Evolution of Human Behavior

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Overview

Evolution of Human Behavior is the first text to synthesize and compare the major proposals for human behavioral evolution from an anthropological perspective. Ideal for courses in the evolution of human behavior, human evolutionary ecology, evolutionary psychology, and biological anthropology, this unique volume reviews a wide array of approaches-including human behavioral ecology, evolutionary psychology, memetics, and gene-culture co-evolution-on how and why humans evolved behaviorally. Its overview of current and emerging theoretical practices and perspectives offers a novel resource for both students and practitioners.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The approach is well thought out and Fuentes is one of the few scholars in our field who could pull it off. . . . I venture to say it might put a new face on our approach to this complex and contentious topic."--Michael Alan Park, Central Connecticut State University

"The thorough and careful discussion of the different approaches used in the study of human behavior . . . should be very useful for students. . . . The examples used are particularly good in illustrating how research in these areas is done."--Robin Bernstein, George Washington University

"The book's strength is its accessible yet rigorous intellectual synthesis of various approaches to the evolution of human behavior. A number of ideas floating in the literature, at conferences, and within scholars' heads are concisely and clearly represented in this book. Some of the theoretical directions that evolutionary approaches are likely to take can also be found here. . . . [The book] will marvelously serve the reader seeking a sophisticated, yet accessible overview of adaptive frameworks guiding our understanding of human behavior."--Peter B. Gray, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, from a review in Evolutionary Psychology, 2009. 7(1): 78-81

"Fuentes succeeds in providing not only just a thorough review of the explanations for human behavioral evolution, both past and present, but also an informative commentary on the strengths and weaknesses of each and on the importance of understanding our evolutionary history. . . . Given the synthetic nature of the book, it covers a broad range of material, and instructors will find it to be a valuable resource."--Teresa Steele, University of California, Davis

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195333589
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 12/5/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Agustin Fuentes is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Notre Dame. He is the author of Core Concepts in Biological Anthropology (2006) and coauthor/editor of Health, Risk and Adversity (2008), Primates in Perspective (OUP, 2006), Primates Face to Face: The Conservation Implications of Human - Nonhuman Primate Interconnections (2002), and The Nonhuman Primates (1999).

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Table of Contents

Preface
1. The Relevance of Understanding Human Behavioral Evolution
Theories and Hypotheses about Behavioral Evolution: Why Are They Relevant?
Evolution Is Frequently Misunderstood
We Need to Understand Who We Are
Practical Issues such as Medicine and Public Health Can Benefit from an Understanding of Behavioral Evolution
Misunderstanding Human Behavioral Evolution Can Result in Potentially Dangerous Ideas
A Simple Example of Behavioral Evolution
Mutation
Gene Flow
Genetic Drift
Selection
Development
Why Give This Example?
2. Why We Behave Like Humans: Historical Perspectives and Basal Assumptions
Charles Darwin and the Descent of Man Alfred Russel Wallace and the Evolution of the Mind Between Darwin and Sociobiology
Spencer, Baldwin, and Morgan: Biology, Psychology, and the Behavioral Evolution of the Human Mind
The Modern Synthesis
Washburns' New Physical Anthropology, and the Emergence of an Evolutionary Anthropology of Behavior
Tinbergen's Four Questions and Their Impact on the Understanding of Behavior
The Revolution of Sociobiology, Kin Selection, and Selfish Genes: The New Synthesis
Hamilton and Kin Selection
Robert Trivers and Reciprocal Altruism
E.O. Wilson, Evolutionary Sociobiology and the Autocatalysis Model
Dawkins and the Selfish Gene
Suggested Readings
3. Modern Perspectives for Understanding Human Behavioral Evolution: A Review of Basic Assumptions, Structures, and Practice
Human Behavioral Ecology
Basic Overview of HBE
Evolutionary Psychology The Adapted Mind
Goals and Methods
Contrast with SSSM Specific Approach
Gene-Culture Coevolution (or Dual Inheritance Theory)
Memetics Summing Up Suggested Readings
4. Basic Bones and Stones: What Do We Know About the Record of Human Evolution (as of 2008)?
Comparative Primatology Establishes a Baseline for Human Behavior Very Brief Summary of Human Fossil Record (~5mya-present)
The Early Australopithecines
The Pleistocene Hominins
The Genus Homo Very Brief Summary of the Cultural Record and Behavioral Inferences (~2.6mya-present)
Late Pliocene/Early Pleistocene Forms
Pleistocene Hominins—Early
Pleistocene Hominins—Late
Suggested Readings
5. A Survey of Hypotheses and Proposals of Why We Behave Like Humans
Why Select These Proposals?
Summaries of Specific Hypotheses/Proposals Suggested Readings
6. Discussing the Proposals
The Comparison Tables A Brief Discussion on Shared Components and Differences in the Six Basic Categories
Cooperation
Conflict
Food
Environmental and Ecological Pressures
Sex and Reproduction
Specific Behavioral Factors
Of Trends and Patterns Suggested Readings
7. Twenty-First Century Evolutionary Theory/Biology and Thinking about the Evolution of Human Behavior
Adding to Our Toolkit—Using Four Dimensions of Evolution Revisiting Tinbergen's Ontogenetic "Why"
Four Other Approaches in Evolutionary Biology/Theory
Phenotypic Plasticity and Ecological Impact/Context: Moving Beyond Norms of Reaction
Developmental Systems Theory
Niche Construction
Biocultural Approaches to Studying Modern Humans
Can Adding These Perspectives to Existing Practice (as Outlined in Chapters 2 and 3) Impact the Way We Formulate and Test Hypotheses/Conceptualizations of Human Behavioral Evolution?
What Practices and Perspectives Should Be Removed or De-emphasized?
What Practices and/or Perspectives Cross All of These Categories?
What Perspectives Should Be Expanded?
Suggested Readings
8. A Synthesis and Prospectus for Examining Human Behavioral Evolution
A Set of Modest Proposals Emerging from Chapters 1 to 7: Seeking the Broad and the Minute Foci Looking at the Areas of Overlap and Interest from Chapter 6
Cooperation Commonalities
Cooperation Factors that Deserve Further Examination
Conflict Commonalities
Conflict Factors that Deserve Further Examination
Diet/Food Commonalities
Diet/Food Factors that Deserve Further Examination
Ecology/Environment Commonalities
Ecology/Environment Factors that Deserve Further Examination
Sex/Reproduction Commonalities:
Sex/Reproduction Factors that Deserve Further Examination
Specific Behavior Commonalities
Specific Behavior Factors that Deserve Further Examination
A Modest Proposal for a General Framework of Our Evolutionary History
Between Approximately 2 Million Years and 500,000 Years Ago
500,000-45,000 Years Ago (Give or Take 10,000 Years)
45,000 Years Ago Through Today
9. Problem of Being a Modern Human and Looking at Our Evolution
Benefits and Flaws in this Prospectus
Merging Approaches and Perspectives
How Do We Test This and Why Are Testable Hypotheses Important?
The Difficulties We Encounter When Reconstructing Our Evolutionary Path and Its Underlying Causes/Patterns
Basic Educational and Paradigmatic Biases and the Problems These Bring
Human Niche Construction Matters
Everyday Life, Gender, and Cultural Anthropology Matter
Epilogue: Anthropology, Science, and People
Some Notes on the Value of Integrative Anthropological Approaches Getting Past Conflicts between Researchers Studying Human Behavioral Evolution The Importance of Understanding the Relationships between Religion, Science, Politics, and Explanations for the Evolution of Humanity
Appendix: Related Titles for Further Reference
Glossary
Bibliography
Index

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