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date: 22 January 2019

Abstract and Keywords

What has gone wrong with humanity that it is the only species that is destroying its habitat and justifying it as good or inevitable? The quality of a child’s early nest, including experience with mother and others, co-construct the nature of the child, shaping a highly intertwined biology and sociality. The species-typical nest that humans inherited for their young facilitates the development of a self that is relationally attuned and communal and receptively intelligent. Neurobiological studies today support the general insight from psychoanalytic theory that early experiences with caregivers initialize the formation of the self. But civilization typically does not provide the evolved nest, promoting a species-atypical pathway for social and moral development, one of self-focused protectionism. Cultures that adults build and perpetuate are founded on the human dispositions brought about by early experience.

Keywords: evolution, evolved nest, evolved nest, small-band hunter-gatherer, moral sense, self, neurobiology, social schemas, toxic stress, chronic stress

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