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The Normative Animal?On the Anthropological Significance of Social, Moral, and Linguistic Norms$
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Neil Roughley and Kurt Bayertz

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190846466

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190846466.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 14 October 2019

There Ought to Be Roots

There Ought to Be Roots

Evolutionary Precursors of Social Norms and Conventions in Non-Human Primates

Chapter:
(p.65) 3 There Ought to Be Roots
Source:
The Normative Animal?
Author(s):

Peter M. Kappeler

Claudia Fichtel

Carel P. van Schaik

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190846466.003.0003

This chapter explores the notion that the behavioural and cognitive constituents of human social norms have equivalents or precursors in humans’ closest living relatives, the non-human primates. Scrutiny of the definitions of various forms of conformity revealed, on the one hand, that some key features defining social norms are essentially impossible to infer in animals so that from a purist perspective, homologous equivalents of social norms cannot be demonstrated. On the other hand, this review revealed that functional equivalents or precursors of behavioural, emotional, and cognitive mechanisms constituting normative conformity are present and ubiquitous among (group-living haplorhine) non-human primates and that social patterns reflecting normative conformity have been described, hence supporting the authors’ main thesis that this salient aspect of human sociality, even though it may depend upon some uniquely derived features, has strong and long roots in the evolutionary history shared with other primates.

Keywords:   social norms, conformity, evolution, primate, human

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