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... We also believe these speciesist biases will affect the results of AI language models. To test this theory, we tested Ask Delphi (v1.04), 46 a "research prototype designed to model people's moral judgments on a variety of everyday situations." 47 Delphi is trained from a commonsense norm bank consisting of 1.7 m examples of people's ethical judgments on a broad spectrum of everyday situations. ...
... They got similar results. 46 We tried to apply for GPT3, but due to OpenAI's policy, one of us who is responsible for this aspect of the research work cannot use GPT3. 47 "Ask Delphi." ...
... At one time the benevolent affections embrace merely the family, soon the circle expanding includes first a class, then a nation, then a coalition of nations, then all humanity and finally, its influence is felt in the dealings of man with the animal world... Even though racism still persists, and Lecky himself was not able to see that the inferior status of women in his own time required an expansion of ethics to recognize them as equals, and a further expansion to recognize members of the LGBTQIA + community, it is true that on the whole we have made progress in ethics, and this progress has involved pushing out the boundary of moral status to include more sentient beings within it [45,46]. We now have a Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and several treaties or covenants derived from it, which recognize that all human beings have rights. ...
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The ethics of artificial intelligence, or AI ethics, is a rapidly growing field, and rightly so. While the range of issues and groups of stakeholders concerned by the field of AI ethics is expanding, with speculation about whether it extends even to the machines themselves, there is a group of sentient beings who are also affected by AI, but are rarely mentioned within the field of AI ethics—the nonhuman animals. This paper seeks to explore the kinds of impact AI has on nonhuman animals, the severity of these impacts, and their moral implications. We hope that this paper will facilitate the development of a new field of philosophical and technical research regarding the impacts of AI on animals, namely, the ethics of AI as it affects nonhuman animals.
... 25 Humans niche-construct their own social environment, and sometimes they do so in ways that-directly or indirectly, and in interaction with non-social factors-select against aggression. Various forms 23 Pinker, Clark, and Morris discuss hypotheses about the mechanisms through which violence has been reduced in human societies during the Holocene (Pinker 2011(Pinker , 2018Clark 2009;Morris 2015). We cannot examine these hypotheses here. ...
... 25 Humans niche-construct their own social environment, and sometimes they do so in ways that-directly or indirectly, and in interaction with non-social factors-select against aggression. Various forms 23 Pinker, Clark, and Morris discuss hypotheses about the mechanisms through which violence has been reduced in human societies during the Holocene (Pinker 2011(Pinker , 2018Clark 2009;Morris 2015). We cannot examine these hypotheses here. ...
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Are humans a domesticated species? How is this issue related to debates on the roles of human agency in human evolution? This article discusses four views on human domestication: (1) Darwin’s view; (2) the view of those who link human domestication to anthropogenic niche construction and, more specifically, to sedentism; (3) the view of those who link human domestication to selection against aggression and the domestication syndrome; and (4) a novel view according to which human domestication can be conceived of in terms of a process of political selection. The article examines and compares these views to illustrate how discussions of human domestication can contribute to debates about how, and to what extent, human agency has affected human evolution.
... Perhaps the most miraculous thing about human evolution is its amazing self-enhancing spiral winding ever forward, our ability to build upon what we have and to improve our lives. The world is constantly changing for the better (Pinker, 2011); our built environment and our technologyassisted capabilities are becoming increasingly more complex and powerful. The world we live in is new, yet our adaptations are attuned to our ancestral environment. ...
... Thus, if we hear that recycling efforts are failing somewhere, we likely assume they are failing in general. Even though on most criteria the world is objectively getting better (Pinker, 2011), people tend to think it is getting worse. ...
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It is often thought that environmental campaigns aimed at changing human behavior to be more environmentally friendly should target individuals’ intrinsic values and other personal variables. An evolutionary approach to human behavior, however, proposes a different perspective for tackling the pressing environmental issues of our times by making use of (rather than trying to change) our innate behavioral tendencies to make pro-environmental behavior the default and most adaptive option. The presented evolutionary approach proposes that changing behavioral outcomes might be more prudent than trying to change people. Better environmental and social outcomes are possible if we were to make use of our evolutionary past rather than fight it.
... Yet dealing with the climate crisis requires us to extend our economic and societal horizons beyond the individual, often ill-informed short-term decisions to encompass consideration of the common good and to extend our empathetic horizons to communities and families far removed from our own experience in distance, culture, and practice. We can make this leap when emotional ties to each other and the Earth are strong, when we understand one another's struggles, and when leaders help us tap into 'the better angels of our nature' ( Pinker, 2012 ) rather than the devils of nationalism and nativism. ...
... Anthropological evidence has also indicated that such fights are commonly found in contemporary huntergatherer, as well as in agropastoral societies (Chagnon, 1992;Ember and Ember, 1992), with such incidents noted to be more frequent in the latter (Ember and Ember, 1997;Nolan, 2003). This evidence, along with historical and archeological data, suggests that such fights were similarly common in ancestral societies (Keegan, 2004;Bowles, 2009;Puts, 2016), but are considerably less common in modern post-industrial ones (Pinker, 2011). We need to note, however, that forming male coalitions is probably not men's primary strategy, as mating takes place predominantly in times of peace across societies (Apostolou, 2014). ...
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A relatively large number of people in Western societies are single; that is, they are not involved in any romantic relationship. In this study, we have attempted to investigate the reasons for singlehood by asking singles themselves. A final sample of 648 American singles (307 of them women) rated 92 possible reasons for singlehood. These reasons were classified into 18 broad factors and four general domains. Among the most important reasons were poor flirting skills, freedom, fear of getting hurt, having different priorities, and being too picky. Significant sex and age effects were found across different factors and domains. More specifically, men were more likely than women to indicate that they were single in order to be free to flirt around, and because they were not into family making; while women were more likely to indicate that they were single in order to avoid getting hurt, and because they have considered themselves not to be desirable as mates. Younger people were more likely to indicate that they were single because they had poor flirting skills, because they did not see themselves as desirable mates, and because they did not like commitment; whereas older people were more likely to indicate that they were single in order to be free to do what they have wanted. Findings were examined and discussed using evolutionary theories relating to mate selection and evolutionary mismatch.
... Pinker (2011) provides a good argument-and lots of evidence-that a strong state is necessary to create an orderly society. The point here is not to take sides, but to note that Buchanan and Tullock lay out the argument, which is supported by Pinker (2011) and which Buchanan (1975) discusses further and defends. 7 Gordon does say that Nozick's theory really is a theory of contracts, whereas Buchanan and Rawls have a theory of contract. ...
