[extropy-chat] Space colony behind the moon?
hkhenson at rogers.com
Thu Oct 19 22:17:56 UTC 2006
I seem to have copies of the Azar Gat papers in .pdf if anyone wants them
by email. Part II is just as good.
Part II: Proximate, Subordinate, and Derivative Causes
The interconnected competition over resources and reproduction, surveyed in
Part I of this study, is the root cause of conflict and fighting in humans
as in all other animal species. Other causes and expressions of fighting in
nature, and the motivational and emotional mechanisms associated with them,
are derivative of, and subordinate to, these primary causes, and originally
evolved this way in humans as well. This, of course, does not make them any
less 'real' but only explains their function in the evolution-shaped
motivational complex, and, thus, how they came to be. It is to these
'second floor' causes and motivational mechanisms, directly linked to the
first, that we now turn.
Dominance: rank, power, status, prestige
Among social mammals and primates, higher rank in the group gives improved
share in communal resources, such as hunting spoils, and better access to
females. In some species, such as baboons and wolves, rank differences are
sharp, with the so-called 'alpha' males (and sometimes also females)
reaping most of the advantages, relative to the other group members. Even
in those social species, like the chimpanzees, where group relations are
more egalitarian, 'leadership' positions confer considerable somatic and
reproductive advantages. For this reason, rank in the group is hotly
contested among social mammals and social primates. Status rivalry is acute
and never-ending. It is the strong, fierce, and - among our sophisticated
cousins, the chimpanzees - also the 'politically' astute, that win status
by the actual and implied use of force (Goodall 1986; de Waal 1996).
Rivalry for rank and domination in nature is, then, a proximate means in
the competition for resources and reproduction.
Closer to the chimpanzees' pattern, human groups in the 'state of nature' . . .
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