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Origins of Virtueby Matt Ridley
Synopses & Reviews
If, as Darwin suggests, evolution relentlessly encourages the survival of the fittest, why are humans compelled to live in cooperative, complex societies? In this fascinating examination of the roots of human trust and virtue, a zoologist and former American editor of the Economist reveals the results of recent studies that suggest that self-interest and mutual aid are not at all incompatible. In fact, he points out, our cooperative instincts may have evolved as part of mankind's natural selfish behavior — by exchanging favors we can benefit ourselves as well as others.
Brilliantly orchestrating the newest findings of geneticists, psychologists, and anthropologists, The Origins of Virtue re-examines the everyday assumptions upon which we base our actions towards others, whether in our roles as parents, siblings, or trade partners. With the wit and brilliance of The Red Queen, his acclaimed study of human and animal sexuality, Matt Ridley shows us how breakthroughs in computer programming, microbiology, and economics have given us a new perspective on how and why we relate to each other.
Why are people nice to each other? What are the reasons for altruism? This text explains how the human mind has evolved a special instinct for social exchange, offering an argument about the paradox of human benevolence.
Tackles the question of why people are nice to each other from a biological perspective. "Ridley's splendid book studies co-operation (and conflict) from the genes themselves to modern technological societies" A.S. Byatt, "Express On Sunday". From the author of "The Red Queen".
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