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Kinship And Human Evolution

Author: Steen Bergendorff
Publisher: Lexington Books
ISBN: 1498524184
Size: 48.99 MB
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Kinship and Human Evolution: Making Culture, Becoming Human offers an exciting new explanation of human evolution. Based on insights from anthropology, it shows how humans became “cultured” beings capable of symbolic thought by developing kinship-based exchange relationships. Kinship was as an adaptive response to the harsh environment caused by the last major ice age. In the extreme ice age conditions, natural selection favored those groups that could forge and sustain such alliances, and the resulting relationships enabled them to share different food resources between groups. Kinship was a means of symbolically linking two or more groups, to the mutual reproductive advantage of both. From an evolutionary point of view, kinship freed humans from their dependence on their immediate environment, vastly expanding the niches they could occupy. If we take kinship to be the major factor in human evolution, networks and alliances must precede cultural units, becoming the defining element of localized cultures. Kinship and Human Evolution argues that it is living in networks that produces cultural differences and not culturally different groups that encounter one another; it shows that kinship both saved and created humanity as we know it, in all its cultural diversity.

Apes And Human Evolution

Author: Russell H. Tuttle
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674073169
Size: 74.74 MB
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Russell Tuttle synthesizes a vast literature in primate evolution and behavior to explain how apes and humans evolved in relation to one another and why humans became a bipedal, tool-making, culture-inventing species distinct from other hominoids. He refutes the theory that we are sophisticated, instinctively aggressive and destructive killer apes.

Early Human Kinship

Author: Nicholas J. Allen
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1444338781
Size: 24.53 MB
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Early Human Kinship brings together original studies from leading figures in the biological sciences, social anthropology, archaeology, and linguistics to provide a major breakthrough in the debate over human evolution and the nature of society. A major new collaboration between specialists across the range of the human sciences including evolutionary biology and psychology; social/cultural anthropology; archaeology and linguistics Provides a ground-breaking set of original studies offering a new perspective on early human history Debates fundamental questions about early human society: Was there a connection between the beginnings of language and the beginnings of organized 'kinship and marriage'? How far did evolutionary selection favor gender and generation as principles for regulating social relations? Sponsored by the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland in conjunction with the British Academy

A Cooperative Species

Author: Samuel Bowles
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400838837
Size: 37.19 MB
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Why do humans, uniquely among animals, cooperate in large numbers to advance projects for the common good? Contrary to the conventional wisdom in biology and economics, this generous and civic-minded behavior is widespread and cannot be explained simply by far-sighted self-interest or a desire to help close genealogical kin. In A Cooperative Species, Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis--pioneers in the new experimental and evolutionary science of human behavior--show that the central issue is not why selfish people act generously, but instead how genetic and cultural evolution has produced a species in which substantial numbers make sacrifices to uphold ethical norms and to help even total strangers. The authors describe how, for thousands of generations, cooperation with fellow group members has been essential to survival. Groups that created institutions to protect the civic-minded from exploitation by the selfish flourished and prevailed in conflicts with less cooperative groups. Key to this process was the evolution of social emotions such as shame and guilt, and our capacity to internalize social norms so that acting ethically became a personal goal rather than simply a prudent way to avoid punishment. Using experimental, archaeological, genetic, and ethnographic data to calibrate models of the coevolution of genes and culture as well as prehistoric warfare and other forms of group competition, A Cooperative Species provides a compelling and novel account of how humans came to be moral and cooperative.

Wired For Culture Origins Of The Human Social Mind

Author: Mark Pagel
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393065871
Size: 68.14 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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An evolutionary biologist explores the concept of culture and how it influenced our collective human behaviors from the beginning of evolution through modern times and offers new insights on how art, morality and altruism and self-interest define being human. 20,000 first printing.

