Swallow Hall, a 19th Century Gothic Building,
home of the Department of Anthropology

Beyond Kith and Kin: Culture, Norms and Human Cooperation

Monday, September 18, 2017 - 12:00pm

Rob Boyd a longtime SFI External Professor—as well as Origins Professor at Arizona State University's School of Human Evolution and Social Change will presenting a talk on how Humans are a highly cooperative species. People in the simplest foraging societies depend on specialization and exchange and cooperate to produce essential public goods. There are many other highly cooperative species, but in every case cooperation in these species is based on kinship. Humans are different because we cooperate with unrelated individuals, sometimes in large groups. Many evolutionary thinkers believe that human cooperation is based on reciprocity. In this talk I will argue that reciprocity cannot explain human cooperation. Instead, human cooperation is regulated by culturally transmitted moral norms, and that rapid cultural adaptation is necessary for the evolution of such norms.

His talk will be in Memorial Union S110, Monday, September 18th starting at Noon.