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Yet, any detailed investigation finds those war patterns are infOlmed and acted out according to understandings, symbols, and values that are particular to one local culture. How can we understand this in theory? My approach to that question goes under the label of moral conversion-practical interests are converted into moral claims to persuade others and to jllstify oneself. As a conflict situation builds, and different courses of actions are weighed, people who patticipate in the decisions will convert their own perceived self-interest into the highest applicable moral standards, whether that is preserving democracy or avenging witchcraft.

No one would tell others, "risk your life because it is good for me. People try to minimize cognitive dissonance, and I think it is common. As I say, this is an oversimplification, but that is the gist of my approach. To understand war, then, one must focus on the decision makers.

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That directs allention to the sociopolitical structure of a society. What different kinds of people, groups, and institutions contribute in what ways to decisions, and what are their interests in a given situation? Those interests are as much, sometimes more, about the decision makers' position than concerned with the relationships between the groups in conflict.

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How will one course of action or another, whether toward war 0 ' toward peace, affect leaders' standing among their own? Ferguson In relatively egalitarian societies, every man decides for himself on war. Yet, even there, there are often recognizable leaders, headmen, inconspicuous except in war, able to persuade and cajole but not able to give anyone orders. Even at that level, by virtue of their position, these elementary leaders have somewhat distinctive interests in any conOict situation and greater influence than others.

One of the most common consequences of war is an intensification of control by those in leadership positions. War leaders' positions get elevated in wartime. Often, leaders favor war, because war favors leaders. Among the relatively egalitarian Yanomami, fine-grained study reveals their Machiavellian maneuvering Ferguson, With chief- doms around the world, probably the most common explanation for their incessant warfare is "chiefly ambitions.

In the archaeological record, one of the preconditions contributing to war is the devel- opment of hierarchy. The self-interest of leaders in contemporary world conflicts is plainly evident for anyone who cares to look. This is hardly a new idea. What rarely is recognized, however obvious, is that this may be the central explanatory principle of war.

Ask people why we have wars, and many will reply, just like that, that it is in human nature. Very few will say that it is because of the self-interest of leaders, although they will say "of course" if asked about that directly. When reporters contact me, they want to hear about human nature, not the machinations of decisions makers. But that is where we should be looking. That is where we should direct the public's attention.

For me, this is the biggest problem with biological "explanations" of war. They lay down a smoke screen, closing out an alternative explanation which is much better grounded in theory and evidence, that encourages citizens to foreground the question they really need to ask. When leaders call for war, what is in it for them? References Albert, B.

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Yanomami "violence": Inclusive fitness or ethnographer's representation? Archer, J. Sex differences in aggression between heterosexual partners: A meta-analytic review. Psychological Bulletill, , New York: Atheneum. Bernal, V. From walTiors to wives: Contradictions of liberation and development in Eritrea. Northeast African Studies, 8, Boas, F. An anthropologist's view of war. Brewer, M. New YorK: Wiley. New York: Oxford University Press. Cashdan, E. Territoriality among human foragers: Ecological models and an application to four bushman groups.

Current AlIfhropology, 21 1 , Yallomamo: The fierce people. New York: Holt, Rinehart Winston. Chagnon, N. Life histories, blood revenge, and warfare in a tribal population. Science, , Reproductive and somatic conOicts of interest in the genesis of violence and warfare among tribesmen. Haas Ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Chapais, B. Prilnatc nepotism: What is the explanatory value of kin selection? International Journal of Primatology. Collier, P. Greed and grievance in civil war.

Olford Economic Papers. Condry, J. Sex differences: A study in the eye of the beholder. Child Del'elopment, 47, Daly, M. New York: AIdine de Gruyter. New York: Warner Books. Human territoriality: An ecological reassessment. American Anthropologist, 80, Eagly, A. The origins of sex differences in human behavior: Evolved dispositions versus social roles. Tavris Ed. Cambridge: f-. Boulder, CO: Westview Press. New York: Viking. Athens: Ohio University. Ferguson, N. New York: The Penguin Press.