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A substantial amount of James Buchanan’s academic work was devoted to his constitutional project: the development of procedures for designing constitutional rules that would create a government sufficient to protect people’s rights but that would constrain government from violating people’s rights. Buchanan divides government functions into a protective state that preserves people’s rights and a productive state that produces collective goods that individuals could not produce on their own or through market mechanisms. Buchanan uses the benchmark of hypothetical agreement with the constitutional rules to evaluate whether they further the interests of those who are subject to them. This paper presents Buchanan’s constitutional project as a framework for analyzing constitutional rules and suggests how Buchanan’s framework can extend his constitutional project.
... This surfeit of information on revenge as a universal human drive bodes well for the use of the Vowel Sounds are Opponents metaphor in a classroom of ELs from a wide variety of countries and cultural traditions. Pinker (2011) proposes that revenge "may have been programmed into people's brains by evolution, cultural norms, or both in order to deter opponents from carrying out bad behavior" (Pinker, 2011, p. 325). A revenge metaphor-provided that it does not adversely trigger learners' affective filters-could therefore be a useful teaching tool to access emotional states shared by all learners. ...
Chapter
Writing is the core competency in overall EAP assessment. Chinese private college undergraduates lack incentives and involvement in academic writing tasks. One cause of their anxiety is the dual challenge of learning the language and its academic writing conventions. There is a need for an integrated writing assessment that facilitates the abundant language practice and practice of writing conventions. The application of portfolio assessment in academic writing has been proved as an impetus to writing practice. However, there are gaps between the gaining popularity of portfolio assessment and its lesser-researched application to incipient academic writing learners, and its feasibility in large classes. This chapter describes a complete process of writing assessment in the portfolio-based classroom that supports the use of students’ final academic paper as their writing portfolio. It presents how the writing assessment is modified to facilitate both language practice and writing activities that are intended to help improve class involvement and confidence in writing. Results show the feasibility of the portfolio assessment and indicate the improvement in confidence, involvement, self-assessment awareness, and overall learner identity formation. The findings have pedagogical implications that portfolio-based classroom is successful as the driving force of learning and in addressing the private college students’ learning difficulties vis-a-vis EAP writing task.
... There are times of intellectual awakening in human cultures, and the birth (and re-birth) of arts and sciences of Chinese, Egyptian, Greek, and Roman societies at different times several millennia ago -and the renaissance of 'western' and Arabian societies more recently than that -show amazing, not fully understood synchronicities of intellectual activities and often, but not always, increasingly aware concepts of humaneness and kindness, in relatively little space and short time (Pinker 2011). The 'awakening' of our biological concept of evolution was not merely by Charles Darwin and Alfred Russell Wallace (Darwin 1859, Wallace 1870), but by a wonderful host of others coming to similar conclu-sions at approximately the same time. ...
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Long-term studies of whales, dolphins, and porpoises (the cetaceans) in nature abruptly began about 50 yr ago, preceded by several decades of terrestrial animal studies, often of charismatic large mammals. Fifty years ago, intensive whaling was still occurring, and arguments against whaling largely centered around impending extinctions due to over-hunting, not the idea that cetaceans should not be killed due to natural or inherent goodness. In the 1970s, several USA and other government agencies promulgated rules to help control pollution and other insults to nature, often effective in the short term but not in stopping an overall decline in the health of nature. While there appeared a general societal awakening towards greater appreciation of nature and intrinsic animal rights, researchers largely stayed focused on their research, with little attention to using knowledge to increase ecosystem and animal health. Attitudes of direct scientific involvement in calling for environmental action have changed, as it is becoming increasingly (but not universally) appreciated that researchers who know the problems are well-suited to alert governments, industry, and society to them, and loudly call for action. I have no good answers for how to accomplish large-scale rapid reversals of environmental declines. One laudable action is to be an active vocal part of appropriate web-based conservation advocacy groups. Involving the young of all genders and races for a groundswell of support is likely most effective in generating a new world view of so much respect for nature that we radically alter our present ways of subjugating and diminishing it in the name of supposed human progress. Above all, we scientists must no longer dither with opinions on environmental problems and urgent needs for action; we must proclaim them intelligently, forcefully, and as broadly as possible.
... One aspect of social intelligence is the ability to assess traits related to dominance in social partners, to reduce the costs of conflict such as lost resources, injury, or death (Puts, 2010;Sell et al., 2009a). Indeed, even in light of a historical decline in harm incurred from physical conflicts (i.e., on aggregate, Pinker, 2011), dominance assessment is still functional as the costs of underperceiving these traits are more substantial than the costs of overperceiving them (i.e., Error Management Theory; Haselton and Buss, 2000;Johnson et al., 2013). Accordingly, dominance is one of the two primary dimensions in social perceptions of both faces (Oosterhof and Todorov, 2008; see also Sutherland et al., 2013) and voices (McAleer et al., 2014). ...
Article
Assessing dominance is important for effective social interactions, and prior research suggests that testosterone is associated with men's dominance perceptions. The present study tested for a causal effect of exogenous tes-tosterone on men's sensitivity to vocal cues of other men's dominance, an important parameter in male-male competition across species. One hundred and thirty-nine Chinese men received a single dose (150 mg) of tes-tosterone or placebo gel in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, between-participant design. Participants reported their own dominance and judged other men's dominance from voices. Men's dominance sensitivity was significantly weaker in the testosterone group compared to those in the placebo group. Moreover, men's dominance sensitivity was negatively associated with their self-reported dominance in our Chinese sample, consistent with findings from Western populations. These results indicate that exogenous testosterone has a causal effect in decreasing men's dominance sensitivity, consistent with the Challenge Hypothesis, suggesting that the fluctuation of testosterone concentration mediates individuals' behaviors. Additionally, the present study could motivate further work on vocal assessment in the context of competition in humans and other species.
... Πρόσθετα αντικείµενα συγκρούσεως ήσαν τα διαθέσιµα κοπάδια ζώων και το αποθηκευµένο πλεόνασµα τροφής στην περίπτωση εγκατεστηµένων αγροτικών κοινοτήτων. 40 Σε γενικές γραµµές η χωροκρατική συµπεριφορά ενός πληθυσµού επιτείνεται όταν υπάρχουν προβλέψιµοι διατροφικοί πόροι σε συγκεκριµένη και µη εκτατή περιοχή. Στην περίπτωση υπάρξεως διάσπαρτων και απρόβλεπτων διατροφικών πόρων σε εκτατές γεωγραφικές περιοχές, η χωροκρατική συµπεριφορά µειώνεται. ...
