Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

Navigation

Edges of the State

2019
Author:

John Protevi

Edges of the State

Using philosophical and scientific work to engage the perennial question of human nature

This book takes a look at the formation, and edges, of states: their breakdowns and attempts to repair them, and their encounters with non-state peoples. It draws upon anthropology, political philosophy, neuroscience, evolutionary biology, child developmental psychology, and other fields to look at states as projects of constructing “bodies politic,” where the civic and the somatic intersect. John Protevi asserts that humans are predisposed to “prosociality,” or being emotionally invested in social partners and patterns. With readings from Jean-Jacques Rousseau and James C. Scott; a critique of the assumption of widespread pre-state warfare as a selection pressure for the evolution of human prosociality and altruism; and an examination of the different “economies of violence” of state and non-state societies, Edges of the State sketches a notion of prosocial human nature and its attendant normative maxims.

Edges of the State

John Protevi is Phyllis M. Taylor Professor of French Studies and professor of philosophy at Louisiana State University. He is author of Political Affect (Minnesota, 2009) and Life, War, Earth (Minnesota, 2013), and editor of A Dictionary of Continental Philosophy.

About This Book