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How do desires and fears motivate human sociability? What effect do these motivators have on reproductive, social and political behaviour? And, crucially, how might we understand them separate from preconceived notions of design or higher morality? Taking these questions as a focus, The Evolution of Human Sociability examines human evolution with the emphasis on sexual selection and the evolution of a number of human psychological processes. Exploring evolutionary, sexual and maturational processes, along with primate, fossil and geological evidence, Vannelli argues that human nature can be conceptualised as species-typical desires and fears, derived from sexual selection during human evolution, and that these are major motivators of behaviour. Presenting additional evidence from the anthropology of band societies, along with material from group behaviour, Vannelli highlights the importance of pair-bonding, friendship, alliance behaviour, vengeance seeking and interpersonal politics in social behaviour, providing a unique interdisciplinary framework for understanding human nature and the evolution of human sociability.
2. Human evolution: the background
3. The evolution of human species-typical desires and fears
4. Bipedalism, brain growth, language and the development of human sociability
5. Desires, fears and the evolution of human politics
6. Human fears
7. A human science, justice and politics
Ron Vannelli is Professor Emeritus at Birmingham City University, UK, where he taught epistemology, the psychology of personhood, social theory and political sociology for over twenty-five years. His PhD focussed on accusation processes in human politics (interpersonal, sexual and political) and his research interests have spanned human evolution, the psychology of personhood, cultural anthropology and sociology. Developments in brain neuroscience, the study of emotions, sociobiology and evolutionary psychology fuelled his desire to explore the links between biology and human behaviour.