Chapter
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We examine the recurring presence of behaviour patterns in human societies in the historical longue durée as elements interwoven to the genetic substructure and the cultural superstructure. The paper also analyses interaction between cultural evolution and geophysical environment. In this context we use Evolutionary Theory as a general hermeneutic background in order to elaborate on specific case studies. Human social bonds are based on a primary level on kin networks and reciprocative altruism; use of warfare, defined as organized intra-species aggression, as well as social conformity, are connected to evolutionary adaptive background.
... Meat consumption in western countries has been falling in recent years, driven by publicity over the environmental, animal welfare and human health concerns (Dagevos 2016;Morris 2017). This is part of a longer-term ethical shift in attitudes towards nonhuman animals and marginalised humans (Pinker 2011). The effect may therefore simply due to changing attitudes over time and not the concomitant increase in economic growth. ...
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The Voiceless Animal Cruelty Index (VACI) calculates three indices for deliberate or willfully ignorant animal mistreatment in 50 countries with high agricultural output. These are animal slaughter (Producing Cruelty), animal consumption (Enabling Cruelty), and laws protecting farmed animals (Sanctioning Cruelty). The rankings of Producing, Enabling and Sanctioning Cruelty are combined to form the final VACI rank. Weighted values for animals slaughtered and numbers of animals consumed, and the overall VACI rank showed a Kuznets effect with per capita Purchasing Power Parity (PPP). The inflection point was between $26 and $42K. Sanctioning Cruelty declined significantly in a linear fashion as PPP increased but did not show a Kuznets effect. Weighted numbers of animals consumed and overall VACI rank both increased with increasing income inequality (as measured by the Gini coefficient), for the 16 countries with the highest per capita PPP. This confirms other studies showing societal improvements in developed countries with higher equality. This is the first instance where slaughter or consumption of animals has shown an animal welfare Kuznets curve with an inflection point within the normal PPP range, where time series data was not used.
... He argued that a coherent explanation about how concept creep occurs must simultaneously explain: (1) why concepts appear to expand in size, rather than recede, (2) why such an expansion is only observable for negative concepts, and (3) why concepts expand both vertically and horizontally. In attempting to address each of these issues, Haslam (2016) draw upon the work of Pinker (2011), who argued that the 'rights revolution' of recent decades has led to the emergence of new, perhaps excessive, forms of harm being reported. ...
Preprint
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In a target article in 2017, social psychologist Nick Haslam proposed that concept creep explains how established social concepts expand to incorporate new phenomena, with such expansions fundamentally changing conceptual definitions and contributing to a loss of a shared social understanding. However, Haslam’s piece (along with several commentaries) focused on concept creep in relation to a small number of categories (e.g., prejudice, bullying, trauma) that are typically more salient for those on the political left. In this work, we examined whether concept creep is a uniquely leftist phenomenon, or whether we can observe the same conceptual expansion for categories typically salient for conservatives. We found evidence for such symmetry when considering categories such as sexual deviance, terrorism, and personal responsibility – with some nuanced exceptions. We discuss our findings in relation to growing political polarization, intergroup relations, and the study of partisan differences using a variety of politically salient stimuli.
... This could be called, after Lee (2018), the "bellicose" tradition of reflections on human nature (e.g. Wrangham and Peterson 1997;Pinker 2011). Such a tradition, in its modern form, chiefly relies on the claim that the common ancestors of apes were prone to aggressive behaviours towards out-groups, and the claim that huntergatherer Upper-Pleistocene life was characterised by continuous intergroup wars. ...
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According to some evolutionary theorists human prosocial dispositions emerged in a context of inter-group competition and violence that made our psychology parochially prosocial, ie. cooperative towards in-groups and competitive towards strangers. This evolutionary hypothesis is sometimes employed in bioethical debates to argue that human nature and contemporary environments, and especially large-scale societies, are mismatched . In this article we caution against the use of mismatch theories in moral philosophy in general and discuss empirical evidence that puts into question mismatch theories based on parochial prosociality. Evolutionary mismatch theories play at best a rhetorical role in these moral debates and may misrepresent the status of relevant evolutionary research. We finally recommend that moral philosophers interested in the evolutionary literature also engage with dispositions such as xenophilia and social tolerance to counterbalance the focus on psychological mismatches adopted so far.
... Yet dealing with the climate crisis requires us to extend our economic and societal horizons beyond the individual, often ill-informed short-term decisions to encompass consideration of the common good and to extend our empathetic horizons to communities and families far removed from our own experience in distance, culture, and practice. We can make this leap when emotional ties to each other and the Earth are strong, when we understand one another's struggles, and when leaders help us tap into 'the better angels of our nature' ( Pinker, 2012 ) rather than the devils of nationalism and nativism. ...
... In the method section age, period, and cohort effects are described in more detail (#27). Although national differences in personality are still debated (see Laajaj ea., 2019, for a warning), and nationality seems to explain only about 2% variance in average personality (Kajonius et al., 2017), there is substantial empirical support for intergenerational (cohort) and national differences in personality and IQ (outlined below), in line with evidence of major population level changes in values, emotions, behaviors, and religion over the centuries (e.g., see Elias, 2010;Wiesner-Hanks, 2006) and their consequences (Diamond, 1999;Pinker, 2012). ...
