Mind the Gap: Tracing the Origins of Human Universals / Edition 1

Mind the Gap: Tracing the Origins of Human Universals / Edition 1

by Peter Kappeler, Joan Silk
Pub. Date:
Springer Berlin Heidelberg


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Mind the Gap: Tracing the Origins of Human Universals / Edition 1

This volume features a collection of essays by primatologists, anthropologists, biologists, and psychologists who offer some answers to the question of what makes us human, i. e. , what is the nature and width of the gap that separates us from other primates? The chapters of this volume summarize the latest research on core aspects of behavioral and cognitive traits that make humans such unusual animals. All contributors adopt an explicitly comparative approach, which is based on the premise that comparative studies of our closest biological relatives, the nonhuman primates, provide the logical foundation for identifying human univ- sals as well as evidence for evolutionary continuity in our social behavior. Each of the chapters in this volume provides comparative analyses of relevant data from primates and humans, or pairs of chapters examine the same topic from a human or primatological perspective, respectively. Together, they cover six broad topics that are relevant to identifying potential human behavioral universals. Family and social organization. Predation pressure is thought to be the main force favoring group-living in primates, but there is great diversity in the size and structure of social groups across the primate order. Research on the behavioral ecology of primates and other animals has revealed that the distribution of males and females in space and time can be explained by sex-speci?c adaptations that are sensitive to factors that limit their ?tness: access to resources for females and access to potential mates for males.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9783642027246
Publisher: Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Publication date: 11/16/2009
Edition description: 2010
Pages: 504
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.30(d)

Table of Contents

Primate Behavior and Human Universals: Exploring the Gap.- Family & Social Organization.- The Deep Structure of Human Society: Primate Origins and Evolution.- Conflict and Bonding Between the Sexes.- The Unusual Women of Mpimbwe: Why Sex Differences in Humans are not Universal.- Politics & Power.- Dominance, Power, and Politics in Nonhuman and Human Primates.- Human Power and Prestige Systems.- The End of the Republic.- Intergroup Relationships.- Intergroup Aggression in Primates and Humans: The Case for a Unified Theory.- Why War? Motivations for Fighting in the Human State of Nature.- Foundations of Cooperation.- From Grooming to Giving Blood: The Origins of Human Altruism.- Evolved Irrationality? Equity and the Origins of Human Economic Behavior.- From Whence the Captains of Our Lives: Ultimate and Phylogenetic Perspectives on Emotions in Humans and Other Primates.- Language, Thought & Communication.- Primate Communication and Human Language: Continuities and Discontinuities.- Language, Lies and Lipstick: A Speculative Reconstruction of the African Middle Stone Age “Human Revolution”.- Brain and Behaviour in Primate Evolution.- The Gap is Social: Human Shared Intentionality and Culture.- The Evolution and Development of Human Social Cognition.- Deceit and Self-Deception.- Human Universals and Primate Symplesiomorphies: Establishing the Lemur Baseline.- Innovation & Culture.- Ape Behavior and the Origins of Human Culture.- The Coevolution of Genes, Innovation, and Culture in Human Evolution.- Conclusions.- Mind the Gap: Cooperative Breeding and the Evolution of Our Unique Features.

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