July 2015


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Chandler Davis <[log in to unmask]>
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Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 26 Jul 2015 17:42:10 -0400
TEXT/PLAIN (1671 bytes) , Lee_JACPR-04-2014-0116.pdf (189 kB)
The article by Richard Lee is attached (I hope).  It demolishes pretty
completely the recent media splash for the doctrine of "man's warlike
nature".  Looking at the evidence without the Hobbesian bias and with
reasonable care, one sees large-scale killing only after the agricultural
revolution.  So human nature permits people to live mostly peaceably in
hunter-gatherer economy.  I thought farmers were mostly peaceable too:
what in human nature makes it hard for farmers and city kids to live in
peace?  In other words--- though we may blame class society for most of
the violence in human society, human nature shouldn't be let off the
hook.  If our better natures were more vigilant they should be stopping
the kings and oligarchs from carrying out their wars.


On Mon, 20 Jul 2015, Chandler Davis wrote:

> It's a good article, Kamran.  A much fuller study and analysis by Richard Lee 
> is forthcoming, I understand; I'll send a link to the list when it is ready. 
> Richard looks at the evidence for & against two theses: that foraging 
> societies are especially violence-prone, and that pre-agricultural humanity 
> had more aggression than today's. Evidently, contemporary evidence is more 
> direct than archeological; but as contemporary foraging societies are very 
> few and not free of influence from neighbors, the evidence from them is 
> tricky in a different way: there is a trade-off.  Richard earns our gratitude 
> for conscientious examination of the mountains of evidence--- more than I 
> imagined existed.
> Chandler
> On 19/07/2015 10:59 PM, Kamran Nayeri wrote: