Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary

Away from ethnocentrism and anthropocentrism: Towards a scientific understanding of “what makes us human”

Christophe Boescha1

a1 Department of Primatology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, 04103 Leipzig, Germany. boesch@eva.mpg.de http://www.eva.mpg.de/primat/staff/boesch/index.html

Abstract

The quest to understand “what makes us human” has been heading towards an impasse, when comparative psychology compares primarily individuals that are not representative of their species. Captives experience such divergent socioecological niches that they cannot stand for their wild counterparts. Only after removing ethnocentrism and anthropocentrism will we be able to progress in our understanding of “what makes us human.”

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