Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Darwin's Unfinished Symphony$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Kevin N. Laland

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780691182810

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691182810.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 25 May 2022

Foundations of Cooperation

Foundations of Cooperation

(p.264) Chapter 11 Foundations of Cooperation
Darwin's Unfinished Symphony

Kevin N. Laland

Princeton University Press

This chapter reveals that there is strong evidence that the large-scale cooperation observed solely in human societies arises because of our uniquely potent capacities for social learning, imitation, and teaching, combined with the coevolutionary feedbacks that these capabilities have generated on the human mind. Culture took human populations down evolutionary pathways not available to noncultural species, either by creating conditions that promoted established cooperative mechanisms, such as indirect reciprocity and mutualism; or by generating novel cooperative mechanisms not seen in other taxa, such as cultural group selection. In the process, gene–culture coevolution seemingly generated an evolved psychology, comprising an enhanced ability and motivation to learn, teach, communicate through language, imitate, and emulate, as well as predispositions to docility, social tolerance, and the sharing of goals, intentions, and attention. The chapter concludes that this evolved psychology is entirely different from that observed in any other animal, or that could have evolved through genes alone.

Keywords:   cooperation, human society, large-scale cooperation, culture, cooperative mechanisms, gene–culture coevolution, evolved psychology

Princeton Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.