Regular price: $24.95

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
OR
In Cart

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.

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    481
  • 4 Stars
    362
  • 3 Stars
    141
  • 2 Stars
    51
  • 1 Stars
    21

Performance

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    382
  • 4 Stars
    265
  • 3 Stars
    146
  • 2 Stars
    47
  • 1 Stars
    18

Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    411
  • 4 Stars
    263
  • 3 Stars
    126
  • 2 Stars
    43
  • 1 Stars
    19
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Goes beyond its limits

Mostly a good book, but it is not self-reflective when it gets to the free will vs determinism section: it says there is no free will, no place to give credit or blame, but gives goals to strive for - as if we could if we followed the author's conclusion in the book.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Biopsychology reading requirement

I'm glad I found this book in audiobook! :) It made my life a lot easier :)

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

this is an exceptional book.

I highly recommend this book to all. religious or not. I myself an religious and I find this book to give me a new light of different aspects of life. I also do not feel that this book in anyway attacks religion. this book and Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis both provide an excellent discussion on similar subject matter.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

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.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Barry
  • Petaluma, CA, United States
  • 09-01-15

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.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

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.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

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.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

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.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

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.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

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