Semester II: Thursdays at 2pm in Room 241
List of topics for the 1998/99 academic year
4th February 1999 Introduction
11th February 1999 Altruism,
Darwinism and sociobiology
18th February 1999 Sociobiological
principles continued: intersexual and parent-offspring relations
25th February 1999 The
phylogenetic background: social behaviour of primates in general and
the great apes in particular
4th March 1999 The
ecological background: social behaviour of some non-primates with ecologies
resembling humans (eusocial insects, social carnivores, cetaceans)
11th March 1999 Animal
cultures and cultural evolution
18th March 1999 Early
hominids and humans
29th April 1999 Behaviour
of modern hunter-gatherers
6th May 1999 The
sociobiology of modern humans, I: Aggression and altruism
13th May 1999 The
sociobiology of modern humans, II: Sex and parenting
20th May 1999 no meeting
27th May 1999 Revision seminar
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The following books will be used repeatedly during the course, and are
referred to in the reading lists simply by the author or authors' name(s):
Almost all these books are available in reasonably cheap paperbacks, but
all will be found either on the Temporary Reserve Collection or in the
Barash, D. P. (1982). Sociobiology and Behaviour
(2nd edition). Heinemann. (Out of print, but there are copies in libraries,
and you may find one second-hand).
Barkow, J. H., Cosmides, L., & Tooby, J.
(Eds.), (1992). The adapted mind. OUP
Byrne, R. (1995). The Thinking Ape. Blackwell.
Corballis, M., & Lea, S. E. G. (Eds) (1999).
descent of mind. OUP
Crawford, C., Smith, M. & Krebs, D. (Eds.) (1987).
and Psychology. Erlbaum.
Lewin, R. (1993). Human Evolution, 3rd edition.
Lumsden, C. J. & Wilson, E. O. (1983). Promethean
Smuts, B. B., Cheney, D. L., Seyfarth, R. M., Wrangham,
R. W., & Struhsaker, T. T. (Eds.) (1987), Primate Societies.
University of Chicago Press.
Wilson, E.O. (1975). Sociobiology. Harvard/Belknap.
(referred to as "SB"). Note that chapter and page numbers given in these
lists are for the full edition: the material referred to should also be
in the abridged edition, but you may need to look carefully to find where
Wilson, E.O. (1978). On Human Nature. Harvard.
(referred to as "OHN")
Many of the reading lists refer to papers in the journal Animal Behaviour.
This is available in the library, and in consequence you can also access
the full text of recent articles from it over the world wide web, by using
the Ingenta Journals service available through the BIDS gateway at http://www.bids.ac.uk
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For your assessed essay, you may attempt any of the following questions:
You may use a subtitle of your own choice to restrict any of these questions
to a more specific subject. Questions concentrating on these topics in
details will not be set in the examination, and candidates are warned against
reusing in the exam extensive detailed material that has formed part of
an assessed essay. Exam questions of a broader or more general nature may
cover topics that would include those you had written about in an essay,
and in these cases you are advised to refer the examiners to your essay
for details rather than repeating the same material.
The evidence for kin and reciprocal altruism in humans and other animals.
The biology of play.
The behaviour of bonobos.
The behaviour and mental life of cetaceans.
Anthropological and sociobiological accounts of cultural evolution.
Carnivores considered as social animals.
The mental life of hominids earlier than Homo sapiens sapiens.
The ethnography and sociobiology of modern humans
For your assessment, write an essay discussing the strengths and weaknesses
of the research methods available for studying one of the following:
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Behaviour and cognition in cetaceans
Cultural evolution (human and animal)
Hominids earlier than Homo sapiens sapiens
The behaviour of modern hunter gatherers
Evolutionary theories of modern human sexual behaviour
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