Are men literally born to cheat? Does monogamy actually serve women's interests? These are among the questions that have made The Moral Animal one of the most provocative science books in recent years. Wright unveils the genetic strategies behind everything from our sexual preferences to our office politics - as well as their implications for our moral codes and public policies.
©1995 Robert Wright (P)2010 Audible, Inc.
"An accessible introduction to the science of evolutionary psychology and how it explains many aspects of human nature. Unlike many books on the topic,which focus on abstractions like kin selection, this book focuses on Darwinian explanations of why we are the way we are--emotionally and morally. Wright deals particularly well with explaining the reasons for the stereotypical dynamics of the three big "S's:" sex, siblings, and society." (Amazon.com review)
I was absolutely amazed that a theory of origin could so succinctly describe and explain the rationale for modern human behaviour. I am a born skeptic but, this work is very good. What a beautiful gift it was to learn from this book the true nature we hide from ourselves and by knowing, to gain power over it. Reading this book was an exercise in liberation. As some skeptics of evolution have said, "the truth will set you free" and so it does.
To make the information more readable and to explain his points, the author brings in stories from Darwin's life from his love for his wife to his devout faith in god. This does makes the book less academic and more personal. The narration was very well done and easy to listen to.
Let's face it, these authors aren't paying me, so there's no need to lie!!
I was highly impressed with Wright's use of Darwin himself, to elaborate on his research. The man's life was so interesting, and not many books on Evolution (at least that I've read) really touch on it. This book is well thought out, and captivating. Essentially, it traces the evolutionary past of why we act the way we do. If you're familiar with the basics of Evolution, then this is a must-read.
The only concern I have is the narrarator. It pains me to write this, since the book itself is so great, but the reader almost put me to sleep a few times. I almost gave the "Performance" 2 stars, but felt that it may unfairly skew the overall rating of the book in a way that I consider unjust. Bottom line is that this book needs to be read, but they could've chosen a better reader.
This books sums up many theories about the evolution of the human mind and human behavior. Well written and comprehensive.
The Believing Brain and Why People Believe Weird Things by Michael Shermer. Also, the Evolution of God. I would also highly recommend The God Part of the Brain by Matthew Alper (not available on audio book :) but an excellent read)
Not really a book that has "scenes" but the flow of the book explaining the theories is very natural and comfortable.
What every human should know.
The use of Darwin's life and his relationships is educational and insightful.
I am on my third listening, and I plan more.
Thornton gives a perfect reading, please get him to read more.
an insightful essential look at evolutionary psychology. the author dies a great job of dispelling many erroneous notions of social darwinism and frames a new paradigm to analyze human consciousness.
My interests run to psychology, popular science, history, world literature, and occasionally something fun like Jasper Fforde. It seems like the only free time I have for reading these days is when I'm in the car so I am extremely grateful for audio books. I started off reading just the contemporary stuff that I was determined not to clutter up my already stuffed bookcases with. And now audio is probably 90% of my "reading" matter.
I thought this was a really well-done introduction to the field of evolutionary psychology. Apart from a couple peculiar lapses (post-70's overtones near the beginning, and an anti-Freud rant near the end), the book works really hard to steer clear of unwarranted speculative conclusions about the evolution of human behavior. I would say it does a better job of that than some more recent books on the subject have done.
Simultaneously, it presents a biography of Darwin from the perspective of analyzing him by his own theory. At first I thought this was just a gimmick. It certainly has a gimmicky side to it, but I grew to appreciate it more as the book progressed. Darwin could not possibly have had the perspective to see himself through the implications of what he was putting together. We, on the other hand, are cursed (blessed?) with the insights now available to us thanks to his work. Where that will lead is anyone's guess.
Greg Thornton is a bit odd as a narrator. He adopts sort of an affected voice and mannerisms. I think maybe he was trying to impersonate a stuffy, didactic Victorian lecturer. (Maybe he was trying to impersonate Darwin?) It was a bit off-putting. Fortunately, it mostly wore off towards the end of the book. I like to think he got so caught up in the interesting subject matter that he forgot what character he thought he was creating.
It is indeed fascinating subject matter. Despite the 1994 publication date, it remains as good a book on evolutionary psychology as I have come across.
He talked so much about Darwin's life, and other non-essential tangents. If you want to read this book, I strongly recommend getting a physical copy, so you can skip what doesn't interest you. It could have easily been half the length.
I didn't like the performers voice. Very intellectual sounding, in a bad way.
I was looking for a book that could give me a great foundation and background of Evolutionary Psychology, and this book was perfect!
It goes through the fundamentals of Evolutionary Psychology as well as giving the history of Darwin to give a lot of examples and understand where the evolution theory came from and how it evolved during Darwin's life.
This book is great for anyone interested in evolution theory, evolutionary psychology or human behavior in general.
even though the book is occasionally a bit dry both in content and performance, it is a worthwhile listen. it dives into the evolution of human morality takes a slightly critical stance about the more easy-going view of e.g. "sex at dawn", critically. discusses Frans de Waal's primate research in fairly some detail. certainly a highly recommendable contribution to an ongoing discussion.
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