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Institute for the Arts and Humanities Distinguished Visiting Professor: John Protevi

When Apr 07, 2015
from 04:00 PM to 05:00 PM
Where Mann Assembly Room, Pattee-Paterno Library
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"Economies of Violence"
John Protevi

Institute for the Arts and Humanities Distinguished Visiting Professor

Darwin thought we could account for the evolution of altruism by "group selection," with war as a selection pressure in pre-State times. But many anthropologists deny that war was prevalent before the State. Not all societies are states, and non-state societies resist the state through their economy of violence, but those economies of violence are not necessarily that of war, as Deleuze and Guattari, following Pierre Clastres, suppose. I will end with a few remarks on economies of violence and theories of human nature: if war was not a selection pressure, how then do we account for the evolution of altruism?