How we got stuck: The origins of hierarchy and inequality [Book Review]

Mind and Language 37 (4):751-759 (2022)
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Abstract

Kim Sterelny's book The Pleistocene social contract provides an exceptionally well-informed and credible narrative explanation of the origins of inequality and hierarchy. In this essay review, we reflect on the role of rational choice theory in Sterelny's project, before turning to Sterelny's reasons for doubting the importance of cultural group selection. In the final section, we compare Sterelny's big picture with an alternative from David Wengrow and David Graeber.

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Author Profiles

Jonathan Birch
London School of Economics
Andrew Buskell
Georgia Institute of Technology

Citations of this work

Cultural evolution.Tim Lewens - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Further thoughts on hierarchy and inequality.Kim Sterelny - 2022 - Mind and Language 37 (4):760-768.

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References found in this work

The ethical project.Philip Kitcher - 2011 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
The Tragedy of the Commons.Garrett Hardin - 1968 - Science 162 (3859):1243-1248.
The Philosophy of Social Evolution.Jonathan Birch - 2017 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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