The Primal Horde

Reading this account of Williams syndrome (a genetic disability) in the NY Times & the light it sheds on the details of primate social evolution, especially language, I was struck by the fact that it does not differ all that much from Freud's account of the dynamics of the "primal horde" at the beginning of Civilization & its Discontents.
“The conventional view,” Dunbar notes in his book “Grooming, Gossip and the Evolution of Language,” “is that language evolved to enable males to do things like coordinate hunts more effectively. . . . I am suggesting that language evolved to allow us to gossip.”

Author: jd

Joseph Duemer is Professor of Literature Emeritus at Clarkson University in northern New York state. His most recent book of poems is Magical Thinking from Ohio State University Press. Since the mid-1990s he has spent a good deal of time in Vietnam, mostly Hanoi. He lives with his wife Carole & five terriers (four Jack Russells & one Patterdale) on the stony bank of the Raquette River in South Colton.

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