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date: 09 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Genuinely evolutionary explanations of human social behavior are only dimly grasped by most social scientists. However, with increasing frequency, such approaches are yielding remarkable insights. In view of these considerations, this chapter isolates and briefly reviews the core principles of the evolutionary behavioral sciences. Specifically, attention focuses on the theory of kin selection, the maximization principle, the theory of reciprocity, and the theory of relative parental investment. These theoretical tools have been demonstrated to be extraordinarily productive in explaining various aspects of animal, including human, social behavior. Still, many social scientists continue to misconstrue or misrepresent the basics of evolutionary behavioral science. The chapter addresses some of the more common misunderstandings and, in the process, emphasizes the manner in which the social sciences may benefit from developing more explicit logical linkages with the fundamental principles of evolutionary biology.

Keywords: kin selection, reciprocity, relative parental investment, group selection, multilevel selection, determinism, essentialism, reductionism

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