The Descent of norms and the stablization of the Self
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Humans are a species endowed with considerable cognitive plasticity, existing in a malleable social environment. As a result, behavioural constraints emerge, which ensure the smooth functioning of the whole. In order to enable the negotiation of social contracts, individuals are under pressure to adopt consistent behavioural track-records that instil trust in potential interaction partners. This leads to the emergence of stable selves. The pressure towards consistency facilitates the proliferation of normative relations. The arrival of language intensifies this consistency-enhancing pressure on the individual, as it opens up the cognitive domain as an additional target of pressurization.