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Human domestication and the roles of human agency in human evolution

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Lorenzo Del Savio, Matteo Mameli

Original languageEnglish
Article number21
Number of pages25
JournalHistory and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
Issue number2
Accepted/In press8 May 2020
Published26 May 2020

King's Authors


Are humans a domesticated species? How is this issue related to debates on the roles of human agency in human evolution? This article discusses four views on human domestication: (1) Darwin’s view; (2) the view of those who link human domestication to anthropogenic niche construction and, more specifically, to sedentism; (3) the view of those who link human domestication to selection against aggression and the domestication syndrome; and (4) a novel view according to which human domestication can be conceived of in terms of a process of political selection. The article examines and compares these views to illustrate how discussions of human domestication can contribute to debates about how, and to what extent, human agency has affected human evolution.

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