Download e-book for kindle: The Psychology of Modern Conflict: Evolutionary Theory, by K. Payne

By K. Payne

ISBN-10: 1137428589

ISBN-13: 9781137428585

What does glossy conflict have in universal with our human evolution? during this examine, Dr Kenneth Payne argues that there's a major courting among the 2 – now we have advanced to struggle, and conventional hunter-gatherer societies have been frequently violent locations. yet we additionally advanced to cooperate and to act altruistically in the direction of others. either those evolutionary legacies can assist clarify how and why liberal societies struggle. Payne considers the facts for conflict in hunter gatherer groups, and explores how a means of 'domestication' a few 10,000 years in the past resulted in higher teams of extra social and culturally refined people. He then considers how this über-sociability is happen in liberal societies within the glossy period, underpinning our feel of empathy and ethical values.

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Extra info for The Psychology of Modern Conflict: Evolutionary Theory, Human Nature and a Liberal Approach to War

Example text

At the symposium on domestication, Richard Wrangham argued that once domestication, with its increasingly intense sociability, got under way, human societies may have weeded out those individuals with a tendency towards greater aggression. There is some physical evidence to support domestication – not just in the diminishing size of human brains. Robert Cieri and colleagues have found evidence that is suggestive of the physical effects of domestication – notably in the changing faces of humans relative to their ancestors and chimps, so that they appear less aggressive (Cieri et al.

These are questions about priorities, but also questions about the appropriate place for values in determining policy. Should we care that an actor has challenged our sense of esteem, or should we take a more disinterested, pragmatic view? And to what extent should our own moral values inform our decisions about where and how to intervene, including with military force? Where realists see values and morality shaping state behaviour at the expense of the efficient pursuit of security, there is a puzzle to be explained because, for hard-headed realists, war is an everpresent risk, necessitating a concern with power, the better to achieve security (Mearsheimer 2001).

Some realist accounts aver that the key features of the international system create imperatives to behave in certain ways. If you do not respond to anarchy and uncertainty with a concern for amassing sufficient power to defend or deter potential adversaries, there is a danger that, like the unfortunate Melians, you can simply go out of business. There is a powerful metaphor here with the processes of Darwinian natural selection, which emphasises the ‘survival of the fittest’. The ostensible lesson is that ‘fittest’ applies to the societies competing for survival in a cruel, amoral and disinterested international system.

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The Psychology of Modern Conflict: Evolutionary Theory, Human Nature and a Liberal Approach to War by K. Payne


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