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Novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) disease (COVID-19) was a major public health emergency and psychosocial shock event that directly or indirectly affected virtually all humans on Earth. The virus emerged around Wuhan in China and spread around the globe over 2020-22 when >16 million (MM) humans died and >70% of humanity had been subjected to social restrictions and societal lockdown. Coronavirus exploited social interaction, urbanization, public transport, and liberalism, and elicited the strongest global economic perturbation in a century (-3% world GDP). In this snapshot of time humans showed emotional, cognitive, physical, social, and societal responses to a pandemic marked by stress, loneliness, polarization, demonstrations, riots and violence, long-Covid, virus mutations, vaccines, and breakthrough infections, conspiracy theories, and individual, sociocultural, and geopolitical changes, including war in Europe, and existential angst due to nuclear threats, and an accelerating climate disaster. The pandemic years 2020-22 were the hardest and most stressful years that most people lived through and influenced a generation of humans. This pandemic was an unique period in time to learn about human psychology and preparedness, as engagement with natural hazards is one master task of civilization. Method: The pandemic is an immensely broad topic and a staggering amount of information became available which inspired me to use the Dutch (NL) mainstream media (MSM) as a lens to study and structure societal responses over 2020-22. These MSM data were enriched with examples and perspectives from Europe and the United States, using a range of academic and government studies. This story was built around five key interests: (a) individual differences in what people felt, thought, did, need, and wanted during the years 2020-2022, in terms of personality differences; (b) which humans coped with the rapid changes in daily rhythms and societal restrictions and who were able to maintain their subjective well-being (resilience); (c) how did human preparedness pan out over 2020-22; and (d) how did a selection of major Dutch MSM reflect on this unfolding Covid pandemic, one of the largest in a century; and (e) how did the pandemic influence human development with a special focus on youth (aged 0-30) and psychology. Results: Globally governments decisions to curb the pandemic were driven by public sentiment rather than ratio, science, and cost-benefit analyses. Public sentiment that shifted like the weather, as citizens proved unpredictable, contradictory, and prone to emotional swings. Most humans tolerated repeated lockdowns over 2020-22 (e.g., 675 days with restrictions in NL), against the pre-Covid social science consensus. Humans grappled with the asymptomatic transmission of coronavirus, the duration and ambiguity of the pandemic (an experience many revisited when Russia invaded the Ukraine), which often sparked a reevaluation of their lives. Humans crafted a societal master narrative to structure their collective understanding of the pandemic and their societal responses, and worked towards an acceptance of their collective vulnerability despite high vaccination rates. Over 2020-22 humans were forced to adjust to a rapidly changing world, and many citizens struggled to return to a normal that was lost. Differences in resilience and adjustment to coronavirus associated with social and financial resources, cognitive ability, risk aversion, values, personality profiles, skills, and contextual differences, such as living in a rich social welfare state, among others. Several countries started with an aim to derive herd immunity while others employed a zero-tolerance strategy that became untenable after the rise of Delta and Omicron variants. One cardinal observation was the lack of human prudence, as humans and governments were astonished when confronted with novel coronavirus, a series of climate disasters, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and showed to be unprepared, despite certainty and clear warning signals that these events were coming. Moreover, many humans and governments continued to be surprised by the second up to sixth waves of Covid-19, often months apart, which illustrates that anticipatory failure was a system feature rather than a bug. In the Netherlands the polarization and loss of government trust was phenomenal (from 80% to 25% of adults) and conspiracy theories affected families and friendships. Citizens entered a prisoners dilemma as those who took part in massive protests, riots, and refused to be vaccinated (~10%), or the many Dutch adults and companies who refused to adhere to even the most basic measures like social distancing (1.5m), testing, quarantining, and a reduction in social contact, enjoyed their freedom at the expense of healthcare workers, many disable people, and people in need of intensive hospital treatment, and prolonged social restrictions for everyone. Conclusion: Coronavirus was a risk multiplier that helped identify specific human weaknesses, from their hubris and lack of prudence to poor societal and international synchronization. MSM described how human irrationality, naivety, ignorance, complacency, hubris, immoderation, recklessness, callousness, self-centeredness, hostility, and greed, gave rise to many of the suffering and catastrophes over 2020-22, including the spread of Covid-19, the rapidly accelerating climate disaster, and the Russian-Ukrainian war. Pandemic studies also highlighted human flexibility and positive capacities, such as the courage of health workers, the key role of family and friends in human health and well-being and the many relationships that deepened, and rapid advances in public medicine and health. Political, social and healthcare systems must adapt to handle the rapidly changing circumstances and threats due to coronavirus and other documented geopolitical and climatic stressors, which affected all humans. The coronavirus pandemic impacted on youth development over 2020-21 but it remains to be seen whether youth collectively remain to be slightly more insecure, introverted, risk aversive, and collectivistic, compared to previous cohorts. The coronavirus pandemic was a symptom of a rapidly changing climate that stared humanity in the face in terms of an unprecedented series of extreme heat waves, wildfires, floods, droughts, famine, and hurricanes over 2020-22, and the ongoing (sixth) global mass extinction event, all human made; a species both astonishing powerful and stupid. Humans must take stock of the lessons learned over 2020-22 and aim for prudence and collaboration across borders to successfully navigate the next two centuries and flourish, as many alarm bells were ringing.
... Steven Pinker (2011) has argued that we have evolved to become less violent and that the so-called 'better angels of our nature' are prevailing. Unfortunately, if violence is defined to include structural violence to non-citizens, sentient beings, the next generation of life and the environment, human beings have a dismal record. ...
Chapter
In this chapter I spell out various perspectives on performative research. I highlight that the common idea is that research should not strive to be “representational” of externally posited realities, but should take into account that it is always complicit in the unfolding of the worlds of which it is a part. I explain the advocacy of a performative idiom as a way to describe as well as to “do” research. I undertake this advocacy with reference to authors hailing from Western scholarship and from Indigenous paradigms of scholarship. Similarly, I explain how the spirit of posthumanism as guiding the research enterprise (where human/nonhuman dualities are rendered fuzzy and where mutual shaping is considered to be at play in all our relations) also is embraced in a variety of scholarly discourses and worldviews. I point to the critiques that have been levelled against certain posthumanists for not treating sufficiently seriously the relational perspectives as elucidated by seers and scholars from colonized social contexts; and I address the question (posed by certain authors) as to whether posthumanism can be “decolonized”. I proceed to offer examples that offer a glimpse of what might be considered as responsibly and performatively (in forward-looking vein) researching multi-species relationality. Such research actively seeks to draw out, and bring forth, prospects for “human” engagement with “others” (admitting that they cannot be conceived in isolation) in non-instrumental terms.
... Like Pinker's [101] "better angels" concept, few researchers have argued that humans have experienced reduced aggressiveness over the past two million years, 50,000 years, etc. These studies have limitations like the lack of uniform and multiple samples over the past two million years. ...
Article
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The evolution of hominins, members of the zoological tribe Hominini, has been a much-studied topic, and the construction of phylogenetic trees has been the key method in molecular evolutionary studies. How scientists determine the phylogenetic trees are governed by the assumptions they place on the construction of similarities and differences in morphological traits, the differences in the number of base pairs in the genomes, and the number of similar gene clusters that code for traits (haplotypes) or are error sequences (SNPs). Among the several methods employed for the construction of a phylogenetic tree, mathematical methods (utilized for sorting data, including fabrication of algorithms) are the most significant ones; also, the nature of population structuring plays an important role in the evolutionary process. In this paper, I will not only describe the drawbacks of current assumptions in hominin evolution during the Middle Pleistocene era (based on fossil evidence) but also the aspects of brain evolution and the self-domestication of our species. The evolution of the brain is usually associated with an increase in neurons and other types of cells associated with signal processing (connectivity) and memory. Assessing actual neuron counts in fossils is challenging; moreover, new research has shown decreased neuron numbers in the neocortex and demonstrated large counts in the cerebellum, leading to a decreased focus on brain size. The idea of increased brain size in the Pleistocene era without a substantial increase in the evidence of cognitive activity in complex behavior residues might be explained by increased myelination to provide additional insulation in Ice Age conditions and faster transition of signals due to increased competition for reduced food supplies. Other cold-adaptation features can also be noted. Such a model can provide a new approach to assess the apparent brain size reduction in the Upper Paleolithic period.
