How important is community to humans, and where did the rules governing community come from?

Filed under: Evolution of Emotion, Evolution of human motivation, Evolutionary psychology | 2 Comments

Psychologist Michael Tomasello, who studies comparatively the social behavior of developing children and apes, proposes that collective communication is uniquely human and that it was evolved for collaborative foraging, and so teamwork has been the crucial human advantage. The central facts about our ancestral human species, such as upright posture, large molar teeth, and later, …

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The Dawn of Everything

Filed under: Evolution of Emotion, Evolution of human motivation, Evolutionary psychology, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

In The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity in which David Graeber and David Wengrow assemble a vast array of archeological evidence from prehistory, much of it recently discovered, and interpret it in a wholly original way. The book, published in 2022, offers an alternative to the widely accepted Rousseauian narrative that, about …

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SNIT DISORDER

Filed under: Evolutionary psychology, Human Nature

I began my career working in a maximum-security prison with a state-mandated treatment program. One of the inmates there, whose countenance still haunts me from time to time, was a gaunt middle-aged man who used to stand in the corner of the common room and blankly stare out the window all day, chain-smoking. His posture, …

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Brain scient reveals that trust is our "default state"

Robert Sapolsky on Trust, Morality, and Justice

Filed under: Evolution of Emotion, Evolutionary psychology, Justice

THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE and up-to-date lay book on the science of behavior is Stanford neuroendocrinologist Robert Sapolsky’s Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst (2017). The book is an encyclopedic compendium of behavioral science, written with folksy, down-home idiom. Here he lays out evidence that the fundamental “default” of human social behavior …

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