Introduction: Studying war. In RB. Ferguson Ed. Orlando, FL: Academic. Ferguson, R. Do Yanomamo killers havc more kids? American Ethnologist, 16, Ecological consequences of Amazonian warfare. Ethnology, 28, Ferguson, RB. Explaining war. A paradigm for the study of war and society.

Rosenstein Eds. Materialist, cultural and biological theories on why Yanomami make war, Anthropological Theory, 1, Violent conlliet and the control of the state. New York: Routledge. Stout Eds. Archaeology, cultural anthropology, and origins and intensifications of war. Allen Eds. Ferguson Ferguson, RB. Ten points on war.

Waterston Ed. New York: Beghahn Books. War ill the tribal zone: Ewanding states and indigenous wmiare. Fried, M. On human aggression. Otten Ed. Fry, D. New York: Columbia University Press. Ghiglicri, M. Ghiglieri, M. The dark side of man: Tracing the origins ofmale dolence. Reading, MA: Perseus Books. Goldstein, 1.

New York: Cambridge University Press. Goodall, J. The behaviour of free-living chimpanzees in the Gombe Stream Reserve. Animal Behaviour Monographs. The chimpanzees of GOlllbe: Pal1erns of behavior. Gros-Louis, J. Violent coalitionary attacks and intraspe- cific killing in wild white-faced capuchin monkeys Cebus capucinus. Primates, 44, Grossman, D. New York: Little, Brown and Company. Haas, J. The origins of war and ethnic violence. Harding Eds. Phoenix Mill: Sutton Publishing Ltd. Hoebel, B. The Cheyennes: Indians ofthe great plains, 2nd ed.

New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston. Ingold, T. Jolly, C,J. TIle seed eaters: A new model of Hominid dinerentiation based on a baboon analogy. Mall, 5, Jones, D. Washington, DC: Brassey's. Keeley, L. H, Kelly, R. Human nature, ethnic violence, and war.

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In 1' Knauft, B. Oceania, 60, Layton, R. Political and territorial structures among hunter-gatherers. Man, 21, LeBlanc, S. New York: St. Martin's Press. Lizot, J. Sabre la guerra: Una respuesta a N. Chagnon Science La Iglesia ell Amazonas, 44 April , Lovejoy, CO. Reexamining human origins in light of Ardipithecus ramidus. Science, , 74,74cl Marks, 1. Meggitt, M. Mesquida, e. Male age composition and severity of conflicts. Politics and Life sciences, 18, Tenitorialily: The relationship of ranging pattern and home range size to defendability, with an analysis of territoriality in primates.

Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 5, Montagu, A. The new litany of "innate depravity," or original sin revisited.


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  4. Moore, J,H. The reproductive success of Cheyenne war chiefs: A contrary case to Chagnon's Yanomamo. Group extinction and female transfer in wild chimpanzees in the lvlahale National Park, Tanzania. Otterbein, K. The anthropology of war. Honigmann Ed. Handbook of social and cultural anthropology pp. HolV war began. Pierson, D. Natural killers-turning the tide of battle. MilUm ' Review May--June. Power, M. Reynolds, V. London: Croom Helm.

    Sahlins, M. TIle segmentary lineage: An organization of predatory expansion. American Anthropologist, 63, Sapolsky, R. The trouble with testosterone. New York: Scribner. Shaw, R. Boston, MA: Unwin Hyman. Sherwood, C. A natural history of the human mind: Tracing evolutionary changes in brain and cognition. Journal of Anatomy, , Sidorowicz, L. Baby X revisited. Sex Roles, 6, Sillitoe, P. Big men and war in New Guinea. Smith, D. New York: S1. Sugiyama, Y. Social organization of chimpanzees in the Budongo Forest.

    Primates, 9, Tafjei, H. The socia1 identity theory of intergroup behavior. Austin Eds. Psychology of intergroup relations, 2nd ed. Chicago: Nelson- Hall. Thorpe, U. Anthropology, archaeology, and the origin of warfare. Hvrld Archaeology, 35, Tinbergen, N. On war and peace in animals and man: An ethologist's approach to the hiology of aggression.

