Nonverbal Communication: Where Nature Meets Culture
The search for the biological foundations of human culture inevitably leads to nonverbal communication. Superficial intuition suggests that nonverbal communication is a sine qua non for the evolution of sociality. Without it, the diversity and sophistication of today's social systems would be unimaginable. However, there is the opposite hypothesis that the evolution of nonverbal communication may in part be the result of our being thoroughly social entities: Our sociality itself may have amplified the evolution of a capacity we share with other primates but have developed to a degree unequaled by any other species. Advances in the evolution of nonverbal communication as presented in this volume will certainly contribute to further insights into the intricacies of the biological and the social worlds.
This volume grew out of a conference at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Bielefeld, Germany. The conference was organized by a research group working on the overarching theme of "Biological Foundations of Human Culture," so that scholars in such wide-ranging areas as biology, psychology, sociology, anthropology, economics, primatology, history, and philosophy of science could present and discuss recent approaches toward a biologically and sociologically founded understanding of human culture. This pluralistic perspective made it possible to bring the diverse disciplinary approaches into fruitful dialogue.
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