Dyadic play fighting occurs in many species, but only humans are known to engage in coalitional play fighting. Dyadic play fighting is hypothesized to build motor skills involved in actual dyadic fighting; thus, coalitional play fighting may build skills involved in actual coalitional fighting, operationalized as forager lethal raiding. If human psychology includes a motivational component that encourages engagement in this type of play, evidence of this play in forager societies is necessary to determine that it is not an artifact (...) of agricultural or industrial conditions. We examine whether coalitional play fighting appears in the hunter-gatherer record and includes motor skills used in lethal raiding. Using the ethnographic record, we generated a list of motor patterns regularly used in forager warfare. Then, using Murdock’s Ethnographic Atlas, we identified 100 culture clusters containing forager societies and searched the ethnographic records of these societies for descriptions of coalitional play fighting, operationalized as contact games played in teams. Resulting games were coded for the presence of eight motor patterns regularly used in forager lethal raiding. Although play does not tend to be systematically documented in the hunter-gatherer literature, sufficiently detailed descriptions of coalitional play were found for 46 of the 100 culture clusters: all 46 exhibited coalitional play using at least one of the predicted motor patterns; 39 exhibited coalitional play using four or more of the eight predicted motor patterns. These results provide evidence that coalitional play fighting occurs across a diverse range of hunter-gatherer cultures and habitats, regularly recruits motor patterns used in lethal raiding, and is not an artifact of agricultural or industrial life. This is a first step in a new line of research on whether human male psychology includes motivations to engage in play that develops the deployment of coordinated coalitional action involving key motor patterns used in lethal raiding. (shrink)
Climate engineering with stratospheric sulfate aerosol injections (SSAI) has the potential to reduce risks of injustice related to anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases. Relying on evidence from modeling studies, this paper makes the case that SSAI could have the potential to reduce many of the key physical risks of climate change identified by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Such risks carry potential injustice because they are often imposed on low-emitters who do not benefit from climate change. Because SSAI has (...) the potential to reduce those risks, it thereby has the potential to reduce the injustice associated with anthropogenic emissions. While acknowledging important caveats, including uncertainty in modeling studies and the potential for SSAI to carry its own risks of injustice, the paper argues that there is a strong case for continued research into SSAI, especially if attention is paid to how it might be used to reduce emissions-driven injustice. (shrink)
Stories consist largely of representations of the human social environment. These representations can be used to influence the behavior of others (consider, e.g., rumor, propaganda, public relations, advertising). Storytelling can thus be seen as a transaction in which the benefit to the listener is information about his or her environment, and the benefit to the storyteller is the elicitation of behavior from the listener that serves the former’s interests. However, because no two individuals have exactly the same fitness interests, we (...) would expect different storytellers to have different narrative perspectives and priorities due to differences in sex, age, health, social status, marital status, number of offspring, and so on. Tellingly, the folklore record indicates that different storytellers within the same cultural group tell the same story differently. Furthermore, the historical and ethnographic records provide numerous examples of storytelling deliberately used as a means of political manipulation. This evidence suggests that storyteller bias is rooted in differences in individual fitness interests, and that storytelling may have originated as a means of promoting these interests. (shrink)
Selection pressure from health risk is hypothesized to have shaped adaptations motivating individuals to attempt to become valued by other individuals by generously and recurrently providing beneficial goods and/or services to them because this strategy encouraged beneficiaries to provide costly health care to their benefactors when the latter were sick or injured. Additionally, adaptations are hypothesized to have co-evolved that motivate individuals to attend to and value those who recurrently provide them with important benefits so they are willing in turn (...) to provide costly care when a valued person is disabled or in dire need. Individuals in egalitarian foraging bands can provide a number of valuable benefits, such as defense, diplomacy, food, healing, information, technical skill, or trading savvy. We therefore expect that humans have evolved psychological mechanisms motivating the pursuit and cultivation of a difficult-to-replace social role based on the provisioning of a benefit that confers a fitness advantage on its recipients. We call this phenomenon social niche specialization. One such niche that has been well-documented is meat-sharing. Here we present cross-cultural evidence that individuals cultivate two other niches, information and tool production, that serve (among other things) to buffer health risk. (shrink)
