Warfare, Ethics, Ethology



The aim of this article is to set a macro-historical narrative concerning the emergence of warfare and social ethics as symplesiomorphic features in the lineage of Homo sapiens. This means that these two behavioral aspects, representative of a very selected branch in the phylogenetic tree of the Primate order, are shared by the two lineages of great African apes that diverged from a common ancestor around six million years in the past, leading to extant humans and chimpanzees. Therefore, this article proposes an ethological understanding of warfare and social ethics, as both are innate to the social high-specialized modular mind present in the species of genera Pan and Homo. However behavioral restraints to intersocietal coalitionary violence seems to be an exclusive aspect of the transdominial modular cognition that characterizes modern humans. Thus, if in the evolutionary long durée, warfare and restrictions to intrasocial violence both appear to be ethologically common to humans and chimpanzees to a certain extent, an ethics of warfare - and, of course, the cognitive capability for intersocietal peace - seems to be distinctly human.




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