The Origins of Virtue

The Origins of Virtue

Human Instincts and the Evolution of Cooperation

Format
Paperback
Price
$16.00
 
  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780140264456
  • 304 Pages
  • Penguin Books
  • Adult

Overview

If, as Darwin suggests, evolution relentlessly encourages the survival of the fittest, why are humans compelled to live in cooperative, complex societies? In this fascinating examination of the roots of human trust and virtue, a zoologist and former American editor of the Economist reveals the results of recent studies that suggest that self-interest and mutual aid are not at all incompatible. In fact, he points out, our cooperative instincts may have evolved as part of mankind?s natural selfish behavior–by exchanging favors we can benefit ourselves as well as others.Brilliantly orchestrating the newest findings of geneticists, psychologists, and anthropologists, The Origins of Virtue re-examines the everyday assumptions upon which we base our actions towards others, whether in our roles as parents, siblings, or trade partners. With the wit and brilliance of The Red Queen, his acclaimed study of human and animal sexuality, Matt Ridley shows us how breakthroughs in computer programming, microbiology, and economics have given us a new perspective on how and why we relate to each other.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Prologue
Chapter One: The Society of Genes
Chapter Two: The Division of Labour
Chapter Three: The Prisoner’s Dilemma
Chapter Four: Telling Hawks from Doves
Chapter Five: Duty and the Feast
Chapter Six: Public Goods and Private Gifts
Chapter Seven: Theories of Moral Sentiments
Chapter Eight: The Tribal Primates
Chapter Nine: The Source of War
Chapter Ten: The Gains from Trade
Chapter Eleven: Ecology as Religion
Chapter Twelve: The Power of Property
Chapter Thirteen: Trust

Sources and Notes
Index

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