Search results for: the-pleistocene-social-contract

The Pleistocene Social Contract

Author : Kim Sterelny
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"No human now gathers for himself or herself the essential resources for life: food, shelter, clothing, and the like. Humans are obligate co-operator, and this has been true for tens of thousands of years; probably much longer. In this regard, humans are very unusual. Cooperation outside the family is rare: though it can be very profitable, it is also very risky, as cooperation makes an agent vulnerable to incompetence and cheating. This book presents a new picture of the emergence of cooperation in our lineage, developing through four fairly distinct phases from a baseline that was probably fairly similar to living great apes, who cooperate, but in fairly minimal ways. As adults, they rarely depend on others when the outcome really matters. This book suggests that cooperation began to be more important for humans through an initial phase of cooperative foraging generating immediate returns from collective action in small mobile bands. This established in our lineage about 1.8 million years ago, perhaps earlier. Over the rest of the Pleistocene, cooperation became more extended in its social scale, with forms of cooperation between bands gradually establishing, and in spatial and temporal scale too, with various forms of reciprocation becoming important. The final phase was the emergence of cooperation in large scale, hierarchical societies in the Holocene, beginning about 12,000 years ago. This picture is nested in a reading of the archaeological and ethnographic record, and twinned to an account of the gradual elaboration of cultural learning in our lineage, making cooperation both more profitable and more stable"--

The Social Contract

Author : Robert Ardrey
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Cooperation and Its Evolution

Author : Kim Sterelny
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Essays from a range of disciplinary perspectives show the central role that cooperation plays in structuring our world. This collection reports on the latest research on an increasingly pivotal issue for evolutionary biology: cooperation. The chapters are written from a variety of disciplinary perspectives and utilize research tools that range from empirical survey to conceptual modeling, reflecting the rich diversity of work in the field. They explore a wide taxonomic range, concentrating on bacteria, social insects, and, especially, humans. Part I ("Agents and Environments") investigates the connections of social cooperation in social organizations to the conditions that make cooperation profitable and stable, focusing on the interactions of agent, population, and environment. Part II ("Agents and Mechanisms") focuses on how proximate mechanisms emerge and operate in the evolutionary process and how they shape evolutionary trajectories. Throughout the book, certain themes emerge that demonstrate the ubiquity of questions regarding cooperation in evolutionary biology: the generation and division of the profits of cooperation; transitions in individuality; levels of selection, from gene to organism; and the "human cooperation explosion" that makes our own social behavior particularly puzzling from an evolutionary perspective.

Handbook of Cognitive Archaeology

Author : Tracy B. Henley
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The remains that archaeologists uncover reveal ancient minds at work as much as ancient hands, and for decades many have sought a better way of understanding those minds. This understanding is at the forefront of cognitive archaeology, a discipline that believes that a greater application of psychological theory to archaeology will further our understanding of the evolution of the human mind. Bringing together a diverse range of experts including archaeologists, psychologists, anthropologists, biologists, psychiatrists, neuroscientists, historians, and philosophers, in one comprehensive volume, this accessible and illuminating book is an important resource for students and researchers exploring how the application of cognitive archaeology can significantly and meaningfully deepen their knowledge of early and ancient humans. This seminal volume opens the field of cognitive archaeology to scholars across the behavioral sciences.

The Social Contract

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Human Efflorescence

Author : Eleanor B. Morris Wu
File Size : 66.91 MB
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The Adapted Mind

Author : Jerome H. Barkow
File Size : 49.6 MB
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Although researchers have long been aware that the species-typical architecture of the human mind is the product of our evolutionary history, it has only been in the last three decades that advances in such fields as evolutionary biology, cognitive psychology, and paleoanthropology have made the fact of our evolution illuminating. Converging findings from a variety of disciplines are leading to the emergence of a fundamentally new view of the human mind, and with it a new framework for the behavioral and social sciences. First, with the advent of the cognitive revolution, human nature can finally be defined precisely as the set of universal, species-typical information-processing programs that operate beneath the surface of expressed cultural variability. Second, this collection of cognitive programs evolved in the Pleistocene to solve the adaptive problems regularly faced by our hunter-gatherer ancestors--problems such as mate selection, language acquisition, cooperation, and sexual infidelity. Consequently, the traditional view of the mind as a general-purpose computer, tabula rasa, or passive recipient of culture is being replaced by the view that the mind resembles an intricate network of functionally specialized computers, each of which imposes contentful structure on human mental organization and culture. The Adapted Mind explores this new approach--evolutionary psychology--and its implications for a new view of culture.

The Non suicidal Society

Author : Andrew Oldenquist
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Argues that American society came dangerously close to suicide in the late 1960s, suggests that social problems do not always have political or economic causes, and recommends a community approach over radical individualism

In the Light of Evolution

Author : National Academy of Sciences
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The Human Condition is a collection of papers by leading evolutionary biologists and philosophers of science that reflect on the Darwinian Revolution as it relates to the human condition at levels ranging from the molecular to the theological. The book focuses on understanding the evolutionary origin of humans and their biological and cultural traits. The Human Condition is organized into three parts: Human Phylogenetic History and the Paleontological Record; Structure and Function of the Human Genome; and Cultural Evolution and the Uniqueness of Being Human. This fourth volume from the In the Light of Evolution (ILE) series, based on a series of Arthur M. Sackler colloquia, was designed to promote the evolutionary sciences. Each volume explores evolutionary perspectives on a particular biological topic that is scientifically intriguing but also has special relevance to contemporary societal issues or challenges. Individually and collectively, the ILE series interprets phenomena in various areas of biology through the lens of evolution, addresses some of the most intellectually engaging as well as pragmatically important societal issues of our times, and fosters a greater appreciation of evolutionary biology as a consolidating foundation for the life sciences.

Encyclopedia of Business Ethics and Society

Author : Robert W. Kolb
File Size : 44.4 MB
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The five volumes of this ultimate resource recognize the inherent unity between business ethics and business and society, that stems from their shared primary concern with value in commerce. This Encyclopedia spans the relationships among business, ethics, and society by including more than 800 entries that feature broad coverage of corporate social responsibility, the obligation of companies to various stakeholder groups, the contribution of business to society and culture, and the relationship between organizations and the quality of the environment.