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War, Peace, and Human Nature
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War, Peace, and Human Nature: The Convergence of Evolutionary and Cultural Views

Douglas P. Fry


Have humans always waged war? Is warring an ancient evolutionary adaptation or a relatively recent behavior—and what does that tell us about human nature? This book brings together experts in evolutionary biology, archaeology, anthropology, and primatology to answer fundamental questions about peace, conflict, and human nature in an evolutionary context. The chapters in this book demonstrate that humans clearly have the capacity to make war, but since war is absent in some cultures, it cannot be viewed as a human universal. And the archaeological record reveals the recent emergence of war. It ... More

Keywords: war, evolutionary adaptation, human nature, peace, conflict, emergence of war, human society, cultural views, origins of war, nomadic forager societies

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2013 Print ISBN-13: 9780199858996
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199858996.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Douglas P. Fry, editor
Department of Social Sciences, Abo Akademi University, Finland

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Part One Ecological and Evolutionary Models

Part Two Lessons from Prehistory War and Peace in the Past

Part Three Nomadic Foragers

Part Four The Primatological Context of Human Nature

Part Five Taking Restraint against Killing Seriously

Part VI Conclusions

End Matter