Colin Chapman: Why Do We Want to Think People Are Different?

9:00 AM, Saturday 30 Jun 2018 (1 hour 30 minutes)
Colin Chapman 
McGill Universit

Valéry Giroux 
Coordonnatrice Centre de recherche en éthique

Various branches of science keep trying to define how humans and non-human primates (hereafter primates) differ, so as to call humans unique. But are we so different? Here I contrast some of the basic behaviors of humans and primates to evaluate claims of differences. I will look at disparities in terms of aggression, social complexity, territoriality, empathy, and cognitive abilities. We will consider why humans have the desire to be unique and what this desire leads to.

Chapman, C. A., Twinomugisha, D., Teichroeb, J. A., Valenta, K., Sengupta, R., Sarkar, D., & Rothman, J. M. (2016). How do primates survive among humans? Mechanisms employed by vervet monkeys at Lake Nabugabo, Uganda. In Ethnoprimatology (pp. 77-94). Springer, Cham.
MacLean, E. L., Herrmann, E., Suchindran, S., & Hare, B. (2017). Individual differences in cooperative communicative skills are more similar between dogs and humans than chimpanzeesAnimal Behaviour126, 41-51
Fuentes, A. (2018). How Humans and Apes Are Different, and Why It MattersJournal of Anthropological Research74(2), 151-167
McGill University
Centre de recherche en éthique
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