... The question of whether human evolution was shaped by (small-scale) war has generated major interdisciplinary debate involving anthropologists (e.g., Boehm 2012;Fry & Söderberg 2013), archaeologists (e.g., Keeley 1996Kelly 2005), economists (e.g., Bowles 2009;Choi & Bowles 2007), primatologists (e.g., Wilson et al. 2014;Wilson & Wrangham 2003), psychologists (e.g., Pinker 2011Sell et al. 2009), andpolitical scientists (e.g., Fukuyama 1998;Goldstein 2011). The debate remains unsettled, with scholars polarized into two opposing camps: one concurring with the claim that humans "come from a long evolutionary history of war" (Sell et al. 2017: 334) and are therefore equipped with adaptations to war (e.g., Bowles 2009;Choi & Bowles 2007;Gat 2008;Goldstein 2011;Keeley 1996;Pinker 2011;Sell et al. 2009;Wilson & Wrangham 2003), and another arguing that war is a "recent innovation in human history" (Chomsky 2015) and that we therefore could not evolve adaptations to war (e.g., Fry 2006;2007;2015;Fry & Söderberg 2013;Fuentes 2017;Kelly 2000;2005). I suggest that evidence of special design (Williams 1966), obtained from an integrated program of psychological experiments, may be required to answer this question. ...
Poster
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Studies suggest that human evolution has been characterized by frequent dyadic aggression (Gomez et al. 2016). In ancestral conflicts, assessing the strength of an opponent, prior to fighting, was vital: Fighting against a stronger opponent could incur high costs (injury and death), while deferring to a weaker one could forego high gains (resources and status). Selection thus likely favored mechanisms for extracting formidability information from ancestrally relevant cues (Sell et al. 2009). Consistent with this, studies found that people accurately assess fighting ability from minimal cues, for example, static images of faces or voice (e.g., Sell et al. 2009; 2010). The present project aims to uncover whether people are equipped with analogous adaptations to coalitional aggression or small-scale war. While some extant studies (Durkee et al. 2018; Fessler & Holbrook 2013; 2014; 2016; Fessler et al. 2016; Price et al. 2012; Sell et al. 2009; 2016; 2017) hint at adaptations to coalitional aggression, a full-fledged program specifically probing for their existence is lacking. Here, I focus on a coalitional formidability assessment mechanism, which likely helped ancestral humans to avoid disadvantageous inter-group fights. The coalitional formidability assessment mechanism, if revealed, might constitute distinctive evidence that war shaped our evolution. In this poster, I present the first—theoretical—steps of a five-year adaptationist research program probing the adaptation.
... This time however does seem different, possibly because we're living through it but not remembering that we have survived it before. Maybe the difference is that we greeted the new millennium having, arguably, just finished the best of times (Pinker, 2011), a period of prosperity and peace heralding an optimism reflected in globalism and Fukuyama's (1992) pronouncement of the end of history. Perhaps the sense that this time is different comes from the convergence of multiple staggering factors. ...
Article
Our clinical practice is contextualized by a co-participant trauma constituted by a confluence of upheavals–pandemic, politics, an epistemological crisis, pervasive distrust of expertise and evidence. Psychoanalytic work, parallel to the external world, has become defamiliarized, if not, at sometimes unrecognizable. The affect on the frame and the boundaries of the therapeutic frame and of the psychoanalytic institution are explored with an awareness of the uncertainty of the future. The experience of the onset of the pandemic is discussed with awareness of an unknown future.
... While international wars since World War 2 have been on the decline over the years (Pinker, 2011;Thies & Baum, 2020), the world has also experienced a shift from interstate to intrastate conflicts. These intrastate conflicts have been characterised by between group violence (e.g. ...
Article
The economic development literature widely concurs that conflicts have adverse economic consequences that contribute to poverty, disinvestment and lower human capital leading to widespread inequality and lower economic growth. As such, understanding the nature of conflict has been an important focus for political leaders, policymakers and researchers alike. However, the existing literature does not typically distinguish between the effects of conflict determinants on conflicts by type of actor or aggressor (i.e. state, group and civilian‐based). Using panel data analysis for 46 African countries from 1997 to 2017, and a comprehensive geo‐referenced Armed Conflict Location and Event Data (ACLED) conflict dataset, we find evidence of variation in the determinants' effects on conflicts by actor types. For the full sample of countries, we find that military expenditure decreases civilian‐based conflicts; globalisation increases both state‐ and civilian‐based conflicts while state fragility increases group‐based conflicts. On the other hand, income per capita increases all three types of conflicts. At regional level, we find variation in the effects of military expenditure and globalisation on state‐ and civilian‐based conflicts. However, we find little variation in the effects of the determinants on group‐based conflicts across the regions. The findings highlight the nuances in conflicts by actor types and their causes which need to be accounted for when formulating conflict resolution policies.
... Steven Pinker (2011) has argued that we have evolved to become less violent and that the so-called 'better angels of our nature' are prevailing. Unfortunately, if violence is defined to include structural violence to non-citizens, sentient beings, the next generation of life and the environment, human beings have a dismal record. ...
Chapter
In this chapter we endorse the concept of multispecies relationality by explicating African worldviews which emphasize the importance of the practice in African culture (as in other Indigenous traditions) of having a totem in which a human soul is given to animals, plants and nature. For example, the clan totem called Ndou in Venda means persons have characteristics of the elephant, which forms part of their identity. Some clans are not allowed to cut a tree called Mutavhatsindi because they are Vhatavhatsindi (people associated with the tree) and this can bring bad omens. Rivers and caves can also function as totems. We can interpret the symbolism of totemism as implying that humans and non-humans become separated analytically only by creating the categories of “human” and “non-human”, which are (often) recognized to create an arbitrary boundary. In our considering further the symbolism of totems in this chapter, we confirm that we can draw out, and extend, the ethical implications of African cultural traditions which suggest that we are all (and can become better) embedded in a community, which includes “all that exists”, including past, present, and future generations. Some authors emphasize that the African concept of Ubuntu intimates that humans need to care for other humans as well as animals, trees and rivers (as the biophysical world). We point out how this interpretation of Ubuntu, which implies a (spiritual) orientation towards furthering “cosmic harmony”, is tied to a moral standpoint to create more connectivity in seeking regenerative sustainability.
