Syllabus

You Can Take the Hominid out of the Savannah, but You Can't Take the Savannah out of the Hominid

John Merck

9-28-08

Human Nature writ Large

The common behavioral legacy of the African Apes.: Be under no illusions, our behavioral predisposition are the products of evolution and intelligible in terms of it.

What makes humans different.

When we say, "All men are brothers" we are echoing our most basic basic behavioral predispositions

The practical difficulties of being a food-producer

Farmers "won" because they were able to support a larger population. We've already said that this "victory" involved tradeoffs with nutrition and health. How did it interact with our behavioral dispositions? -> Need to "intellectualize" kinship through broad affiliation. -> Need to alter mating practices to "legitimize" ownership and inheritance of real estate. -> Need to live peacefully (more or less) with strangers in a complex society. -> Ultimately, need to surrender sovereignty to central authorities for the "common good" Diamond's anthropological hierarchy of social organization