Evolutionary Perspectives on Death

  • Todd K. Shackelford
  • Virgil Zeigler-Hill

Part of the Evolutionary Psychology book series (EVOLPSYCH)

About this book


The latest volume in this multidisciplinary series on key topics in evolutionary studies, Evolutionary Perspectives on Death provides an evolutionary analysis of mortality and the consideration of death. Bringing together noted experts from a variety of fields, the books emanate from conferences held at Oakland University, and are dedicated to providing wide ranging and occasionally provocative views of human evolution. The volume on death covers topics from biology, anthropology, psychology, sociology and philosophy, with contributors addressing how evolution informs the process of comprehending, grieving, depicting, celebrating, and accepting death.

Among the topics covered:

  • Evolutionary perspectives on the loss of a twin
  • Nonhuman primate responses to death
  • Death in literature
  • Witnessing and representing the death of pets
  • The role of human decomposition facilities in shaping American perspectives on death

This insightful volume showcases groundbreaking empirical and theoretical research addressing death and mortality from an evolutionary perspective, demonstrating the intellectual value of an interdisciplinary approach to understanding psychological processes and behavior.

Chapter 6 of this book is available open access under a CC BY 4.0 license at


death studies philosophical views of death death and evolution primate's understanding of death death in literature murder suicide evolutionary psychology reality denial mortality salience American perspectives on death death of pets human decomposition facilities

Editors and affiliations

  • Todd K. Shackelford
    • 1
  • Virgil Zeigler-Hill
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyOakland UniversityRochesterUSA
  2. 2.Oakland UniversityRochesterUSA

Bibliographic information