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Preview — The Social Contract by Robert Ardrey
The Social Contract: A Personal Inquiry into the Evolutionary Sources of Order and Disorder
“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)
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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.
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.
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.
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
Outdated and unpopular ideas on the biological and cultural evolution of man written by the man who originated the "Killer Ape" theory.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.
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 1950sMore about Robert Ardrey...