Chapter

Perspective 2: Play, Plasticity, and the Perils of Conflict: “Problematizing” Sociobiology

Melvin Konner

in Evolution, Early Experience and Human Development

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199755059
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979479 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199755059.003.0026
Perspective 2: Play, Plasticity, and the Perils of Conflict: “Problematizing” Sociobiology

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Dissatisfied with the self-assured genetic-competition models of sociobiology and evolutionary psychology, authors in this volume correctly emphasize the role of plasticity—whether in the form or service of cultural evolution, gene–culture coevolution, or adaptive play—in the larger evolutionary process; the fact that most conflict is ritualized or playful; and the role of cooperation in muting competition and the possibility that natural selection can operate at the level of the family or the group. These emphases are all to the good, and certainly provide a counterweight to the emphasis on relentless competition and selection at the level of the individual or the gene, although these are not mutually exclusive possibilities.

Keywords: family conflict; rough-and-tumble play; juveniles

Chapter.  1445 words. 

Subjects: Developmental Psychology

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