Our Animal Condition and Social Construction

Proceedings of The 2nd International Conference on Modern Approach in Humanities and Social Sciences

Year: 2019

DOI: https://www.doi.org/10.33422/2nd.icmhs.2019.11.714

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Our Animal Condition and Social Construction

Jorge A. Colombo




This book approaches human social constructions with a comparative, evolutionary focus. Our species’ origin finds its roots in ancestral habits, behaviors, and survival drives, that during millennia were crystallized in basic neurobehavioral circuits, be it as predators or potential preys. Which and how much of our current drives –individually and as a global community– are driven by ancestral, inherited traits imprinted in our animal condition? Humans are biological entities with social history; both events metaphorically expressed as the “biological-” and the “cultural tectonic plate” synthesize basic interaction dynamics of our drives, social restraints, desires, frustrations, problems of adaptation, belligerence, and social sensitivity. Friction between these “tectonic plates” conditions various aggressive or maladaptive behaviors. Yet, not all events are of a conscious dimension. Cognitive processing involves distributed neural circuits as a substrate. The most disturbing issue from an intellectual point of view is that much of the former appears to be at the subconscious level. Operatively, what appears at the conscious level, expressed temporarily at a specific time, are the events we can manipulate as a working memory in our executive behavior domain and corresponding to the explicit memory (Dietrich, 2015). Based on social repression or “socialization”, cultural strata of variable “thickness” have been constructed on top of drives implicit to our animal condition. Nevertheless, it failed in their deactivation, only in reformulating or repressing them. To what extent are our behaviors associated to –or dependent on– an ancestral neurobiological substrate modulated by cultural history?

Keywords: animal heritage- human conflicts-neurobiological evolution- social comparative evolution- social ecology- brain reorganization- comparative evolution of poverty- emotion in the construction of beliefs.