Human Characteristics: Evolutionary Perspectives on Human Mind and Kind
Henrik Høgh-Olesen, Jan Tønnesvang, Preben Bertelsen
Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009 - Psychology - 435 pages
Every once in a while, we have to reconsider the perennial questions concerning human nature: What are the special human behaviours, social practices, and psychological structures that make us particularly human?
The field of evolution, psychology and cognitive science is the most expanding, inter-disciplinary area of this field for the time being, uniting different sciences under the same evolutionary paradigm and keeping them occupied by the same eternal questions stated above.
Relevant data and theoretical considerations are piling up, but an overview is needed. To facilitate this a large inter-disciplinary conference entitled "Human Mind Human Kind" was held at Aarhus University, Denmark. The studies fall into three well defined sections: 1) Evolution and Cognition Comparative and Developmental Perspectives, 2) Human Sociality, Morality and Religiosity, 3) Human Sexuality and Mating Strategies.Specifying the differences between our own species and the rest of the animal world always provokes debate. But these demarcations simply have to be drawn once and again. They focus attention and stimulate research, exactly because they provoke and challenge other researchers to take up the glove and prove us wrong.
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ability abstract actions adaptive problems adult aesthetic preference altruistic ancestors animal cognition animals apes approach basic behaviour biological bonobo brain Cambridge causalfunctional characteristics chimpanzees Clark & Hatfield cognitive complex computerized technology concepts confederates cooperation core knowledge Cosmides cultural developmental dictator game distant strangers emotional empathy evidence evolutionary psychology evolutionary theory evolved experiment experimental female Figure functional gender genetic graphical user interfaces hominids important indirect reciprocity infants inner world interaction intergroup jealousy Journal kin selection language male mechanisms mental monkeys moral motivation nature neural neuroscience non-human primates object individuation orangutan outgroup Oxford parents participants perspective political science prefrontal cortex primates processes reciprocal altruism relationships religious representations reward rhesus macaques Richerson ritual seems short-term mating social spatiotemporal information specific Spelke studies subjects theory of mind Tomasello Tooby & Cosmides tool traits Trivers uniquely human University Press visual Waal