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Human Nature: A Critical Reader Paperback – Apr 30 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (April 30 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 019509865X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195098655
  • Product Dimensions: 23.3 x 2.2 x 16.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 853 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,182,286 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

"Great! I can't wait to use it in my senior seminar!"--Vicki K. Bentley-Condit, Grinnell College

"An excellent text for courses in which students find and present current research. It provides a comprehensive historical and contemporary foundation for their presentations."--Henry Schreiber, University of Texas at Schreiber

"This is a useful and thoughtful collection of readings."--Kent Berridge, University of Michigan

Advance praise: "The tabula of human nature was never rasa and it is now being read. The inscription found is no dogma or world system and it bids to build no empire whose later painful collapse will sweep it away. Darwinist and self-critical, data-based from pole to tropic and from gamete to despot, the text is the science of a young and growing army. [This] book is their story and it shows what we are universally like -- and above all, it explains why. Thirty years ago I had no idea that a critique I had a hand in could reach so far into the human sphere and explain so much. To the romantic I was then, it's depressing that it can; to me now, on the whole, it's inspiring." -- Bill Hamilton, University of Oxford

"Betzig has put together an exciting and authentic picture of current evolutionary studies of human behavior, and of both their triumphs and pitfalls. Anyone with any interest in Betzig's big questions, 'where we came from, why we're here, and who we are' ought to read this book. The book's organization and juxtaposed selections make it thought-provoking in a way reminiscent of the classic dialogues of Socrates, Galileo, and Hume. It is an ideal way to introduce students to recent progress in the biology of human behavior." --George Williams, Professor Emeritus, State University of New York at Stonybrook

"This book offers a sampling of some of the best empirical work in human sociobiology from its beginnings some 20 years ago."--American Anthropologist

"Collectively, these works cover a lot of territory, and vividly depict the mosaic character of the field....a useful methodological resource for veteran behavioral and life scientists."--Peggy La Cerra, Quarterly Review of Biology

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Format: Paperback
This book is a compilation of 18 pioneering articles on Darwinism.
Very original is the fact that the different authors are commenting on their research 10 or more years after the publication.
One needs a rather profound knowledge of statistics in order to fully understand some, not all, the articles.
These researches were not only very original but sometimes also disturbing, like Hrdy's work on infanticide, or Chagnon's research on the Yanomanö tribe, which was used against the tribe by 'financial' interests in the 'development' of their territory.
For me, the most important article was the one by Tooby and Cosmides, who brilliantly refuted and even ridiculed the SSS Model of the content-free, independent mind. They proved that the human mind is not a blank which works with general purpose mental processes. On the contrary, the mind contains specialized mechanisms which evolved as adaptations to the social environment (see also, Lumsden and Wilson's 'Promethean Fire').
This book is an essential read for all those who are interested in the human nature.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Knowledge = power. Darwin's theory is the route to knowledge Dec 26 2003
By Luc REYNAERT - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is a compilation of 18 pioneering articles on Darwinism.
Very original is the fact that the different authors are commenting on their research 10 or more years after the publication.
One needs a rather profound knowledge of statistics in order to fully understand some, not all, the articles.
These researches were not only very original but sometimes also disturbing, like Hrdy's work on infanticide, or Chagnon's research on the Yanomanö tribe, which was used against the tribe by 'financial' interests in the 'development' of their territory.
For me, the most important article was the one by Tooby and Cosmides, who brilliantly refuted and even ridiculed the SSS Model of the content-free, independent mind. They proved that the human mind is not a blank which works with general purpose mental processes. On the contrary, the mind contains specialized mechanisms which evolved as adaptations to the social environment (see also, Lumsden and Wilson's 'Promethean Fire').
This book is an essential read for all those who are interested in the human nature.


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