COPYRIGHT YEAR

2014

AUTHORS

Robert Layton

TITLE

Evolutionary Anthropology, Co-operation and Warfare

ABSTRACT

The chapter begins by reviewing recent work by Robert Kaplan and Steven Pinker, both of whom invoke Hobbes to support their argument that men are naturally violent or warlike. Kaplan and Pinker conclude that only ‘strong government’ can guarantee that society will not break down into anarchy. However, the failure of Western military interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan to install strong government and enforce peace points to the need for a better understanding of the dynamics of conflict and co-operation. I therefore examine critically the anthropological evidence for violence among chimpanzees and in small-scale human societies that Pinker and others cite in support of their Hobbesian arguments and identify both inaccuracies in the data cited and problems in their interpretation. In the second part of the chapter, game theory and the concept of fitness landscapes are introduced to show how evolutionary anthropology can provide a more nuanced explanation for human competition and co-operation. These provide more accurate guidelines for practical application in forestalling civil disorder or restoring peace.

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1 book-chapters:46150fcd0c315c47d1dc7ea714b1db75 sg:abstract Abstract The chapter begins by reviewing recent work by Robert Kaplan and Steven Pinker, both of whom invoke Hobbes to support their argument that men are naturally violent or warlike. Kaplan and Pinker conclude that only ‘strong government’ can guarantee that society will not break down into anarchy. However, the failure of Western military interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan to install strong government and enforce peace points to the need for a better understanding of the dynamics of conflict and co-operation. I therefore examine critically the anthropological evidence for violence among chimpanzees and in small-scale human societies that Pinker and others cite in support of their Hobbesian arguments and identify both inaccuracies in the data cited and problems in their interpretation. In the second part of the chapter, game theory and the concept of fitness landscapes are introduced to show how evolutionary anthropology can provide a more nuanced explanation for human competition and co-operation. These provide more accurate guidelines for practical application in forestalling civil disorder or restoring peace.
2 sg:chapterNumber 8
3 sg:copyrightHolder Springer Science+Business Media New York
4 sg:copyrightYear 2014
5 sg:ddsId Chap8
6 sg:doi 10.1007/978-1-4939-0280-4_8
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10 sg:hasContribution contributions:3346493e8b9f7ebac4702fd30f5c4267
11 sg:language En
12 sg:license http://scigraph.springernature.com/explorer/license/
13 sg:pageFirst 177
14 sg:pageLast 200
15 sg:scigraphId 46150fcd0c315c47d1dc7ea714b1db75
16 sg:title Evolutionary Anthropology, Co-operation and Warfare
17 sg:webpage https://link.springer.com/10.1007/978-1-4939-0280-4_8
18 rdf:type sg:BookChapter
19 rdfs:label BookChapter: Evolutionary Anthropology, Co-operation and Warfare
20 owl:sameAs http://lod.springer.com/data/bookchapter/978-1-4939-0280-4_8
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