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Sense and Nonsense: Evolutionary Perspectives on Human Behaviour
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Sense and Nonsense: Evolutionary Perspectives on Human Behaviour

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  86 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
Evolutionary theory is one of the most wide-ranging and inspiring of scientific ideas. It offers a battery of methods that can be used to help us understand human behavior. Nevertheless, the legitimacy of this exercise is at the center of a heated controversy that has raged for over a century.

Many evolutionary biologists, anthropologists and psychologists have taken these
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published June 20th 2002 by Oxford University Press, USA
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Evolutionary approaches to human behavior will remain controversial as long as the memories of eugenics and social Darwinism are with us. Indeed, every iteration of the debate seems to lead to what are the equivalent of academic versions of internet flame wars. Charges of "biological determinism," "blank slate," "political correctness," "ethnocentrism" and other such epithets are hurled with abandon. Each side claims the other is attacking a straw man.

Kevin Laland and Gillian Brown turn a keen e
Mar 29, 2010 Zedder added it
So far it's not *quite* as good as I'd hoped, but I'm only still warming up. Embarrassingly, in their lumped-together summary of British empiricism, they refer to John Stuart Mill as an 18th century thinker. Maybe they meant it as an insult?
Peter Stanbridge
This is a great book. If you have any suspicion on the coherence of evolutionary psychology/sociology and like subjects then this book sets a great context. It fully understands the nonsense advocated under its banner but then shows how clearly evolutionary concepts must have some explanatory force in understanding ourselves as social human beings.
Nov 26, 2014 Lisa rated it it was ok
I had to read this for school and while it was relevant to my module, it was not interesting as a popular science book.
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  • Not by Genes Alone: How Culture Transformed Human Evolution
  • Evolution in Four Dimensions: Genetic, Epigenetic, Behavioral, and Symbolic Variation in the History of Life
  • Adapting Minds: Evolutionary Psychology and the Persistent Quest for Human Nature
  • Microeconomics: Behavior, Institutions, and Evolution
  • The Adapted Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and the Generation of Culture
  • Evolution for Everyone: How Darwin's Theory Can Change the Way We Think About Our Lives
  • Evolution and Human Behavior
  • Grooming, Gossip, and the Evolution of Language
  • Punctuated Equilibrium
  • In Gods We Trust: The Evolutionary Landscape of Religion
  • Mother Nature: Maternal Instincts and How They Shape the Human Species
  • Maps of Time: An Introduction to Big History
  • Introduction to Quantitative Genetics
  • Origins of the Modern Mind: Three Stages in the Evolution of Culture and Cognition
  • Moral Origins: The Evolution of Virtue, Altruism, and Shame
  • The Brain: A Very Short Introduction
  • Adaptation and Natural Selection: A Critique of Some Current Evolutionary Thought
  • The Self-Organizing Universe: Scientific and Human Implications

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