I Want to Learn How to Think Beyond Academic Disciplines

Vol.1 2017.03.02 Hasegawa Toshikazu

Family Unions in Animals and Humans

Part 1: “Family as Seen by Ethology-The Origin of Family, Cooperation and Opposition within the Family-”

 When creatures breed, parents do not leave the fertilized eggs as they are, they protect them. It is the beginning of the relationship between parents and children. There are several cases concerning child care. For instance, mothers are in charge of child care in most the mammals’ cases and fathers are in charge of it in most fish’s cases. In most birds’ cases, both parents take care of their children. There is a case which the elder siblings look after their younger brothers and sisters even though they reach maturity. This is the beginning of the family union in animal society.

 In this lecture, I am going to give an outline of the diversity of relationships between parents and children; the biological factors in which family come into existence; cooperation and opposition within the family as well as community life beyond family.

Part 2: “Family of Human Beings and a Communal Society-How Human Beings were Promoted to the Status of Special Chimpanzees”

 It can be safely said that human beings are unusual monkeys who form family and live in societies, beyond the family, among other two hundred primates. There are no other mammals who experience old age.

 In this lecture I am going to examine how the life of humans and their methods of nursing are different from the other anthropoids (such as orangutans, gorillas and chimpanzees) that are closely related to humans, as well as considering why that kind of uniqueness appeared. In addition to these, I will examine the influence of family life and community life on the evolution of human’s mind.


Hasegawa Toshikazu
Born in 1952. From Kanagawa Prefecture. Graduated from the Psychology Department, Faculty of Letters at the University of Tokyo in 1974. Finished doctorate course at the Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology (major in Psychology) of the same school in 1984. Ph,D. (Literature). Afterwards he worked as a specialist dispatching international cooperation agents; Assistant at University of Tokyo's Faculty of Arts and Sciences; and Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Letters of Teikyo University; Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences of the University of Tokyo since 1991, and since 1999 has served as Professor at its Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. In 2011 became the Dean of the University of Tokyo's Faculty of Arts and Sciences as well as its Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. A member of the Science Council of Japan for its 21st term. Areas of Specialty: Ethology, Evolutionary Psychology.

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