mating (empirical research program)

1. This is an empirical research project investigating the relationship between immune function and the emotion of disgust, as well as how these physiological and psychological processes affect aspects of human life such as sexual behavior, food preferences, and the psychology of human mating.

2. Unpacking the Philosophical Implications of an Evolutionary Perspective on the Human Mind (book project)

2. This is a book project exploring the consequences of the fact that the human brain is a product of evolution by natural selection. This basic premise is widely accepted, but its (many) philosophical implications are rarely unpacked. In this book, which is still very much in its incipient stages, my goal is to unpack the implications of this fact for areas of philosophy such as morality, epistemology, philosophy of mind, the "self", and the question of free will. Many thinkers have not paid sufficient attention to the fact that the human brain evolved by natural selection, and others have proceeded uncautiously, drawing unwarranted conclusions from this premise. My goal will be to avoid these unwarranted conclusions while simultaneously shedding light on a number of big questions in different areas of philosophy and psychology.

Recommended Reading

Al-Shawaf, L., D. M. G. Lewis, and D. M. Buss (2015). "Disgust and mating strategy." Evolution & Human Behavior 36: 199-205.
Al-Shawaf, L., D. Conroy-Beam, K. Asao, and D. M. Buss (2015). "Human emotions: An evolutionary psychological perspective." Emotion Review. doi: 10.1177/1754073914565518.
Lewis, D. M. G., E. Russell, L. Al-Shawaf, and D. M. Buss (in press). "Lumbar curvature: A previously undiscovered standard of attractiveness." Evolution & Human Behavior. doi:10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2015.01.007.

Jahrbuch 2015/2016

Wissenschaftskolleg, Jahrbuch 2015/2016

Wissenschaftskolleg, Jahrbuch 2015/2016