Origins of Altruism and Cooperation
Robert W. Sussman, C. Robert Cloninger
Springer Science & Business Media, Aug 2, 2011 - Science - 440 pages
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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activity adaptive adult males affiliative aggression Alouatta Altruism and Cooperation animals anthropoid Anthropology associated baboons band societies biological bonobos brain capuchin monkeys Cebus chapter chimpanzees cognitive competition complex conflict context cooperative behavior cotton-top tamarins cultural ecology effects emotional environment evidence evolutionary exaptation factors females functions Garber Gebusi gene genetic grooming hominids hormones howler monkeys human evolution hunter–gatherer hunting increased individuals infant intergroup involved Journal of Primatology killing kin selection Knauft levels living macaques mammals marmosets Matão mating mechanisms modern human muriquis natural selection neural Neurosci niche construction nomadic foragers nonhuman primates northern muriquis Oxford University Press oxytocin patterns perspective population predators prefrontal cortex primates Primatology prolactin reciprocal altruism relationships reproductive response role Schaik Science self-awareness sexual Snowdon social behavior social groups social interactions sorcery species spiritual Springer Science+Business Media Strier theory tion violence Waal well-being Wrangham York