Origins of Altruism and Cooperation / Edition 1

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This book is about the evolution and nature of cooperation and altruism in social-living animals, focusing especially on non-human primates and on humans. Although cooperation and altruism are often thought of as ways to attenuate competition and aggression within groups, or are related to the action of “selfish genes”, there is increasing evidence that these behaviors are the result of biological mechanisms that have developed through natural selection in group-living species. This evidence leads to the conclusion that cooperative and altruistic behavior are not just by-products of competition but are rather the glue that underlies the ability for primates and humans to live in groups. The anthropological, primatological, paleontological, behavioral, neurobiological, and psychological evidence provided in this book gives a more optimistic view of human nature than the more popular, conventional view of humans being naturally and basically aggressive and warlike. Although competition and aggression are recognized as an important part of the non-human primate and human behavioral repertoire, the evidence from these fields indicates that cooperation and altruism may represent the more typical, “normal”, and healthy behavioral pattern. The book is intended both for the general reader and also for students at a variety of levels (graduate and undergraduate): it aims to provide a compact, accessible, and up-to-date account of the current scholarly advances and debates in this field of study, and it is designed to be used in teaching and in discussion groups. The book derived from a conference sponsored by N.S.F., the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, the Washington University Committee for Ethics and Human Values, and the Anthropedia Foundation for the study of well-being.

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Editorial Reviews

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From the reviews:

“Origins of Altruism and Cooperation presents an avalanche of information and perspectives that can at times be overwhelming, a number of important themes emerge from the diverse material discussed by these many authors. First and foremost, evidence provided throughout the book makes it clear that new evolutionary theories are needed to explain the nature and extent of cooperation in the primate lineage, most prominently among human beings. … this book should be of particular interest to anyone seeking to formulate new evolutionary models.” (Christopher X. Jon Jensen, The Quarterly Review of Biology, Vol. 88 (3), September, 2013)

“The book does three things that many of the other books on this subject don’t do: it gives some background about altruism and cooperation in specific non-human primate species, it reviews the neuroscience behind these behaviors, and it shows the practical applications of altruism and cooperation in such things as education and healthcare. … it is a convenient source for a researcher or someone who is reviewing the literature. … It would be a useful contribution to a university library.” (Jay R. Feierman, ESSSAT-News, Vol. 22 (2), June, 2012)

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Product Details

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction: Altruism and Cooperation Robert W. Sussman and C. Robert Cloninger

Part I. Cooperation, Altruism and Human Evolution

Chapter 2 Part 1 Introduction.
Ian Tattersall

Chapter 3. The Influence of Predation on Primate and Early Human Evolution: Impetus for Cooperation.
Donna Hart and Robert W. Sussman

Chapter 4. Born to cooperate? Altruism as exaptation, and the evolution of human sociality.
Telmo Pievani

Chapter 5. The Phylogenesis of Human Personality:Identifying the Precursors of Cooperation, Altruism, and Well-Being C. Robert Cloninger and Sita Kedia

Part II. Altruism and Cooperation Among Non-human Primates

Chapter 6. Cooperation and the Evolution of Social Living: Moving Beyond the Constraints andImplications of Misleading Dogma: Introduction Section II.
Marc Bekoff

Chapter 7. Primates, Niche Construction, and Social Complexity: The Roles of Social Cooperation and Altruism
Katherine C. MacKinnon and Agustin Fuentes,

Chapter 8. Collective Action and Male Affiliation in Howler Monkeys (Alouatta caraya)
Paul A. Garber and Martin K. Kowalewski

Chapter 9. Mechanisms of Cohesion in Black Howler Monkeys.
Mary S. M. Pavelka

Chapter 10. Social Plasticity and Demographic Variation in Primates.
Karen B. Strier

Part III. Altruism and Cooperation Among Humans: The Ethnographic Evidence

Chapter 11. Altruism and Cooperation Among Humans: The Ethnographic Evidence: Introduction.
Peter Benson

Chapter 12. Violence Reduction among the Gebusi of Papua New Guinea – and Across Humanity.
Bruce M. Knauft

Chapter 13. Human Nature: The Nomadic Forager Model.
Douglas P. Fry

Chapter 14. Born to Live: Challenging Killer Myths.
R. Brian Ferguson

Chapter 15. Notes toward a human nature for the third Millennium.
Walter Goldschmidt

Part IV. Neurological and hormonal mechanisms for cooperation and altruism

Chapter 16. Behavior meets Neuroscience: Achievements, Prospects, and Complexity: Introduction to Section 4.
Jane Phillips-Conroy

Chapter 17. The Neurobiology of Cooperation and Altruism.
James K. Rilling

Chapter 18. Behavioral and Neuroendocrine Interactions in Affiliation.
Charles T. Snowdon

Chapter 19. Early Social Experience and the Ontogenesis of Emotion Regulatory Behavior in Children.
Seth D. Pollak

Part V. Human Altruism and Cooperation: Needs and the Promotion of Well-being in Modern Life

Chapter 20: Introduction.
J.E. Mezzich

Chapter 21. Altruism as an Aspect of Relational Consciousness and how Culture inhibits it.David Hay
Chapter 22. Hope Rekindled: Well-Being, Humanism, and Education.
Kevin Cloninger

Chapter 23. Promoting Well-Being in Health Care.
Lauren E. Munsch and Helen Herrman

Chapter 24. Moving Beyond the Nature/Nurture Distinction: Promotion of Transdisciplinary Research (Overview of the Institute of Medicine Report on Genes, Behavior, and the Social Environment)
Dan G. Blazer

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