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Incorporating a discussion of physical and emotional trauma in medical education can help prepare students for their encounters with trauma survivors in clinical practice. A pedagogical approach begins with an inquiry into the purpose of historical or current representations of torture. Justifications include rationalizing state-sponsored torture, providing an outlet for critique and protest, and organizing representations of the enemy. Discussions of torture must further address the emotional and symbolic effects of clinical work with torture survivors on the caregiver. Introductory workshops using visual representations can trigger pain, fear and anger in the viewer. Images of torture, war, and genocide may also invoke ethical concerns relating to the impact of visual images, where viewing can elicit an ambiguous response, casting the viewer into the role of voyeur. At the same time, learners should recognize that indifference or inattention to the provocations mediated through images has its own liabilities, signaling defensiveness. Discussions about the respective roles of perpetrators, victims and observers offer opportunities for the viewer to engage in self-reflection. Artistic representations also offer opportunities for advocacy on the survivor’s behalf, sometimes facilitated by dissemination of visual representations, but also by involving the survivors themselves in activities that exploit the healing power of art.
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Behavioral evidence suggests that engaging with fiction is positively correlated with social abilities. The rationale behind this link is that engaging with fiction and fictional characters may offer a ‘training mode’ for mentalizing and empathizing with sentient agents in the real world, analogous to a flight simulator for pilots. In this study, we explored the relationship between reading fiction and mentalizing by looking at brain network dynamics in 57 participants who varied on how much fiction they read in their daily lives. The hypothesis was that if reading fiction indeed trains mentalizing, a task that requires mentalizing –Like immersing in a fictional story and engaging with a protagonist -should elicit differences in brain network dynamics depending on how much people read. More specifically, more frequent readers should show increased connectivity within the theory of mind network (ToM) or between the ToM network and other brain networks. While brain activation was measured with fMRI, participants listened to two literary narratives. We computed time-course correlations between brain regions and compared the correlation values from listening to narratives to listening to an auditory baseline condition. The between-region correlations were then related to individual differences measures including the amount of fiction that participants consume in their daily lives. Our results show that there is a linear relationship between how much people read and the functional connectivity in areas known to be involved in language and mentalizing. This adds neurobiological credibility to the ‘fiction influences mentalizing abilities' hypothesis as suggested on the basis of conceptual analysis.
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This book explicitly addresses policy options in a democratic society regarding cognitive enhancement drugs and devices. The book offers an in-depth case by case analysis of existing and emerging cognitive neuroenhancement technologies and canvasses a distinct political neuroethics approach. The author provides an argument on the much debated issue of fairness of cognitive enhancement practices and tackles the tricky issue of how to respect preferences of citizens opposing and those preferring enhancement. The author persuasively argues the necessity of a laws and regulations regarding the use of cognitive enhancers. He also argues that the funds for those who seek cognitive enhancement should be allocated free of charge to the least advantaged. The work argues that the notion of autonomy has been mistakenly associated with the metaphysical concept of free will, and offers a political definition of autonomy to clarify how responsibility is implicitly grounded in the legal and political system. As such, this book is an essential read for everyone interested in neuroethics, and a valuable resource for policy makers, as well as scholars and students in philosophy, law, psychiatry and neuroscience.
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This conclusion chapter offers advice for readers already active as community-engaged educators and to those who wish to become so involved. This advice includes (a) get involved, even with very small actions, rather than waiting for others to take action in your stead; (b) do not minimize the potential of taking small steps; (c) individual actions, such as turning off lights, have value, but also think of the big picture, such as advocating for alternative energy; (d) understand what are the "out-of-bounds" markers in your context and consider carefully if your actions may endanger your job and the situations of others; (e) share your experiences with other teachers in informal and formal ways, including conferences, publications, and social media; (f) avoid burnout by going for life–work balance, as this increases your longevity; and (g) be open-minded by listening to students, colleagues, and people in the community, including those who may have contrasting views.
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From a planetary perspective, industrialized humans have become unvirtuous and holistically destructive in comparison to 99% of human genus existence. Why? This paper draws a transdisciplinary explanation. Humans are social mammals who are born particularly immature with a lengthy, decades-long maturational schedule and thus evolved an intensive nest for the young (soothing perinatal experience, responsive care, extensive breastfeeding, multiple responsive caregivers, positive social support, self-directed free play with multi-aged mates in the natural world). Neurosciences show that evolved nest components support normal development at all levels (e.g., neurobiological, social, psychological), laying the foundations for virtue. Nest components are degraded in industrialized societies. Studies and accounts of societies that provide the nest, particularly nomadic foragers, the type of society in which humanity spent 99% of its genus history, indicate a more virtuous human nature than that industrialized societies think is normal or possible. Nest-supported human nature displays Darwin’s moral sense whereas unnested individuals show dysregulation and a degraded moral sense—a species-atypical human nature. Original virtue is about flourishing—of self, human community and the more than human community—within all circles of life, based in a deep awareness of humanity’s dependence on the rest of nature to survive. The pillars of original virtue include relational attunement (engagement ethic), communal imagination, and respectful partnership with the natural world. All are apparent in human societies that provide the nest to their young, fostering connectedness throughout life. They maintain communal imagination through cultural practices that enhance ecological attachment and receptive intelligence to the natural world.
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To evaluate today’s challenges to peace and security it is appropriate to take a long-term perspective. A look at the trends in armed conflicts is a starting-point. Data from the Uppsala Conflict Data Project (UCDP) help us in this regard. The assessment also requires a study of the relationships between the actors most responsible for keeping international peace and security, the major powers, again observing pertinent trends. This will be approached in terms of particularistic and universalistic relations. Finally, it needs a discussion on possible alternatives in order to keep a focus on a world of peace and security that is beneficial for the entire international system and, in that sense, for the planet as a whole. This chapter is devoted to these three tasks.