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    Vice - click here. The most commonly cited quote from the paper: "Contrary to the idea that male promiscuity is tolerated but female promiscuity is not, both sexes expressed equal reluctance to get involved with someone with an overly extensive sexual history. His contribution will focus on evolved sex differences and their possible policy implications. Watch it here. Looking forward to it! Click here to read the whole piece. September 1, - New Job! Steve invited to write a chapter on evolutionary approaches to afterlife beliefs for The Oxford Handbook of the Psychology of Religion edited by David M.

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    You can read my foreword to the book here or here. Anne Innis Dagg born , in Toronto , Ontario is a Canadian zoologist , biologist , feminist, and author of numerous books. A pioneer in the study of animal behaviour in the wild, Dagg is credited with being the first to study giraffe in the wild and to study animals in the wild in Africa. In addition to her giraffe related research, Dagg has published extensively about camels , primates and Canadian wildlife, and has raised concerns about the influence of sociobiology on how animal related research is shared with the general public.

    She has also researched and written extensively about the gender bias in academia, drawing attention to the detrimental impact anti-nepotism rules can have on the academic careers of the wives of male faculty members and sexist academic work environments that fail to support female researchers. Dagg was born on January 25, in Toronto, Ontario. As a child Dagg attended Bishop Strachan School. Following field research in Africa, Dagg began a PhD in animal behaviour at the University of Waterloo, completing her studies in Dagg's research has resulted in over 60 refereed scientific papers on such subjects as homosexuality, behavior of mammals, sociobiology, feminism, sexism at universities, and the rights of animals.

    She has also written 20 books and over articles on these topics. The remainder of her career was spent affiliated with the University of Waterloo's Integrated Studies program, later renamed Independent Studies. From to she served as the Academic Director of the program before transitioning to an academic advisor role.

    Despite demonstrated academic achievement, Dagg was denied tenure at the University of Guelph in due to concerns about her qualifications. Pointing to a strong research record, support from the student body, and the barring of women from participating on campus committees, Dagg called her treatment during the tenure review process "demoralizing" and framed the future of women in academia as "bleak" given the type of discrimination they face.

    Although best known for her research on the giraffe, Dagg has studied other animals including camels, primates and Canadian wildlife. Campbell, was published in , followed two years later by Canadian Wildlife and Man , a handbook focused on the types of wildlife people were likely to come across in suburban environments.

    Book reviewer Don Salo praised the Canadian Wildlife and Man as a strong contribution to the history of animal management policies and trends. He called Dagg's to focus only mammals and birds, rather than the entire ecosystem, "a pity" and identified the abundance of technical facts as a potential turn off for general readers. Dagg has also written about the gendered framing of animal behaviour. In she raised concerns about the impact of sociobiology in scholarly publications and reporting to the general public about the social behaviour of animals in her book Harems and other horrors: sexual bias in behavioral biology.

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    Of particular concern was what she noted as an increase in the anthropomorphizing of animal behaviour such as inaccurate, human-based, language to describe animal behaviour such as female mating behaviour being described as coy or flirtatious. Burns was disappointed that Dagg's focus on historical occurrences left out modern efforts to minimize bias, she noted the book as a "valuable historical overview of sexual bias in the of animal behaviour. In , Dagg was recognized, along with 18 other women scientists including astronomer Helen Hogg and palaeontologist Madeleine Fritz , by the Museum of Natural History as part of an exhibit dedicated to their achievements in the natural sciences.

    Award chairperson Maurita McCrystal explained Dagg was "the kind of woman who doesn't need a group around them, who sees things that need to be done and do things that on their own that sound out discrimination against women. The chair of the committee, Keith Ronald, stood by the decision to deny Dagg tenure explaining that despite being a good teacher, Dagg's research program, which at the time included 20 peer-reviewed publications, "hadn't been fully developed".

    Anne Innis Dagg Summer Research Scholarship aimed at supporting the research of undergraduate women studying zoology or biodiversity. Dagg has been referred to as "the Jane Goodall of giraffes " and is recognized as having made significant contributions to the study of giraffes. During the mids Dagg traveled alone to South Africa to study the behavior of giraffes out of captivity. Ahead of the trip Dagg changed tactics by adjusting how her letters were signed. She contacted citrus farmer Alexander Matthew, who owned land near Kruger National Park in close proximity to roaming giraffes, to ask for permission to visit and study giraffes.