In 1966, Laura Bohannan wrote her classic essay challenging the supposition that great literary works speak to universal human concerns and conditions and, by extension, that human nature is the same everywhere. Her evidence: the Tiv of West Africa interpret Hamlet differently from Westerners. While Bohannan’s essay implies that cognitive universality and cultural variation are mutually exclusive phenomena, adaptationist theory suggests otherwise. Adaptive problems ("the human condition") and cognitive adaptations ("human nature") are constant across cultures. What differs between cultures is (...) habitat: owing to environmental variation, the means and information relevant to solving adaptive problems differ from place to place. Thus, we find differences between cultures not because human minds differ in design but largely because human habitats differ in resources and history. On this view, we would expect world literature to express both human universals and cultural particularities. Specifically, we should expect to find literary universality at the macro level (e.g., adaptive problems, cognitive adaptations) and literary variation at the micro level (e.g., local solutions to adaptive problems). (shrink)
By throwing light on economic thought in the period of the Japanese Enlightenment, this book will make clear what led to the institutionalization of business and economic education, the birth of the pioneer business enterprise and of serious economic journalism and the reasons behind the success of Japanese economic development.
In the past few years, a second phase of biomedical ethics in Japan has begun to surface with a succession of governmental guidelines and laws regulating biomedical technology. Although this rush of guidelines exemplifies a heightened awareness concerning ethical standards for healthcare research, it also invites several practical, political, and procedural problems.
BackgroundFew comparative studies of clinical ethics consultation practices have been reported. The objective of this study was to explore how American and Japanese experts analyze an Alzheimer's case regarding ethics consultation.MethodsWe presented the case to physicians and ethicists from the US and Japan (one expert from each field from both countries; total = 4) and obtained their responses through a questionnaire and in-depth interviews.ResultsEstablishing a consensus was a common goal among American and Japanese participants. In attempting to achieve consensus, the (...) most significant similarity between Japanese and American ethics consultants was that they both appeared to adopt an "ethics facilitation" approach. Differences were found in recommendation and assessment between the American and Japanese participants. In selecting a surrogate, the American participants chose to contact the grandson before designating the daughter-in-law as the surrogate decision-maker. Conversely the Japanese experts assumed that the daughter-in-law was the surrogate.ConclusionOur findings suggest that consensus building through an "ethics facilitation" approach may be a commonality to the practice of ethics consultation in the US and Japan, while differences emerged in terms of recommendations, surrogate assessment, and assessing treatments. Further research is needed to appreciate differences not only among different nations including, but not limited to, countries in Europe, Asia and the Americas, but also within each country. (shrink)
Background Ethics committees and their system of research protocol peer-review are currently used worldwide. To ensure an international standard for research ethics and safety, however, data is needed on the quality and function of each nation's ethics committees. The purpose of this study was to describe the characteristics and developments of ethics committees established at medical schools and general hospitals in Japan. Methods This study consisted of four national surveys sent twice over a period of eight years to two separate (...) samples. The first target was the ethics committees of all 80 medical schools and the second target was all general hospitals with over 300 beds in Japan (n = 1457 in 1996 and n = 1491 in 2002). Instruments contained four sections: (1) committee structure, (2) frequency of annual meetings, (3) committee function, and (4) existence of a set of guidelines for the refusal of blood transfusion by Jehovah's Witnesses. Results Committee structure was overall interdisciplinary. Frequency of annual meetings increased significantly for both medical school and hospital ethics committees over the eight years. The primary activities for medical school and hospital ethics committees were research protocol reviews and policy making. Results also showed a significant increase in the use of ethical guidelines, particularly those related to the refusal of blood transfusion by Jehovah's Witnesses, among both medical school and hospital ethics committees. Conclusion Overall findings indicated a greater recognized degree of responsibilities and an increase in workload for Japanese ethics committees. (shrink)