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Primate behavior and human universals: exploring the gap


Kappeler, Peter M; Silk, Joan S; Burkart, Judith M; van Schaik, Carel P (2010). Primate behavior and human universals: exploring the gap. In: Kappeler, P M; Silk, J B. Mind the gap: tracing the origins of human universals. Berlin, DE: Springer, 3-15.

Abstract

What makes us human? This question has occupied people for millennia. A conclusive answer continues to elude us as we learn more about ourselves and other animals. A series of important discoveries over the last 50 years have led us to largely abandon the search for single traits that are unique to humans. We now know that tool use, language-like communication, lethal intergroup aggression, and an ability to anticipate future events can also be found in other species. However, humans are still quite different from other animals. So, the principal question has become: ‘What is the nature and the width of the gap that separates humans from primates and other animals?’ This edited volume features a collection of essays by primatologists, anthropologists, biologists, and psychologists who offer some partial answers to this question. In this introductory chapter, we briefly outline the background of this fundamental question about human universals and explain our emphasis on behavioral traits.

Abstract

What makes us human? This question has occupied people for millennia. A conclusive answer continues to elude us as we learn more about ourselves and other animals. A series of important discoveries over the last 50 years have led us to largely abandon the search for single traits that are unique to humans. We now know that tool use, language-like communication, lethal intergroup aggression, and an ability to anticipate future events can also be found in other species. However, humans are still quite different from other animals. So, the principal question has become: ‘What is the nature and the width of the gap that separates humans from primates and other animals?’ This edited volume features a collection of essays by primatologists, anthropologists, biologists, and psychologists who offer some partial answers to this question. In this introductory chapter, we briefly outline the background of this fundamental question about human universals and explain our emphasis on behavioral traits.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Anthropology
Dewey Decimal Classification:300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
Social Sciences & Humanities > General Psychology
Language:English
Date:2010
Deposited On:20 Mar 2010 16:49
Last Modified:23 Jan 2022 15:48
Publisher:Springer
ISBN:978-3-642-02724-6 (P) 978-3-642-02725-3 (E)
Additional Information:Der Name der Autorin des Kapitels lautet: Joan B. Silk und nicht wie fälschlicherweise wiedergegeben Joan S. Silk.
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-02725-3_1

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