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 referring to biographies of Edison as examples, the following are shown: the image of a scientist or an engineer in biographies has dramatically changed over time; the images produced anew in each period fitted well to the social milieu of the day; biographies therefore acquired a large readership and contributed to informing to the public of the value of science and technology and the necessity of promoting them. It is also pointed out that a new image of scientist or (...) engineer is to be created which is surely attractive to people today if we expect biographies to remain effective in promoting public understanding of science as before. (shrink)