The Limits Of Culture? Society, Evolutionary Psychology And The History Of Violence

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Abstract:

Recent debates about the meaning and role of cultural history have focused on the relationship between 'culture' and 'society'. Some have taken this opportunity to position cultural history as a site of resistance to 'biological' explanations of human behaviour. In contrast, this article argues that 'biological' methodologies – particularly the perspectives of evolutionary psychology – can usefully contribute to the historical understanding of culture and social development. To this end, it outlines the fundamentals of Darwinist psychology, suggests options for interdisciplinary cooperation and uses the topic of interpersonal violence to explore the potential for uniting cultural, social and evolutionary psychological methodologies.

Keywords: BIOLOGY; CULTURE; EVOLUTION; PSYCHOLOGY; VIOLENCE

Document Type: Short Communication

Affiliations: The Open University, Milton Keynes

Publication date: January 1, 2007

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