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War, Peace, and Human Nature – The Convergence of Evolutionary and Cultural Views - Oxford Scholarship Online
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War, Peace, and Human Nature: The Convergence of Evolutionary and Cultural Views

Douglas P. Fry


Have humans always waged war? Is warring an ancient evolutionary adaptation or a relatively recent behavior—and what does that tell us about human nature? This book brings together experts in evolutionary biology, archaeology, anthropology, and primatology to answer fundamental questions about peace, conflict, and human nature in an evolutionary context. The chapters in this book demonstrate that humans clearly have the capacity to make war, but since war is absent in some cultures, it cannot be viewed as a human universal. And the archaeological record reveals the recent emergence of war. It ... More

Keywords: war, evolutionary adaptation, human nature, peace, conflict, emergence of war, human society, cultural views, origins of war, nomadic forager societies

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2013 Print ISBN-13: 9780199858996
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199858996.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Douglas P. Fry, editor
Department of Social Sciences, Abo Akademi University, Finland

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Part One Ecological and Evolutionary Models

2 Evolution and Peace

David P. Barash

Part Two Lessons from Prehistory War and Peace in the Past

7 Pinker’s List

R. Brian Ferguson

10 The Prehistory of Warfare

Jonathan Haas, and Matthew Piscitelli

Part Three Nomadic Foragers

12 Peaceful Foragers

Kirk Endicott

Part Four The Primatological Context of Human Nature

19 Evolution of Primate Peace

Frances J. White, Michel T. Waller, and Klaree J. Boose

21 Rousseau with a Tail

Robert M. Sapolsky

22 Conflict Resolution in Nonhuman Primates and Human Children

Maaike Kempes, Liesbeth Sterck, and Bram Orobio de Castro

Part Five Taking Restraint against Killing Seriously

23 The Evolution of Agonism

Douglas P. Fry, and Anna Szala

25 The Challenge of Getting Men to Kill

Richard J. Hughbank, and Dave Grossman

26 Man the Singer

Joám Evans Pim

Part VI Conclusions

End Matter