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Evolution, Early Experience and Human DevelopmentFrom Research to Practice and Policy$
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Darcia Narvaez, Jaak Panksepp, Allan N. Schore, and Tracy R. Gleason

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199755059

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199755059.001.0001

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Perspective 2: Play, Plasticity, and the Perils of Conflict: “Problematizing” Sociobiology

Perspective 2: Play, Plasticity, and the Perils of Conflict: “Problematizing” Sociobiology

(p.404) { 17 } Perspective 2: Play, Plasticity, and the Perils of Conflict: “Problematizing” Sociobiology
Evolution, Early Experience and Human Development

Melvin Konner

Oxford University Press

Dissatisfied with the self-assured genetic-competition models of sociobiology and evolutionary psychology, authors in this volume correctly emphasize the role of plasticity—whether in the form or service of cultural evolution, gene–culture coevolution, or adaptive play—in the larger evolutionary process; the fact that most conflict is ritualized or playful; and the role of cooperation in muting competition and the possibility that natural selection can operate at the level of the family or the group. These emphases are all to the good, and certainly provide a counterweight to the emphasis on relentless competition and selection at the level of the individual or the gene, although these are not mutually exclusive possibilities.

Keywords:   family conflict, rough-and-tumble play, juveniles

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