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# The biological and the social in human evolution

Graves, Paul Martin (1990) The biological and the social in human evolution. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

## Abstract

The thesis aims to produce a synthesis of theoretical approaches to human evolution. I examine a multi-level model of evolution in which there is a reciprocal implication between organism and environment. Thus, social and ecological contextuality is essentially mutualistic. Ecological and social constructivist psychology suggests that human intellect and culture are the product of such a mutualistic process. Intellect has evolved for the primary purpose of dealing with social situations. These theoretical concepts are used to examine a number of substantive issues. There is an enduring tendency to treat comparison between humans and other organisms in dualistic terms. This metaphysical, and hence teleological, thinking has biased explanations of the origin of bipedalism, and of the nature of the earliest hominids. Patterns of hominid colonization are examined from a biogeographical and social perspective. Hominid dispersal is a function of changes in hominid anatomy and social structure. Through time, hominid subsistence has been transformed by mechanisms of sharing and division of labour, such that occupation of seasonal environments has been facilitated by essentially social, as opposed to technological, strategies. These social strategies have transformed gender relations from social/reproductive to socio-economic. Gender differences in subsistence strategy are the basis of an evolving pattern in which no one form of relationship, such as monogamy, has been ubiquitous. Finally, it is argued that issues such as the Neanderthal problem' should be approached through analysis of the behavioural aspects of speciation. The concept of Specific Mate Recognition Systems permits an examination of alternative social and biological models of replacement or integration of moderns' with indigenous Eurasian populations.

Published date: 1990

## Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 461882
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/461882
PURE UUID: 6bd9fdc2-e01c-45b6-878c-b2e902ccd1c2

## Catalogue record

Date deposited: 04 Jul 2022 18:57

## Contributors

Author: Paul Martin Graves