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Journal Article

On social tolerance and the evolution of human normative guidance


Gonzales-Cabrera,  Ivan       
Department of Developmental and Comparative Psychology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

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Gonzales-Cabrera, I. (2017). On social tolerance and the evolution of human normative guidance. The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 70(2), 523-549. doi:10.1093/bjps/axx017.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0005-628D-E
Discussions about the evolution of human social cognition usually portray the social environment of early hominins as highly hierarchical and violent. In this evolutionary narrative, our propensity for violence was overcome in our lineage by an increase in our intellectual capacities. However, I will argue in this article that we are at least equally justified in believing that our early hominin ancestors were less aggressive and hierarchical than is suggested in these models. This view is consistent with the available comparative and palaeoanthropological evidence. I will show that this alternative model not only does not support long-held views of human origins, but also has important consequences for debates about the evolution of our capacity for normative guidance. 1Introduction2Philosophical Motivation3The Puzzle of Hominin Evolution4The Mosaic Hypothesis5Evidence for the Model6Palaeoanthropological Support7Philosophical Consequences