The farmer, the hunter, and the census taker: Three distinct views of animal behavior

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Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between evolutionary theory and ethology in the work of Konrad Lorenz, Niko Tinbergen and V.C. Wynne- Edwards, the farmer, hunter, and census taker of the title respectively. I am especially interested in the idea of the ethologists Lorenz and Tinbergen that animal behavior and human behavior were equally appropriated subjects of biological analysis. Their approach is contrasted with Wynne-Edwards's group selective account of the evolution of social behavior. Finally, I argue that Wynne-Edwards's dogged commitment to group selection theory helped create the theoretical space within which subsequent researchers could develop more careful analyses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-20
Number of pages18
JournalHistory and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
Volume32
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010

Keywords

  • Behavior
  • Evolution
  • Group selection
  • Lorenz
  • Tinbergen
  • Wynne-Edwards

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