Human Cooperation Comes From Human Storytelling

Human Cooperation Comes From Human Storytelling

Is organized cooperation a uniquely human feature? What is the psychology behind mass human cooperation? Humanity has a much greater ability to communicate and cooperate than any other species. According to Yuval Noah Harari, the ability of humans to cooperate is the result of humanity’s knack for storytelling. Storytelling allowed us to create “imagined orders” which make mass cooperation possible. Keep reading to learn about the psychology of mass human cooperation.

The Two Schools of Thought in Western Culture

The Two Schools of Thought in Western Culture

What are the two schools of thought in western culture? How should we decide what is moral and what is morally acceptable? Is there such thing as universal morality? As western civilization developed, questions around morality emerged. Two schools of thought became the most prominent: deontology (Kantian ethics) and utilitarianism. Both, however, are at odds with how human psychology works. Keep reading to learn more about the two schools of thought.

The Imagined Order: The Power of Fiction

The Imagined Order: The Power of Fiction

What is an imagined order? How are imagined orders created? An imagined order is essentially a rule or restriction that people believe to be real, even if it’s not grounded in an objective reality. Imagined orders are a by-product of the human search for meaning. As people imbue imagined realities (e.g. stories about divinity) with meaning, imagined orders are created in the process. Keep reading to learn about the concept of an imagined order.

The Role of Writing in the Creation of Religion

The Role of Writing in the Creation of Religion

How and why was organized religion created? What role did the invention of writing play in the creation of religion as a centralized system of belief? According to Yuval Noah Harari, the main impetus to the creation of religion as a centralized system of belief was actually the invention of writing. Writing allowed leaders to create a universal holy text to validate the story of divine guidance for the masses to follow. Keep reading to learn about the creation of religion.

Religion and Altruism: Religion Aided Group Survival

Religion and Altruism: Religion Aided Group Survival

Why are religion and altruism connected? How did religion play a role in cultural evolution? Whether you’re religious or not, there is no denying that religion has played a huge role in shaping our culture and our ideas of morality. As a cultural trait, religion encouraged patterns of mutual trust and obligation—altruism—that aided in group survival and success in the competition with other groups. Continue reading to learn how religion and altruism aided group survival.

The Scandinavian Influence on the English Language

The Scandinavian Influence on the English Language

What influence did the Scandinavian tribes exert on the English language? How did the importation of Scandinavian words change the English lexicon? The Scandinavian invasions left a profound and lasting influence on the English language. The influx of Scandinavian words lent English more flexibility since they didn’t fully replace the existing words, but supplemented them, making it possible to express more nuance and subtlety of meaning. Learn about the Scandinavian influence on the English language.

Evolutionary Functions of Emotions: We Need Them

Evolutionary Functions of Emotions: We Need Them

What do emotions have to do with evolution? Why do we diagnose overly anxious people but not people who don’t feel anxiety at all? How can sadness actually benefit us? According to the authors of Why We Get Sick, emotions are a maladaptive psychological process. In the Stone Age, anxiety was necessary to keep us alive and sadness prevented us from repeating losses. Keep reading for more information about the evolutionary functions of emotions.

A Look Into the Key Influences on the English Language

A Look Into the Key Influences on the English Language

What were the major foreign influences on the English language? What changes did they introduce? From the earliest stages of its development, English has come into contact with a number of foreign languages. The major influences on the English language were Latin, Scandinavian, and Norman French, each associated with distinct changes to its lexicon, pronunciation, and grammar. Here is a brief overview of the major foreign influences on the English language.