Human Evolution and the Origins of Hierarchies: The State of Nature

Overview

In this book, Benoît Dubreuil explores the creation and destruction of hierarchies in human evolution. Combining the methods of archeology, anthropology, cognitive neuroscience, and primatology, he offers a natural history of hierarchies from the point of view of both cultural and biological evolution. This volume explains why dominance hierarchies typical of primate societies disappeared in the human lineage and why the emergence of large-scale societies during the Neolithic implied increased social ...
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Overview

In this book, Benoît Dubreuil explores the creation and destruction of hierarchies in human evolution. Combining the methods of archeology, anthropology, cognitive neuroscience, and primatology, he offers a natural history of hierarchies from the point of view of both cultural and biological evolution. This volume explains why dominance hierarchies typical of primate societies disappeared in the human lineage and why the emergence of large-scale societies during the Neolithic implied increased social differentiation, the creation of status hierarchies, and, eventually, political centralization.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781107670365
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 7/25/2013
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 550,558
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Benoît Dubreuil is a postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Philosophy of the Université du Québec à Montréal. His work on moral philosophy and philosophy of science has been published in Biology and Philosophy, Philosophical Explorations, Philosophy of the Social Sciences, and Review of Philosophy and Psychology.
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Table of Contents

List of Figures ix

List of Tables xi

Preface xiii

Introduction 1

1 A Passion for Equality? 9

1.1 Discipline and Punish 10

1.2 The Reasons for Sanction 14

1.2.1 Cooperation 14

1.2.2 Envy 15

1.2.3 Fairness 16

1.2.4 Equality 19

1.2.5 Unexpected Unfairness 23

1.2.6 The Logic of Punitive Emotions 24

1.3 Normativity and Framing Expectations 28

1.4 Intentions and Outcomes 32

1.5 From Conventions to Morality? 37

1.6 Normativity in the Brain 43

Conclusion 49

2 Reversing Dominance Hierarchies 51

2.1 Dominance Hierarchies 52

2.2 Social Cognition 55

2.3 The Cement of Primate Society 58

2.4 How Joint Attention Transforms Our Expectations 63

2.5 Paleolithic Public Goods Games 67

2.5.1 Ecological Flexibility 68

2.5.2 Shifting Diet 70

2.5.3 Investing in the Future 74

2.5.4 Painful Delivery and Immature Children 78

2.5.5 Sexual Revolution in the Savannah 80

2.5.6 Supporting the Incapacitated 83

2.6 Cooperative Feeding versus Cooperative Breeding 84

Conclusion 90

3 Homo sapiens in Perspective 91

3.1 Explaining the Evolution of the Mind and Behavior 93

3.2 Modern Humans 96

3.2.1 Modern Human Expansion 97

3.3 Modern Brains 100

3.4 Modern Behaviors 105

3.4.1 Modern Africans 106

3.4.2 Modern North Africans? 109

3.4.3 Modern South Africans? 110

3.4.4 Modern Neanderthals? 112

3.5 Modern Cognition 116

3.5.1 Brain Evolution and Phases of Innovation in Africa 117

3.5.2 Early Innovations in the MSA 121

3.6 The Symbolic Species 123

3.6.1 Ontogeny and Perspective Taking 127

3.6.2 Modernity in Perspective 130

Conclusion 135

4 Hierarchy without the State 138

4.1 Lumpers, Splitters, and the Evolution of Human Societies 140

4.2 Neo-Evolutionary Typologies 143

4.3 Making Sense of Functionalism 147

4.4 Social Integration among Primates 152

4.5 Group Size and the Costs of Sanction 157

4.6 Beyond the Band 162

4.6.1 The Logic of Corporate Groups 164

4.6.2 The Social Division of Sanction 166

4.7 The Evolution of Societies and the Evolution of the Mind 170

4.8 Inequality of What? 175

4.9 The Persistence of Injustice 181

Conclusion 186

5 The Origins of the State 188

5.1 The Origins of the State 191

5.1.1 The Class Struggle Hypothesis 193

5.1.2 The Agricultural Hypothesis 194

5.1.3 The Hydraulic Hypothesis 195

5.1.4 The Warfare Hypothesis 196

5.1.5 The Circumscription Hypothesis 196

5.1.6 The King's Men Hypothesis 198

5.2 What Causes the Transition to Statehood? 201

5.3 Gratitude and Voluntary Servitude 203

5.4 Group Size and the Functional State 207

5.5 Partial Transition and Reversals 211

5.6 Democratizing Cold Monsters 215

5.7 Building Modern Democracy 221

Conclusion 225

Conclusion 227

References 231

Index 261

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