By the same authors

An emotional challenge: What can we infer about capacities for social emotions in archaic humans?

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Author(s)

Department/unit(s)

Conference

ConferenceSociety for American Archaeology
CountryUnited States
CityWashington
Conference date(s)11/04/1815/04/18

Publication details

DatePublished - 14 Apr 2018
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Social emotions are central to human social lives, however whilst there has been much discussion about archaic human cognition in terms of analytical capacities, capacities in terms of social emotions are rarely discussed. A 'null hypothesis' of a lack of pro-social motivations is often assumed to be the most rational scientific perspective on how archaic humans felt towards each other. Over recent years accumulating evidence for complex social relationships in archaic humans argues against this null hypothesis however, leaving the issue of archaic human social emotions open to debate. Here we consider how to approach an understanding of capacities for social emotions in archaic species, reflecting on how social emotions are likely to have evolved and developing an evolutionary and cultural model of capacities for social emotions in archaic humans. We draw on archaeological evidence to explore what we can and can't interpret about how Neanderthals felt about each other.

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