The Secret Of Our Success

Author: Joseph Henrich
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400873290
Size: 45.96 MB
Format: PDF, ePub
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Humans are a puzzling species. On the one hand, we struggle to survive on our own in the wild, often failing to overcome even basic challenges, like obtaining food, building shelters, or avoiding predators. On the other hand, human groups have produced ingenious technologies, sophisticated languages, and complex institutions that have permitted us to successfully expand into a vast range of diverse environments. What has enabled us to dominate the globe, more than any other species, while remaining virtually helpless as lone individuals? This book shows that the secret of our success lies not in our innate intelligence, but in our collective brains—on the ability of human groups to socially interconnect and learn from one another over generations. Drawing insights from lost European explorers, clever chimpanzees, mobile hunter-gatherers, neuroscientific findings, ancient bones, and the human genome, Joseph Henrich demonstrates how our collective brains have propelled our species' genetic evolution and shaped our biology. Our early capacities for learning from others produced many cultural innovations, such as fire, cooking, water containers, plant knowledge, and projectile weapons, which in turn drove the expansion of our brains and altered our physiology, anatomy, and psychology in crucial ways. Later on, some collective brains generated and recombined powerful concepts, such as the lever, wheel, screw, and writing, while also creating the institutions that continue to alter our motivations and perceptions. Henrich shows how our genetics and biology are inextricably interwoven with cultural evolution, and how culture-gene interactions launched our species on an extraordinary evolutionary trajectory. Tracking clues from our ancient past to the present, The Secret of Our Success explores how the evolution of both our cultural and social natures produce a collective intelligence that explains both our species' immense success and the origins of human uniqueness.

Kinship To Mastery

Author: Stephen R. Kellert
Publisher: Island Press
ISBN: 9781597268905
Size: 75.24 MB
Format: PDF
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Kinship to Mastery is a fascinating and accessible exploration of the notion of biophilia -- the idea that humans, having evolved with the rest of creation, possess a biologically based attraction to nature and exhibit an innate affinity for life and lifelike processes. Stephen R. Kellert sets forth the idea that people exhibit different expressions of biophilia in different contexts, and demonstrates how our quality of life in the largest sense is dependent upon the richness of our connections with nature. While the natural world provides us with material necessities -- food, clothing, medicine, clean air, pure water -- it just as importantly plays a key role in other aspects of our lives, including intellectual capacity, emotional bonding, aesthetic attraction, creativity, imagination, and even the recognition of a just and purposeful existence. As Kellert explains, each expression of biophilia shows how our physical, material, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual well-being is to a great extent dependent on our relationships with the natural world that surrounds us. Kinship to Mastery is a thought-provoking examination of a concept that, while not widely known, has a significant and direct effect on the lives of people everywhere. Because the full expression of biophilia is integral to our overall health, our ongoing destruction of the environment could have far more serious consequences than many people think. In a readable and compelling style, Kellert describes and explains the concept of biophilia, and demonstrates to a general audience the wide-ranging implications of environmental degradation. Kinship to Mastery continues the exploration of biophilia begun with Edward O. Wilson's landmark book Biophilia (Harvard University Press, 1984) and followed by The Biophilia Hypothesis (Island Press, 1993), co-edited by Wilson and Kellert, which brought together some of the most creative scientists of our time to explore Wilson's theory in depth.

What Kinship Is And Is Not

Author: Marshall Sahlins
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226925129
Size: 70.61 MB
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In this pithy two-part essay, Marshall Sahlins reinvigorates the debates on what constitutes kinship, building on some of the best scholarship in the field to produce an original outlook on the deepest bond humans can have. Covering thinkers from Aristotle and Lévy- Bruhl to Émile Durkheim and David Schneider, and communities from the Maori and the English to the Korowai of New Guinea, he draws on a breadth of theory and a range of ethnographic examples to form an acute definition of kinship, what he calls the “mutuality of being.” Kinfolk are persons who are parts of one another to the extent that what happens to one is felt by the other. Meaningfully and emotionally, relatives live each other’s lives and die each other’s deaths. In the second part of his essay, Sahlins shows that mutuality of being is a symbolic notion of belonging, not a biological connection by “blood.” Quite apart from relations of birth, people may become kin in ways ranging from sharing the same name or the same food to helping each other survive the perils of the high seas. In a groundbreaking argument, he demonstrates that even where kinship is reckoned from births, it is because the wider kindred or the clan ancestors are already involved in procreation, so that the notion of birth is meaningfully dependent on kinship rather than kinship on birth. By formulating this reversal, Sahlins identifies what kinship truly is: not nature, but culture.

The Selfish Gene

Author: Richard Dawkins
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 9780192860927
Size: 60.60 MB
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An ethologist shows man to be a gene machine whose world is one of savage competition and deceit