The human sciences span a panoply of disciplines dedicated to understanding biological, social, philosophical, and cultural dimensions of human nature. These disciplines include, among others, anthropology, psychology, sociology, evolutionary biology and biochemistry, genetics, the neurosciences, philosophy, and, not least, history. In recent decades many of these disciplines have fundamentally revamped their understandings of human nature and human behavior, including issues related to selfishness, altruism, and cooperation. For example, BHC members likely are aware of the impact of cognitive psychology in launching behavioral economics, which in turn has challenged to homo economicus.
The goal of this panel is to bring a variety of non-history human science perspectives to bear on the 2020 conference theme, cooperation in business and business history. My own paper will focus on recent work in evolutionary biology and anthropology related to human cooperation and its implications for business history. I welcome hearing from those interested in speaking about key findings from other human sciences as they relate to the ways people cooperate, or spurn cooperation, especially as related to material possession and exchange. Please write to me at email@example.com.
Associate Professor of History and Henry Kaufman Chair in Financial History