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This study aimed to clarify target groups of dislike feeling of Japanese people and analyze elements of the feeling. Web survey was conducted among 1,000 Japanese adults, whose ages ranged from 20 to 69 years old. The results showed that approximately two thirds of the survey participants could report target group(s) of dislike feeling, and Japanese new religions, three neighboring countries and the Islamic State were mainly reported as target groups. Sex and age differences were small in categories of reported target groups, and male’s hostile commitments for the groups were relatively higher than female’s. Sensitivities for threat in environment related to negative attitude for the target groups and the relationships were higher in males than in females. These results were consistent with general results of previous studies.
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The Peacebuilding Compared project deployed South Asian data to conclude that war tends to cascade across space and time to further war, crime to further crime, war to crime, and crime to war. This article is an analytic sketch of crime as a cascade phenomenon. Examining crime through a cascade lens helps us to imagine how to more effectively cascade crime prevention. Like crime, crime prevention often cascades. Braithwaite and D’Costa (2018) show how peacemaking can cascade non-violence, how it cascades non-violent social movement politics, and vice versa. Seeing crime through the cascade lens opens up fertile ways of imagining macrocriminology. Self-efficacy and collective efficacy are hypothesised as catalysts of crime prevention cascades in such a macrocriminology. Australian successes with gun control and drunk driving point to the importance of explicitly connecting evidence-based microcriminology to a macrocriminology of cultural transformation. More structurally, building collective efficacy in families, schools and primary work groups may cascade collective efficacy into neighbourhoods and vice versa. The microcriminology of hot-spot policing might be elaborated into a macrocriminology of inkspots of collective efficacy that cascade and connect up.
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With the increasing use of social media by many people, and where many actually get their news from social media rather than traditional media sources (newspapers, TV, and journals) amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, there is a huge increase in the number and influence of conspiracy theories world-wide. This has meant that those who believe and follow such theories are more likely to reject official health advice and government instructions, amid science denialism, anti-scientism and a distrust of experts, as well as politicians. Despite some efforts to remove misleading information, it remains easy to find sites promoting conspiracies such as ‘5G coronavirus’ as well as hate speech. But such theories are not limited to coronavirus, and in fact many others, such as QAnon, are actively or tacitly promoted by President Trump. Noting that neither conspiracies, nor science denialism are new, we start by briefly looking at the transition from the Dark Ages to Enlightenment and the Age of Reason, noting the case of Galileo. Then it was very dangerous to hold well-reasoned scientific views that did not fit with the prevailing views of the time; a combination of philosophical, and theological Church beliefs, which were based on Aristotelian geocentric views of the earth as the centre of the universe, and a geostatic literal biblical interpretation. We look at present day scientific skepticism and how to debunk some of the most widely held scientific myths. The need to educate and advocate for education that includes critical thinking, critical literacy, and critical media literacy is more important than ever or we risk having a large proportion of the population believing only what they read on social media and becoming dangerously anti-science and not prepared to even consider data or evidence and so be at the mercy of rampant and dangerous conspiracy theories — maybe risking a ‘New Dark Ages’!
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É comum darmos sentido ao que somos e ao que acontece conosco concebendo instâncias problemáticas, corrompidas ou más agindo dentro de nós - o ego, a carne, a depressão etc. Evocamos tais instâncias para explicar nossos sofrimentos, fracassos e angústias; e as imaginamos como bestas que nos ameaçam em nossa própria interioridade. Este livro traça um panorama genealógico dessas bestas, mostrando como elas transitam das produções teóricas ao senso comum, e passam a pautar nosso entendimento do que somos e do que é bom - ou mau - para nós.
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This book explores how global organisations and institutions manage Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) across their operations and within different cultural and value settings. It blends empirical evidence from collaborative research with original practical insights. In addition, the book demonstrates how the idea of narratives can be used as an approach to achieving EDI goals, presenting powerful stories on EDI implementation and challenges stemming from EDI-related abuses. Taken together, the book’s respective chapters depict the complexity of EDI in a nuanced way, reflecting the disparate realities of those involved in its implementation. The combination of academic research and insights from practitioners in the field give the book a unique position in the global management literature on EDI, while also yielding a wealth of valuable lessons and conclusions.
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The history of international exchange is examined briefly before considering important aspects associated with modern ‘development co-operation’ relevant to midwifery. Some key concepts of culture and the importance of acquiring ‘cultural competence’ are examined. Issues associated with modernization and development are outlined and relevant concepts such as time and ethical viewpoints considered within a cultural context. Suggestions are offered concerning preparation of international consultants. Student electives are discussed and fundamental issues in promoting successful experiences outlined.
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Pinker’s 2018 work Enlightenment Now maintains his earlier commitment to Norbert Elias’ sanguine reading of post-Enlightenment human history. It replicates the problems that historians identified with his 2011 work, The Better Angels of Our Nature. Moving past Pinker’s theory does not, however, necessitate a rejection of theoretical or meta-historical approaches to the history of violence. Other recent works concerned with the history of violence offer rival theoretical positions and insights that are central to their success as works of history. Pushing past Pinker’s claim that Elias’ work is ‘the only theory left standing’ for historians of violence, this article demonstrates how theory has been used successfully by other historians. It interrogates the characteristic theoretical claims and concerns of four major approaches: new imperial history, comparative genocide studies, histories of war and society, and the history of gendered violence, and negates Pinker’s claim that no other theoretical tradition is appropriate for the study of the history of violence.
Article
Our species has deep prehistoric roots in egalitarian and antiauthoritarian bands of nomadic hunter-gatherers. As large agricultural societies develop after the Neolithic revolution 10,000 years ago, despotic rulers, social hierarchies and brutal social inequalities begin to emerge. Through the immensely long arc of the history of our species the pendulum has swung between authoritarianism and antiauthoritarianism, egalitarianism and hierarchy, cooperation and competition, collective solidarity and individual selfishness. Recognizing these oscillations is a key to understanding the political and social nature of our species. As I show, our capacity to control bullies and tyrants and our longing for autonomy and freedom have deep roots in the egalitarian ways of life of nomadic foragers that prevailed during 100,000 years of the prehistory of our species or perhaps much longer. A better understanding about what is known about this prehistory gives us reasons to believe that “the better angels of our nature” are not just historical products, but are indeed rooted in human nature.
