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Philosophers don't have to be arcane and out of touch. Princeton's Peter Singer gives 21st-century liberals and radicals something to think about with the slim but powerful volume of Darwinism Today titled A Darwinian Left. Long noted for holding controversial bioethical beliefs related to animal rights, abortion, and euthanasia, Singer tends to quickly polarize his readers. This time, he chooses to antagonize those most sympathetic with his positions, arguing that the political left should re-evaluate its dependence on Marxism and its shunning of Darwinism. His writing is lucid and pulls no punches in examining the consequences of 20th-century answers to poverty; fans of the welfare state are in for some discomfort.
But Singer sees making a few liberals squirm as crucial to stealing Darwinism from the right and combining the noble desire to help the helpless with a realistic view of human nature and evolution. He builds a compelling line of thought, peppered with examples, that shows how our competitive "survival of the fittest" conception of evolution falls far short of modern scientific thinking. Instead, Singer suggests we incorporate a Darwinian ethic of cooperation into our political thought and reflect carefully on the consequences of our remedies for the evils of the world. --Rob Lightner
Peter Singer, formerly at Monash University, is Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics in the University Centre for Human Values, Princeton University. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
It becomes more difficult every day to competently use the writings of Marx or Darwin as guideposts for human social life. Read morePublished on June 16 2001 by Lee Hall
All these critics giving one-star mark to Singer's text, should be laugh at for their uninformed but obstinate attempt to explain something that lies beyond ther mental capacities. Read morePublished on May 13 2001
Darwin has confused more philosophers, beginning with Nietzsche, than any other scientist. It is time the game stopped. Read morePublished on Dec 14 2000 by John C. Landon
I give it two stars only because I can give this book to people who do not really understand what the left is all about, on to the review. Read morePublished on Nov. 6 2000 by Enigma
The purpose of this little book (I read it while walking the distance of 22 city blocks on a pleasant late summer day) is to counter some of the fallacies of both the left and the... Read morePublished on Oct. 25 2000 by Howard A. Smith
Another reviewer has already pointed out that, contra Singer, Darwin himself was a "Social Darwinist. Read morePublished on Aug. 31 2000
This is a difficult book to rate in a five star system. Very short (63 pages) it is essentially a political pamphlet or manifesto. To this reader it does this job well. Read morePublished on July 12 2000 by "mike_montgomery"
After reading this book, it's easy to see why some editors of The Wall Street Journal detest Peter Singer. He's a bold new thinker who is not afraid of new ideas. Read morePublished on May 1 2000 by Theodore A. Rushton
After reading this book, it's easy to see why Wall Street Journal editors detest Peter Singer. He's a bold new thinker who is not afraid of new ideas. Read morePublished on April 28 2000 by Theodore A. Rushton