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Demonic Males: Apes and the Origins of Human…
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Demonic Males: Apes and the Origins of Human Violence (edició 1997)

de Dale Peterson (Autor), Richard Wrangham (Autor)

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299266,908 (3.85)1
Whatever their virtues, men are more violent than women. Why do men kill, rape, and wage war, and what can we do about it? Drawing on the latest discoveries about human evolution and about our closest living relatives, the great apes, Demonic Males offers startling new answers to these questions. Dramatic, vivid, and sometimes shocking, but firmly grounded in meticulous scientific research, Demonic Males will stir controversy and debate. It will be required reading for anyone concerned about the spiral of violence undermining human society.… (més)
Membre:onymous
Títol:Demonic Males: Apes and the Origins of Human Violence
Autors:Dale Peterson (Autor)
Altres autors:Richard Wrangham (Autor)
Informació:Mariner Books (1997), Edition: 10/15/97, 350 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca, Per llegir
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Demonic Males: Apes and the Origins of Human Violence de Dale Peterson

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Interesting and convincing proposal regarding why men are violent. I had not really thought about this before. I suppose I thought that men's violent inclinations and drive to dominate and succeeed, derived from their need to hunt for food in times past. Instead the author's, Wrangham and Peterson argue that it's an aspect of our evolutionary journey which has some similarities with our closest genetic relatives: chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans. Interestingly, the last member of this group, the less famous bonobos, are the least violent because the females are dominant over males.

Wrangham and Peterson show how and explain why each group is violent and compares them with other expressions of violence such as in hyena's where the females are the most violent. I should mention that they are not discussing the violence involved in hunting and killing to stay alive. They provide evidence of attacks by gangs of chimpanzees on lone chimpanzees of another group (which usually leads the victim's death), and what is often called domestic violence, such as rape, infants being killed by adult males and males beating up females.

This was surprising and disturbing. What is not surprising is that though the blurb suggests that the authors' have the solution to men's violent nature, their solution is a little weak. I agree that wisdom is necessary for men to emerge from what might be referred to as their violent phase of evolution, I don't believe that men will ever do so, which is what they imply themselves.

The authors discuss the issues clearly and the book is fairly easy to read even though it does go quite deep and is almost presented in the form of a thesis (with lots of endnotes). The subject matter is such that I can't say I enjoyed the book but it is well written and has made me think about the issue of violence from a different perspective. It was definitely worth reading and I recommend it to anyone interested in (a) evolution, (b) the cause of violence and (c) working towards solutions in reducing the amount of violence in our society. ( )
  philiphk | Oct 13, 2011 |
The heroes of this fascinating account of primate behavior and evolution are bonobos, members of a species closely related to both humans and chimpanzees, but distinguished by their comparatively nonviolent and relatively egalitarian social structure. Wrangham and Peterson look to studies of bonobo social organization and behavior for insight into social mechanisms to control human violence. The book is in part a popularization of Wrangham's extensive research in primate behavior and reflects a progression from his early generalizations (in his 1975 dissertation) from behavior of male chimpanzees toward a more female centered account of primate social organization. It is also in part a condensation of the massive research in primate evolution and behavior that has accumulated rapidly in the last thirty to forty years (and includes important critical discussions of Margaret Mead's classic work on Samoa and Herman Melville's Typee). The influence of sociobiology is evident at every step in the argument, so readers can expect to become acquainted with its characteristic response to the so-called “nature-nurture” controversy (which the authors dub “Galton's error”). The book is an accessible, gripping, sometimes surprising account of the depth and extent of violent behavior among primates as well as a provocative discussion of its origins and possible remedies. Extensive bibliography and notes make it an excellent guide for readers interested generally in primate evolution and behavior as well as those with a more specific interest in origins of human violence.
  stevenschroeder | Jul 31, 2006 |
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Dale Petersonautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Wrangham, Richardautor principaltotes les edicionsconfirmat
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Wikipedia en anglès (2)

Whatever their virtues, men are more violent than women. Why do men kill, rape, and wage war, and what can we do about it? Drawing on the latest discoveries about human evolution and about our closest living relatives, the great apes, Demonic Males offers startling new answers to these questions. Dramatic, vivid, and sometimes shocking, but firmly grounded in meticulous scientific research, Demonic Males will stir controversy and debate. It will be required reading for anyone concerned about the spiral of violence undermining human society.

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