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Hierarchy in the Forest: The Evolution of Egalitarian Behavior « Learning Change - 0 views

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    Are humans by nature hierarchical or egalitarian? Hierarchy in the Forest addresses this question by examining the evolutionary origins of social and political behavior. Christopher Boehm, an anthropologist whose fieldwork has focused on the political arrangements of human and nonhuman primate groups, postulates that egalitarianism is in effect a hierarchy in which the weak combine forces to dominate the strong.
    The political flexibility of our species is formidable: we can be quite egalitarian, we can be quite despotic. Hierarchy in the Forest  traces the roots of these contradictory traits in chimpanzee, bonobo, gorilla, and early human societies. Boehm looks at the loose group structures of hunter-gatherers, then at tribal segmentation, and finally at present-day governments to see how these conflicting tendencies are reflected.
    Hierarchy in the Forest claims new territory for biological anthropology and evolutionary biology by extending the domain of these sciences into a crucial aspect of human political and social behavior. This book will be a key document in the study of the evolutionary basis of genuine altruism.
damian fernando

The Reader by Bernhard Schlink - 0 views

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    A wonderfully told story of the pain of individuals using each other for their own purposes. I enjoyed this book very much and as the author diligently builds upon two people using each other to satisfy their loneliness and then the numbness of the suffering that is created from such a codependent relationship. The unfortunate pain of almost redemption but never resolution at the end of the book left me feeling the way I should feel: a bit saddened for both of the characters.
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