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In 1987, the University of Chicago Press published Primate Societies, the standard reference in the field of primate behavior for an entire generation of students and scientists. But in the twenty-five years since its publication, new theories and research techniques for studying the Primate order have been developed, debated, and tested, forcing scientists to revise their understanding of our closest living relatives. Intended as a sequel to Primate Societies, The Evolution of Primate Societies compiles thirty-one chapters that review the current state of knowledge regarding the behavior of nonhuman primates. Chapters are written by the leading authorities in the field and organized around four major adaptive problems primates face as they strive to grow, maintain themselves, and reproduce in the wild. The inclusion of chapters on the behavior of humans at the end of each major section represents one particularly novel aspect of the book, and it will remind readers what we can learn about ourselves through research on nonhuman primates. The final section highlights some of the innovative and cutting-edge research designed to reveal the similarities and differences between nonhuman and human primate cognition. The Evolution of Primate Societies will be every bit the landmark publication its predecessor has been.
In 1987, the University of Chicago Press published Primate Societies, the standard reference in the field of primate behavior for an entire generation of students and scientists. But in the twenty-five years since its publication, new theories and research techniques for studying the Primate order have been developed, debated, and tested, forcing scientists to revise their understanding of our closest living relatives. Intended as a sequel to Primate Societies, The Evolution of Primate Societies compiles thirty-one chapters that review the current state of knowledge regarding the behavior of nonhuman primates. Chapters are written by the leading authorities in the field and organized around four major adaptive problems primates face as they strive to grow, maintain themselves, and reproduce in the wild. The inclusion of chapters on the behavior of humans at the end of each major section represents one particularly novel aspect of the book, and it will remind readers what we can learn about ourselves through research on nonhuman primates. The final section highlights some of the innovative and cutting-edge research designed to reveal the similarities and differences between nonhuman and human primate cognition. The Evolution of Primate Societies will be every bit the landmark publication its predecessor has been.
Primate Societies is a synthesis of the most current information on primate socioecology and its theoretical and empirical significance, spanning the disciplines of behavioral biology, ecology, anthropology, and psychology. It is a very rich source of ideas about other taxa. "A superb synthesis of knowledge about the social lives of non-human primates."—Alan Dixson, Nature
Primate Adaptation and Evolution, Third Edition, is a thorough revision of the text of choice for courses in primate evolution. The book retains its grounding in the extant primate groups as the best way to understand the fossil trail and the evolution of these modern forms. However, this coverage is now streamlined, making reference to the many new and excellent books on living primate ecology and adaptation - a field that has burgeoned since the first edition of Primate Adaptation and Evolution. By drawing out the key features of the extant families and referring to more detailed texts, the author sets the scene and also creates space for a thorough updating of the exciting developments in primate palaeontology - and the reconstruction through early hominid species - of our own human origins. This updated version covers recent developments in primate paleontology and the latest taxonomy, and includes over 200 new illustrations and revised evolutionary trees. This text is ideal for undergraduate and post-graduate students studying the evolution and functional ecology of primates and early fossil hominids. Long-awaited revision of the standard student text on primate evolution Full coverage of newly discovered fossils and the latest taxonomy Over 200 new illustrations and revised evolutionary trees
The authors assert that traditional sociological theories of human nature and society do not pay sufficient attention to the evolution of "big-brained hominoids," resulting in assumptions about humans' propensity for "groupness" that go against the record of primate evolution. When this record is analyzed in detail, and is supplemented by a review of the social structures of contemporary apes and the basic types of human societies (hunter-gathering, horticultural, agrarian, and industrial), commonplace criticisms about the de-humanizing effects of industrial society appear overdrawn, if not downright incorrect. The book concludes that the mistakes in contemporary social theory - as well as much of general social commentary - stem from a failure to analyze humans as "big-brained" apes with certain phylogenetic tendencies. This failure is usually coupled with a willingness to romanticize societies of the past, notably horticultural and agrarian systems
