Book review of _The Egalitarians -- Human and Chimpanzee_ by Margaret Power

Moore, Jim (1992) Book review of _The Egalitarians -- Human and Chimpanzee_ by Margaret Power. [Journal (Paginated)]

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This book combines some very interesting ideas with stunningly poor scholarship to create a potentially missleading book. Because the basic thesis -- that episodic extreme aggression seen among chimpanzees at Gombe and Mahale has been artificially induced by provisioning -- has been widely considered and parallels other criticisms of nonhuman primate data (e.g. debates over the 'naturalness' of langur infanticide), there is a risk people unfamiliar with the chimpanzee data will accept her conclusions uncritically. At the same time, her attempt to integrate developmental psychology with socioecology in humans and apes is interesting and it'd be a shame to dismiss that approach simply because of the poor application. Secondarily, the book should be of interest to historians of science because it maps so clearly onto the tradition of contrasting Rousseauian and Hobbesian views of (human) nature.

Item Type:Journal (Paginated)
Keywords:chimpanzee, aggression, territoriality, violence, Gombe, Mahale, provisioning, hunter-gatherer, frustration, dominance, human nature, history of science
Subjects:Biology > Animal Behavior
Biology > Ethology
Biology > Primatology
Biology > Sociobiology
Psychology > Evolutionary Psychology
Philosophy > Philosophy of Science
ID Code:738
Deposited By: Moore, Jim
Deposited On:06 Sep 1998
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:54


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