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date: 05 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Evolutionary theory can enrich developmental theory but not just any evolutionary theory will do. Evolutionary systems theory is a developmentally friendly evolutionary theory unlike selfish gene theory because it identifies multiple inheritances beyond genes and takes into account the complex dynamism of development. One inheritance is the species-typical evolved nest, or evolved developmental niche, a set of community provisions that evolved to match up with the maturational schedule of the child. Ethogenesis describes the development of ethics across the life span. We can identify two primary moral inheritances that are fostered by the evolved nest. The first is engagement, or flexible relational attunement, which includes capacities for resonance, reciprocity, mutuality, sympathy, and egalitarian relations with face-to-face others. The second emerges with the development abstracting capabilities that build on engagement capacities into an inclusive communal imagination. A species-typical nest provides what babies and young children need to develop a full human nature.

Keywords: evolved nest, evolved developmental niche, evolutionary systems theory, evolution, ethogenesis, moral inheritance, engagement, communal imagination, human nature, childhood

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