Are humans by nature hierarchical or egalitarian? Hierarchy in the Forest addresses this question by examining the evolutionary origins of social and political behavior. Christopher Boehm, an anthropologist whose fieldwork has focused on the political arrangements of human and nonhuman primate groups, postulates that egalitarianism is in effect a hierarchy in which the weak combine forces to dominate the strong. The political flexibility of our species is formidable: we can be quite egalitarian, we can be quite despotic. Hierarchy in the Forest traces the roots of these contradictory traits in chimpanzee, bonobo, gorilla, and early human societies. Boehm looks at the loose group structures of hunter-gatherers, then at tribal segmentation, and finally at present-day governments to see how these conflicting tendencies are reflected. Hierarchy in the Forest claims new territory for biological anthropology and evolutionary biology by extending the domain of these sciences into a crucial aspect of human political and social behavior. This book will be a key document in the study of the evolutionary basis of genuine altruism. Table of Contents: The Question of Egalitarian Society Hierarchy and Equality Putting Down Aggressors Equality and Its Causes A Wider View of Egalitarianism The Hominoid Political Spectrum Ancestral Politics The Evolution of Egalitarian Society Paleolithic Politics and Natural Selection Ambivalence and Compromise in Human Nature References Index Reviews of this book: This well-written book, geared toward an audience with background in the behavioral and evolutionary sciences but accessible to a broad readership, raises two general questions: 'What is an egalitarian society?' and 'How have these societies evolved?'...[Christopher Boehm] takes the reader on a journey from the Arctic to the Americas, from Australia to Africa, in search of hunter-gatherer and tribal societies that emanate the egalitarian ethos--one that promotes generosity, altruism and sharing but forbids upstartism, aggression and egoism. Throughout this journey, Boehm tantalizes the reader with vivid anthropological accounts of ridicule, criticism, ostracism and even execution--prevalent tactics used by subordinates in egalitarian societies to level the social playing field...Hierarchy in the Forest is an interesting and thought-provoking book that is surely an important contribution to perspectives on human sociality and politics. --Ryan Earley, American Scientist Reviews of this book: Combing an exhaustive ethnographic survey of human societies from groups of hunter-gatherers to contemporary residents of the Balkans with a detailed analysis of the behavioral attributes of non-human primates (chimpanzees, gorillas, bonobos), Boehm focuses on whether humans are hierarchical or egalitarian by nature...[Boehm's hypotheses] are invariably intriguing and well documented...He raises topics of wide interest and his book should get attention. --Publishers Weekly Boehm has been the first to look at egalitarianism with a cold, unromantic eye. He sees it as a victory over hierarchical tendencies, which are equally marked in our species. I would predict that his insightful examination will reverberate within anthropology and the social sciences as well as among biologists interested in the evolution of social systems. --Frans de Waal, Emory University Hierarchy in the Forest is an original and stimulating contribution to thinking about the origins of egalitarianism. I personally find Boehm's ideas convincing, but whether one agrees with him or not, he has formulated his hypotheses in such a way that this book is likely to set the terms of the discussion for the forseeable future. --Barbara Smuts, University of Michigan The most unique and interesting feature of this clear, well written book is the way Boehm links the study of nonhuman primates (particularly chimpanzees) to traditional concepts of political anthropology. As a political scientist, I was intrigued by Boehm's suggestion that democracy, both ancient and modern, could be understood as the expression of the same natural dispositions that support the egalitarianism of nomadic bands and sedentary tribes. I expect that many scholars in biology, anthropology, and the social sciences would learn from this stimulating book. Even those who disagree with Boehm's arguments are likely to be provoked in instructive ways. --Larry Arnhart, Northern Illinois University Chris Boehm boldly and cogently attacks a whole orthodoxy in anthropology which sees hunter-gatherer 'egalitarianism' as somehow the basic form of human society. No praise can be too high for Boehm's brilliant and courageous book. --Robin Fox, Rutgers University