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The company of strangers : a natural history…
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The company of strangers : a natural history of economic life (original: 2004; edição: 2010)

de Paul Seabright

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Human beings are the only species in nature to have developed an elaborate division of labor between strangers. Even something as simple as buying a shirt depends on an astonishing web of interaction and organization that spans the world. But unlike that other uniquely human attribute, language, our ability to cooperate with strangers did not evolve gradually through our prehistory. Only 10,000 years ago--a blink of an eye in evolutionary time--humans hunted in bands, were intensely suspicious of strangers, and fought those whom they could not flee. Yet since the dawn of agriculture we have refined the division of labor to the point where, today, we live and work amid strangers and depend upon millions more. Every time we travel by rail or air we entrust our lives to individuals we do not know. What institutions have made this possible? In The Company of Strangers, Paul Seabright provides an original evolutionary and sociological account of the emergence of those economic institutions that manage not only markets but also the world's myriad other affairs. Drawing on insights from biology, anthropology, history, psychology, and literature, Seabright explores how our evolved ability of abstract reasoning has allowed institutions like money, markets, and cities to provide the foundation of social trust. But how long can the networks of modern life survive when we are exposed as never before to risks originating in distant parts of the globe? This lively narrative shows us the remarkable strangeness, and fragility, of our everyday lives.… (mais)
Membro:wjones986
Título:The company of strangers : a natural history of economic life
Autores:Paul Seabright
Informação:Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c2010.
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:Economics, Anthropology

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The Company of Strangers: A Natural History of Economic Life de Paul Seabright (2004)

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The author is haunted by the spectre of murderous apes. But why is there so little killing, among apes and among humans. The answer is morality, which is not in the index of the book. Human life would be impossible without morality, which is the set of rules for living in society. We were social before we were human. First we had ape social life and trust, then human family life, then all the rest of human life. Social scientists not only need to know other social social sciences besides economics, they also need to know biology. We can think of social science as one form of biology. ( )
  johnclaydon | Jun 10, 2016 |
Very interesting book about trust, how unnatural it is for human beings, and how modern society is made possible through trust. ( )
  jaygheiser | Jul 23, 2008 |
There is some truth here, but he is leaning heavily on evo-psych, a controversial field. ( )
1 vote leeinaustin | Feb 29, 2008 |
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Human beings are the only species in nature to have developed an elaborate division of labor between strangers. Even something as simple as buying a shirt depends on an astonishing web of interaction and organization that spans the world. But unlike that other uniquely human attribute, language, our ability to cooperate with strangers did not evolve gradually through our prehistory. Only 10,000 years ago--a blink of an eye in evolutionary time--humans hunted in bands, were intensely suspicious of strangers, and fought those whom they could not flee. Yet since the dawn of agriculture we have refined the division of labor to the point where, today, we live and work amid strangers and depend upon millions more. Every time we travel by rail or air we entrust our lives to individuals we do not know. What institutions have made this possible? In The Company of Strangers, Paul Seabright provides an original evolutionary and sociological account of the emergence of those economic institutions that manage not only markets but also the world's myriad other affairs. Drawing on insights from biology, anthropology, history, psychology, and literature, Seabright explores how our evolved ability of abstract reasoning has allowed institutions like money, markets, and cities to provide the foundation of social trust. But how long can the networks of modern life survive when we are exposed as never before to risks originating in distant parts of the globe? This lively narrative shows us the remarkable strangeness, and fragility, of our everyday lives.

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