The Aggression Systems
Preface Page 1

Table of Contents


Pages 1 - 2


Human aggression - introduction Pages 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8


Evolution of aggression - introduction Pages  9 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 13 - 14


Brain mechanisms of aggression - introduction Pages 15 - 16 - 17 - 18 - 19 - 20


Dynamics of aggression - introduction Pages 21 - 22 - 23

Having worked on the material for this book for over 20 years, I have decided to put it together as a single, coordinated piece of scientific labor. While many of the papers are available in most libraries, some are available in no libraries in this country.

There are many details that have not been settled, but the general outlines of a scientific analysis of aggressive behavior have now been filled in. The four sections of this book (human aspects, evolution, brain mechanisms, and dynamics of aggression) cover the major dialectical aspects of this question and lay a base upon which future work can be constructed.

I have begun with the question of human aggression, because that is what concerns both writer and audience most directly. In the course of my work, I have had to change my mind regarding the nature of human aggression. Having been born and raised in a society which for historical reasons had come to label aggressive behavior as anti-social, it took me many years and many experiences to recognize the cultural narrowness and historical backwardness of such a perspective. Aggression, in the form of anger against injustice, is a critical and valuable component of consciousness development. I suspect that my readers will find that they, too, must undergo such a change of mind if they are to fully appreciate the positive value of aggressive behavior.

The evolution of aggression, as presented here, is only the beginning of what will eventually be a most remarkable story. In particular there is a remarkable simplicity of the underlying neural structure of aggression and other social behavior systems. It may turn out that the developmental rules in the genes and embryogenesis are quite simple, just as the genetic code itself turned out to an earlier scientific generation to be far simpler at its most fundamental level than anyone had suspected.

(Continued on next page)

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