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Sociobiology and Conflict: Evolutionary Perspectives on Competition, Co-operation, Violence and Warfare

By: J Van der Dennen

348 pages, Figs, tabs

Chapman & Hall

Hardback | Dec 1990 | #10112 | ISBN: 0412337703
Availability: Usually dispatched within 2-3 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £242.00 $314/€270 approx

About this book

The biological study of social behaviour has illuminated many aspects of animal and human behaviour and in this book both biologists and social scientists open up new perspectives on the phenomena of conflict, competition, co-operation and violence. Evoluntionary analyses of agonistic and antagonistic behaviour are discussed by an international team of contributers. It includes themes like revolution and "primitive" warfare, comparing the more paroxysmal forms of conflict behaviour, i.e. naked violence and destructiveness, with retreat and fleeing behaviour. These studies highlight the complexities and intricacies of the cost-benefit calculus involved in competitive behaviour; this has led to such insights as; that conflict and co-operation are always intertwined; that "drive" models of aggression have become obselete; that violent interaction is an evolutionary means, not an end in itself and that it makes sense only in the context of reproductive effort. The result is a book that contributes to the continuing literature in sociobiological studies. Most of the chapters are thoroughly revised and updated papers given at a European Sociobiological Society conference in Jerusalem in 1987, with other equally authoritative contributions added. The book will appeal to a wide range of people interested in the origins of conflict, competition and violence.


Part 1 Conflict and biology: competition regimes and conflict in particular intergroup conflicts among animals, J. Van Hoof; selfish co-operation in social roles - the vigilance game in continuous time, U. Motro and D. Cohen; a biological mechanism precluding the establishment of social equilibra and its effect on the emergence of conflict and disaster, P. Van der Molen. Part 2 Sociobiology and enmity: the cerebral bridge from family to foe, L. Tiger; the evolutionary foundations of revolution, J. Lopreato and P. Green; loyalty and aggression in human groups - some speculations, Y. Peres and M. Hopp; territoriality and personal threat in urban humans - sexual differences in the perception of anxiety provoking situations, M. Hopp and A. Rasa. Part 3 Primitive warfare: biological theories of the origin and evolution of "Primitive" warfare, J. Van der Denne; the inuit and the evolution of limited group conflict, C. Irwin; human nature and the function of war in social evolution - a critical review of a recent form of the naturalistic fallacy, P. Meyer; war and peace in "Primitive" human societies - the effects of exogam, U. Mellotti; the "Ethnological Inventory Project" - an antidote against some fallacious notions in the study of "Primitive" war, J. Van der Dennen. Part 4 The conflict about sociology: the sociobiology of conflict and the conflict about sociobiology - science and the morals in the larger debate, U. Sergerstrale.

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