Mothers and Others

Tik Rec Hrdy

Sarah Blaffer Hrdy
Harvard University Press, 2011

For those of us who believe that one of the most important political tasks facing the human race is to dramatically develop our capacity for empathy, this book about the evolutionary origins of mutual understanding comes both as an inspiration and confirmation that we’ve been thinking on the right track. Though many capitalist economists find the idea of reflexive altruism irrational, researchers have produced plentiful evidence to support the idea that altruism is indeed hardwired into the human psyche. In fact, other primates possess neural mechanisms for imitation and rudimentary capacities to identify with others, as well. Hrdy offers a bold and nuanced account of how the tendency to help one another has enabled human beings to survive and evolve. She also fosters a renewed appreciation of the role of mothering not only in a child’s physical development but also in the development of a child’s capacity for inter-subjective engagement.

(To return to the Winter 2012 Table of Contents, click here.)

Tip Jar Email Bookmark and Share RSS Print
Get Tikkun by Email -- FREE

COMMENT POLICY Please read our comments policy. We invite constructive disagreement but do not accept personal attacks and hateful comments. We reserve the right to block hecklers who repost comments that have been deleted. We do have automated spam filters that sometimes miscategorize legitimate comments as spam. If you don't see your comment within ten minutes, please click here to contact us. Due to our small staff it may take up to 48 hours to get your comment posted.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *