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Philosophy For Our Times

Did hunter-gatherers have a better life? | Mark Williams, Peter Lilley, Natalie Bennett

Philosophy For Our Times
Philosophy For Our Times

Should we go back to a world before civilisation?

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With high rates of infanticide, senicide and disease, not many of us pine for the era before human civilization, farms and nations. Yet anthropologists Yuval Harari and Jared Diamond have called the agricultural revolution a"trap"and humanity’s "worst mistake”, arguing hunter gatherer life was more leisurely and free, as humans were not tied down to private property or oppressed by hierarchy.

Is there a way to keep the benefits of industry and technology while also living as freely as our untamed ancestors? Should we go further and rewild to escape the status, hierarchy and oppression of civilisation? Or is this an impossible fantasy born out of a misunderstanding of anthropology and the idealistic myth of the ‘noble savage’?

Paleobiologist Mark Williams, Conservative former cabinet minister Peter Lilley and former leader of the Green Party Natalie Bennett weigh in on civilisation as we know it. Hosted by Güneş Taylor.

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Philosophy For Our Times
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