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The Evolved ApprenticeHow Evolution Made Humans Unique$
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Kim Sterelny

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780262016797

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262016797.001.0001

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The Human Cooperation Syndrome

The Human Cooperation Syndrome

Chapter:
(p.73) 4 The Human Cooperation Syndrome
Source:
The Evolved Apprentice
Author(s):

Kim Sterelny

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262016797.003.0004

This chapter explores the interactions between ecological cooperation (especially, but not only, cooperative hunting); informational cooperation/social learning; and reproductive cooperation. It argues that these forms of cooperation coevolve positively: for example, social learning makes cooperative foraging more profitable, while the profits of cooperative foraging make extended juvenile learning possible. Moreover, none are primary: there was no key breakthrough that made cooperative human social life possible. The chapter thus argues against versions of the Grandmother Hypothesis, pointing out that grandmaternal provisioning would be impossible unless the social world was already cooperative in other ways as well, and against Kristin Hawkes’ view that hunting was male signalling rather than collective provisioning. The chapter also explores methodological issues about the relevance of ethnography to human evolutionary history, arguing that ethnographic evidence is relevant, when used with suitable precautions.

Keywords:   Grandmother Hypothesis, human hunting, hunts and signals, ethnographic analogy, Kristin Hawkes, Sarah Hrdy, human cooperation

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