This book frames our biological and psychological capacity to make friends as an evolved ability, comparing friendship to other evolved traits of human beings such as walking upright on two legs, having opposable thumbs and a prominent chin, and possessing the capacity for speech and complex abstract reasoning. Professor John Terrell investigates how the human brain has evolved to perform two functions essential to friendship that, at first glance, appear to be at odds with one another: remaking the outside world to suit our collective needs, and escaping into our own inner thoughts and imagining how things might and ought to be. We must all deal with our species' hereditary legacy-that we are social animals who need to include others in our lives for our biological and psychological survival. Yet we are also able to exercise the cognitive freedom to detach from the adaptive realities and demands of life. These thought patterns have important consequences for how we understand aggression and cooperation.
Terrell claims that conflict is best understood in terms of friendship-as challenges that emerge when we are forced to reconcile the inner, private worlds of our imaginations with the experienced realities of our daily lives and each other.
John Edward Terrell, Regenstein Curator of Pacific Anthropology, Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago
Contents: ; Part I. What Makes Us Human? ; 1. Being Human ; 2. Baron von Pufendorf ; 3. Ghost Theories ; 4. The Secret Lives of Lou, Laurence, and Leslie ; Part II. The Archaeology of Friendship ; 5. Suddenly All Was Chaos ; 6. A Wimpy Idea ; 7. In the Footsteps of A. B. Lewis ; 8. Confronting the Obvious ; 9. The Archaeology of Friendship ; 10. The Sign of the Sea Turtle ; 11. Drawing Conclusions ; Part III. Selfish Desires ; 12. Houston, We've Had a Problem ; 13. You Can't Get There From Here ; 14. The Wizard of Down House ; 15. The Numbers Game ; Part IV. The Social Baseline ; 16. Animal Cooperation ; 17. The Question of Animal Awareness ; 18. Babies and Big Brains ; 19. Mission Impossible ; Part V. Social Being ; 20. Alone in a Crowd ; 21. A State of Mind ; 22. It's Who You Know ; 23. Bloodlust, Fear, and Other Emotions ; Part VI. Principles To Live By ; 24. The Lady or the Tiger? ; 25. A Kiss is Just a Kiss? ; 26. Friend or Facebook? ; 27. What was the Garden of Eden like? ; 28. The Strength of Weak Ties ; 29. Meet Me on the Marae ; 30. Being in a Family Way ; Appendix ; Index