Darwin Loves You: Natural Selection and the Re-enchantment of the World

Darwin Loves You: Natural Selection and the Re-enchantment of the World

by George Levine
     
 

"Darwin Loves You is the most interesting book I have read this year. It is wise, brave, and beautifully written. Levine's reflections on the important issue of Darwinism as an ideology are bound to engage readers. He shows that Darwin's science is not dehumanising or amoral and that it's possible to be a Darwinist and still believe that the world has

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Overview

"Darwin Loves You is the most interesting book I have read this year. It is wise, brave, and beautifully written. Levine's reflections on the important issue of Darwinism as an ideology are bound to engage readers. He shows that Darwin's science is not dehumanising or amoral and that it's possible to be a Darwinist and still believe that the world has meaning."—Janet Browne, author of Charles Darwin: The Power of Place

"George Levine has thought deeply about Darwinism, its cultural history, and its implications for moral and spiritual values. Darwin Loves You should be read by everyone who thinks that their values are threatened by evolutionary theory."—David Sloan Wilson, author of Darwin's Cathedral: Evolution, Religion, and the Nature of Society and How to be a Good Evolutionist

"Darwin Loves You is a very important work that deserves to be read by many people well outside the narrow circle of Darwin specialists. First, it is a brilliant account of how a science is taken up and used for diverse cultural ends, far beyond the intention of the author and the content of the text. Second, it is crucially relevant to the present day with the horrifying rise of fundamentalist religion in America and abroad. It shows how science gets misused and misunderstood in dangerous ways by fanatics. Third, and most important of all, it introduces us to a man who is deeply in love with his subject, wanting to engage the reader. One learns here truly why scholarship is such a joyful activity."—Michael Ruse, author of The Evolution-Creation Struggle

"This is a rich and multilayered argument for a wider appreciation of a 'kinder, gentler' Darwin. It examines many of the ways in which Darwin's writings have been appropriated by later social Darwinist and eugenicist thought. Levine makes a cogent defence of the practice of close reading both Darwin and his many commentators. The result is a subtle but powerful argument about the way in which distinctive strands of Darwin's intellectual and personal identity—as romantic materialist and emotional subject—need to be appreciated as a possible resource of re-enchantment, overturning pessimistic, rationalistic, and technological disenchantment."—David Amigoni, Keele University, coeditor of Charles Darwin's "Origin of Species": New Interdisciplinary Essays

"Passionate, erudite, and polemical, Darwin Loves You draws its arguments from a heady array of writers and philosophers. This is a book to think with."—Rebecca Stott, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, author of Darwin and the Barnacle

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691136394
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
03/10/2008
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

Preface

Acknowledgments

Chapter 1 Secular Re-enchantment 1

Chapter 2 The Disenchanting Darwin 45

Chapter 3 Using Darwin 73

Chapter 4 A Modern Use: Socibiology 93

Chapter 5 Darwin and Pain: Why Science Made Shakespeare Nauseating 129

Chapter 6 "And if it be a pretty woman all the better": Darwin and Sexual Selection 169

Chapter 7 A Kinder, Gentler, Darwin 202

Epilogue: What Does It Mean? 252

Notes 275

Index 297

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