Lecture 4: The Model in Action: Revisiting The Problem of Co-Operation

Réalisation : 21 mai 2008 Mise en ligne : 21 mai 2008
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This session is about the distinctive feedback loops that drove our evolutionary trajectory, and in particular, about the role of co-operation in human evolution. An important theme is that the defection problem, while real and important, has been both over-played and misdescribed. It has been overplayed: understanding how the threat of defection has been contained is not the only challenge to understanding co-operation. It has been misdescribed: in most environments, the defection problem is not one of identification but control. Instead of focusing on defection and its potential costs, I focus on the profit of co-operation, and how that profit came to be amplified over time. In discussing these issues, I develop a social intelligence-ecological complexity hybrid model. I argue that hominins have both created and responded to a unique foraging mode; a mode that is both social in itself and which has further effects on hominin social environments (so as in earlier sessions, a continuing theme is the impact of humans on their own selective and developmental environments). I compare this model to the currently popular idea that the foundational form of human co-operation was reproductive co-operation; in particular, a co-operative alliance between grandmothers and daughters that met the threat posed by increasingly seasonal human environments and which allowed those daughters to wean their infants early and often. I argue that reproductive co-operation was probably important, but only as an element of a more general co-operative syndrome. In contrast to some social intelligence models, on the model defended here, hominin encounters with their ecological environments continue to have profound selective effects. However, though the ecological environment selects, it does not select on its own. Accidents and their consequences; differential success and failure, result from the combination of the ecological environment an agent faces and the social features that enhance some opportunities and suppress others; that exacerbate some dangers and lessen others. Individuals do not face the ecological filters on their environment alone, but with others, and with the technology, information and misinformation that their social world provides.

Lieu de réalisation
Ecole Normale Supérieure 29, rue d'Ulm 75005 Paris
Langue :
Richard FILLON (Réalisation), Camille BONNEMAZOU (Réalisation), Federica CIOTTI (Réalisation), Peter STOCKINGER (Réalisation), FMSH-ESCoM (Production), Kim Sterelny (Intervenant)
Conditions d'utilisation
Tous droits réservés.
Citer cette ressource :
Kim Sterelny. FMSH. (2008, 21 mai). Lecture 4: The Model in Action: Revisiting The Problem of Co-Operation. [Vidéo]. Canal-U. (Consultée le 28 janvier 2023)

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