How institutions shaped the last major evolutionary transition to large-scale human societies.

Détails

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Etat: Serval
Version: Author's accepted manuscript
ID Serval
serval:BIB_F7F0DB02A809
Type
Article: article d'un périodique ou d'un magazine.
Collection
Publications
Titre
How institutions shaped the last major evolutionary transition to large-scale human societies.
Périodique
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences
Auteur(s)
Powers S.T., van Schaik C.P., Lehmann L.
ISSN
1471-2970 (Electronic)
ISSN-L
0962-8436
Statut éditorial
Publié
Date de publication
2016
Peer-reviewed
Oui
Volume
371
Numéro
1687
Pages
20150098
Langue
anglais
Notes
Publication types: Journal Article
Publication Status: ppublish
Résumé
What drove the transition from small-scale human societies centred on kinship and personal exchange, to large-scale societies comprising cooperation and division of labour among untold numbers of unrelated individuals? We propose that the unique human capacity to negotiate institutional rules that coordinate social actions was a key driver of this transition. By creating institutions, humans have been able to move from the default 'Hobbesian' rules of the 'game of life', determined by physical/environmental constraints, into self-created rules of social organization where cooperation can be individually advantageous even in large groups of unrelated individuals. Examples include rules of food sharing in hunter-gatherers, rules for the usage of irrigation systems in agriculturalists, property rights and systems for sharing reputation between mediaeval traders. Successful institutions create rules of interaction that are self-enforcing, providing direct benefits both to individuals that follow them, and to individuals that sanction rule breakers. Forming institutions requires shared intentionality, language and other cognitive abilities largely absent in other primates. We explain how cooperative breeding likely selected for these abilities early in the Homo lineage. This allowed anatomically modern humans to create institutions that transformed the self-reliance of our primate ancestors into the division of labour of large-scale human social organization.
Mots-clé
Agriculture, Animals, Biological Evolution, Breeding, Cognition, Cooperative Behavior, Cultural Evolution, Female, Game Theory, Humans, Language, Male, Primates, Prisoner Dilemma, Social Behavior, Social Environment
Pubmed
Web of science
Open Access
Oui
Création de la notice
26/10/2015 10:04
Dernière modification de la notice
09/05/2019 3:40
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