Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Social Contract: A Personal Inquiry into the Evolutionary Sources of Order and Disorder” as Want to Read:
The Social Contract: A Personal Inquiry into the Evolutionary Sources of Order and Disorder
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Social Contract: A Personal Inquiry into the Evolutionary Sources of Order and Disorder

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  63 ratings  ·  9 reviews
“Violation of biological command has been the failure of social man. Vertebrates though we may be, we have ignored the law of equal opportunity since civilization’s earliest hours. Sexually reproducing beings though we are, we pretend today that the law of inequality does not exist. And enlightened though we may be, while we pursue the unattainable we make impossible the r ...more
Hardcover, 1st, 415 pages
Published June 1st 1970 by Atheneum (NY) (first published January 1st 1970)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Social Contract, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Social Contract

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 141)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
The 3rd in Ardrey's series, The Social Contract extrapolates on the points of the previous two books - that of humanity and of our territorial imperative - in order to derive a social order more in line with our true nature, with a sly wink at Rousseau's more pollyannish work of the same title.
Hilton Ratcliffe
Absolutely brilliant. It took me a long time to read beaus of the unrelenting flow of concepts, building on his previous books in the genre, and ending with a climax all of its own. Once again, I had to pause to appreciate the joy of Ardrey's prose. He is a master of the English language, and gifted with a depth of understanding of the fundamental human condition that leaves one quite breathless. Anyone who chooses to ignore this magnificent work will be immeasurably poorer for it.
Katie-Ellen Hazeldine
Wonderfully engrossing and instructive, and how relevant today, je suis Charlie. African Genesis has it all, really, but this is another read that I wish featured somewhere in our school curricula; whether under science, philosophy, history or literature; who cares, and who cares if all the science is bang up to date or if one disagrees with any of it; it should be there.
Chris Gager
I really liked all of Ardrey's books. How great they were as science is(and was) debatable but they were certainly entertaining and stimulating. Date read is approximate.
Jessica Evans
I enjoyed it at the time I read it, and it wasn't until later that I really understood how specious it was (pun not intended). Problematically diverges from essential humanism. Makes wild inductive leaps and is loaded with fallacies. It may be possible to draw something out along these lines but it would take vastly more work and knowledge than this playwright had within him. At the very least it is entertaining though, and not necessarily wrong, just a pretender to objectivity lurking in a very ...more
Ryan Pollock
Outdated and unpopular ideas on the biological and cultural evolution of man written by the man who originated the "Killer Ape" theory. Interesting, but it becomes quickly apparent as to why the theory never caught on. The guys a hack. Don't waste your time with this one.
Ravindran Arunachalam
Ravindran Arunachalam marked it as to-read
Feb 26, 2015
Rachel Payne
Rachel Payne marked it as to-read
Feb 23, 2015
Crease marked it as to-read
Feb 20, 2015
Paul Roman
Paul Roman marked it as to-read
Jan 23, 2015
Ryan Louis
Ryan Louis is currently reading it
Jan 21, 2015
Sean marked it as to-read
Jan 05, 2015
Greg is currently reading it
Feb 24, 2015
Andrea added it
Dec 11, 2014
Joby marked it as to-read
Nov 16, 2014
Pedro marked it as to-read
Oct 29, 2014
Michelle Newby
Michelle Newby marked it as to-read
Sep 07, 2014
V marked it as to-read
Aug 12, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Robert Ardrey (born October 16, 1908, Chicago, Illinois—died January 14, 1980, South Africa) was an American playwright and screenwriter who returned to his academic training in anthropology and the behavioral sciences in the 1950s
More about Robert Ardrey...
African Genesis The Territorial Imperative: A Personal Inquiry Into the Animals Origins of Property and Nations The Hunting Hypothesis: A Personal Conclusion Concerning the Evolutionary Nature of Man Thunder Rock Plays of Three Decades: Thunder Rock / Jeb / Shadow of Heroes

Share This Book