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В коллективной монографии на основе изучения широкого круга источников и научной литературы разработана модель возникновения и динамики развития этнических/этнополитических конфликтов и мобилизации. Критически проанализированы теоретические подходы к изучению этнополитических конфликтов и мобилизации, такие как: «дилемма безопасности» Б.Р. Позена, «триада Р. Брубейкера», «теория этнического предпринимательства», теория «возвращения подавленного» Э. Хобсбаума, концепции причин и динамики «этнических чисток» М. Манна, модели геноцида и политицида Б. Хафф, модель возникновения этнических войн Дж. Фиарона, модель этнических восстаний Т.Р. Гарра, ресурсной мобилизации Д. МакКарти и М. Залда, концепции структуры политических возможностей и ограничений Дугласа МакАдама, Джона МакКарти и Майера Залда, концепт фреймирования Д. Сноу и другие. Впервые в отечественной литературе оценивается влияние экологических изменений на развитие этнополитических конфликтов. На этой теоретической базе осуществлено исследование этнополитических конфликтов, прежде всего, в государствах постсоветского пространства (Украина, страны Южного Кавказа, Кыргызстан, Узбекистан, страны Балтии), в российских республиках Северного Кавказа и наиболее конфликтных региона современного мира (Северная Африка и Ближний Восток). Широкий спектр исследуемых конфликтов и изучение имеющихся в научной литературе теоретических подходов к их урегулированию, а также обобщение наличного практического опыта позволил описать и наиболее эффективные методы и технологии предупреждения и урегулирования подобных конфликтов. Для анализа этнополитических конфликтов использованы научные достижения целого ряда социальных наук, включая политологию, историю, социальную антропологию, социологию, этнологию, этноконфликтологию.
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This article develops five scenarios of how human society could be politically organized in 300 years, after nation‐states have dissolved and nationalism as their foundational ideology has dissipated. The scenarios are based on sociological theories on how functional integration and differentiation shape the evolution of modern societies. All scenarios therefore assume that the basic characteristics of modernity will persist and explore only a small area of the theoretically infinite space of long‐term futures. Also for the sake of manageability, the author envisions only one technological and economic basis for future political developments, which in turn will be constrained by the need to fulfil three basic functions: to provide public goods, collective defence and a political decision‐making mechanism. The five scenarios differ, however, in whether these functions are assumed by states, how large these will be and whether their boundaries align with cultural difference. The author thus arrives at an anarchic scenario without any states, a scenario with a thousand or more mini‐states based on shared cultural identities, an imperial scenario with a few states each claiming to represent an entire civilization, a world with culturally heterogenous and highly efficient Continental states and finally a world state.
Chapter
War trophies are a very specific category of heritage since they are military artifacts obtained on the battlefield and whose cultural value is conferred after their apprehension. Dating back to classical antiquity, the act of obtaining and displaying war trophies has never been considered an international crime. Its implications for international relations, however, can be significant, depending on the valorization of the artifact made trophy by the historiographical narratives of the societies that lost it or that conquered it. This article examines the singularities of the war trophy as cultural heritage and its relevance to diplomatic relations. Based on three case studies, we point to possible paradigms for using this type of heritage as a foreign policy resource.
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Within the context of an evolutionary theoretical framework, the current research attempted to study the reasons that cause difficulties in starting an intimate relationship in the Greek cultural context. In particular, using qualitative research methods (interviews and open-ended questionnaires), Study 1 (N = 205) identified 58 reasons that make it difficult for people to start an intimate relationship. Using an online sample of 1,095 Greek-speaking participants (N = 1,095), Study 2 classified these reasons in 12 factors. More than 80% of the participants indicated that they faced above moderate or severe difficulties in at least one factor, while about 40% faced difficulties in three or more factors. Significant gender and age effects were found across the different factors. Using second order principal components analysis, the 12 factors were classified in three broader domains of difficulties in starting a relationship.
Article
Classic accounts of the evolution of human cooperation conceive emotions as automatic and uncontrollable impulses toward prosocial behavior. I argue that this view of emotion is incorrect, but that classic accounts of the evolution of human cooperation can benefit from an alternative view. The social and moral emotions are not untamed passions, but carefully cultivated and regulated states, which promote cooperation only if they develop properly in childhood and then are actively managed in adulthood. I argue that part and parcel of the normal development of human emotion is the development of emotion regulation skills, or abilities to intervene on and manage one’s emotions in real time. I then argue that unmanaged emotions – or emotions that evade an individual’s control – tend to discourage cooperation, while managed emotions – or emotions that are brought under control – tend to encourage it. Finally, I argue that the cultivation of emotion regulation skills allows social and moral emotions to continue to promote cooperation, even though the world that many humans inhabit today is radically different from the world in which these emotions first evolved.
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We social animals must balance the need to avoid infections with the need to interact with conspecifics. To that end we have evolved, alongside our physiological immune system, a suite of behaviors devised to deal with potentially contagious individuals. Focusing mostly on humans, the current review describes the design and biological innards of this behavioral immune system, laying out how infection threat shapes sociality and sociality shapes infection threat. The paper shows how the danger of contagion is detected and posted to the brain; how it affects individuals’ mate choice and sex life; why it strengthens ties within groups but severs those between them, leading to hostility toward anyone who looks, smells, or behaves unusually; and how it permeates the foundation of our moral and political views. This system was already in place when agriculture and animal domestication set off a massive increase in our population density, personal connections, and interaction with other species, amplifying enormously the spread of disease. Alas, pandemics such as COVID-19 not only are a disaster for public health, but, by rousing millions of behavioral immune systems, could prove a threat to harmonious cohabitation too.
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Interpersonal aspects of care, such as the communication behaviors of physicians, are often cited as central to patients' decisions to initiate malpractice litigation. Relatively little is known, however, about the impact of the communication behaviors of surgeons. In the current study, we investigated the relationship between judgments of surgeons' voice tone and their malpractice claims history. We examined the relationship between surgeons' voice tone during routine office visits and their history of malpractice claims. Surgeons were audiotaped while speaking to their patients during office visits, and very brief samples of the conversations were rated by coders blind to surgeons' claims status. Two 10-second clips were extracted for each surgeon from the first and last minute of their interactions with 2 different patients. Several variables were rated that assessed warmth, hostility, dominance, and anxiety from 10-second voice clips with content and 10-second voice clips with just voice tone. Controlling for content, ratings of higher dominance and lower concern/anxiety in their voice tones significantly identified surgeons with previous claims compared with those who had no claims (odds ratio [OR] 2.74, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.16 to 6.43 for dominance; OR 0.46, 95% CI 0.21 to 1.01 for concern/anxiety). Surgeons' tone of voice in routine visits is associated with malpractice claims history. This is the first study to show clear associations between communication and malpractice in surgeons. Specific types of affect associated with claims can be judged from brief audio clips, suggesting that this method might be useful in training surgeons.