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The Cultural Animal: Human Nature, Meaning, and Social Life

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  42 ratings  ·  3 reviews
What makes us human? Why do people think, feel and act as they do? What is the essence of human nature? What is the basic relationship between the individual and society? These questions have fascinated both great thinkers and ordinary humans for centuries. Now, at last, there is a solid basis for answering them, in the form of accumulated efforts and studies by thousands ...more
Hardcover, 464 pages
Published February 10th 2005 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published January 1st 2005)
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Yahya
May 04, 2020 rated it liked it
This book is a result of a heartbreak. The author was heartbroken after seeing that his colleagues over at sociology (or any other non-psychology) department were still relying on theories of Freud and Skinner for their models of mind. To resolve their woes he wrote a summary of the entire psychological literature. He wrote very clearly and easy-to-understand manner. But, when it comes to content, I don't know how many people would be satisfied.
The book is divided into seven chapters.
1) Beasts
...more
Cormac
Jul 24, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: anthropology
Baumeister is a perceptive psychologist (see his work on "Evil"). However, when he turns anthropologist - and in particular evolutionary anthropologist - his perceptions fail him.
Really, it is his terms of reference that fail. "Culture", in normal parlance, denotes a sum of factors (customs, works of art, inventions, technology, etc.) that characterize the mode of living of a particular society or group of people. Baumeister, however, understands it as a system of behavior which enables a spec
...more
voong
Jan 01, 2016 marked it as abandoned
Shelves: nonfic-psych
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Dr. Roy F. Baumeister is Social Psychology Area Director and Francis Eppes Eminent Scholar at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida. He is a social psychologist who is known for his work on the self, social rejection, belongingness, sexuality, self-control, self-esteem, self-defeating behaviors, motivation, and aggression. And enduring theme of his work is "why people do stupid things." ...more

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