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The Moral Animal Audiobook

The Moral Animal: Why We Are the Way We Are: The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology

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Publisher's Summary

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.

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (863 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Fernando Silva 09-23-15 Member Since 2017
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    "important read"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Barry Petaluma, CA, United States 09-01-15
    Barry Petaluma, CA, United States 09-01-15 Member Since 2008

    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.

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    "Excellent introduction to evolutionary psychology"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Landon 08-13-15
    Landon 08-13-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Wordy"
    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    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.


    How could the performance have been better?

    I didn't like the performers voice. Very intellectual sounding, in a bad way.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BkkBanker 03-21-15
    BkkBanker 03-21-15 Member Since 2015
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    "A great intro to Evolutionary Psychology"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brindle Dallas, TX 03-20-15
    Brindle Dallas, TX 03-20-15

    Brindle

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    "This book is absolute rubbish"

    Not only is the "science" complete rubbish, but the narrator sounds like he needs to blow his nose. Skip it.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    02-25-15
    02-25-15

    ge-ko

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    "a lot of insights into how we became what we are"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    EStormfield 01-30-15
    EStormfield 01-30-15 Member Since 2017
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    "Very Informative and Entertaining When Applied"

    I enjoyed this listen despite not being a big fan of the narrator's delivery (clear but mildly irritating). Wright provides a good overview of the field and several consequences of the ideas developed. He takes a semi-biographical narrative of Darwin's personal life and his development of theories of evolution and natural selection to draw the basis and examples for later developments in the understanding of psychology and utilitarian philosophy. He answers possible objections by critics, skeptics, and adherents to that great idol of "free" will, all while providing possible positive perspectives one could have if taking the mindset of the subject at hand. While listening, I tried to apply the topics raised to my personal experience and to those around me. This activity led to a great deal of additional entertainment, especially when evaluating the subtle sibling rivalry and behavioral motivations of my sons. I'd recommend trying it out for yourself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nanette 01-06-15
    Nanette 01-06-15
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    "Creative Use of Darwin's Journals"

    Excellent read. Interesting perspective and insight regarding human morality, sexuality, and balancing instinct (natural selection) with intellect. I enjoyed the choice to utilize Darwin's life via journals as a practical reference to apply the paradigm.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    taskforce 12-09-14
    taskforce 12-09-14
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    "Great story, bad narration"
    What made the experience of listening to The Moral Animal the most enjoyable?

    Awesome book, very insightful


    Have you listened to any of Greg Thornton’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This dude sounds like Kermit the Frog, you need to get Victor Bevine up in this bitch


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anthony Ardmore, PA, United States 11-12-14
    Anthony Ardmore, PA, United States 11-12-14 Member Since 2017

    tonydm

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    "Words"

    While I may surely agree with the overall premise of this text I find the exposition nothing more than verbal mish-mash. The author goes from totally unintelligible pseudo academic contrivance to the most common conversational non-sense,
    Much of the text is devoted to the life of Darwin, There are no small number of bios that deal with Darwin's life in a more scholarly fashion.
    The rest of the text is sheer babble.
    The narrator's voice recalls a comic from my childhood who played a scholar that babbled fancy words that meant nothing.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful

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