The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex: (With a new introduction by J.T. Bonner and R.M. May) / Edition 1

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Overview

In the current resurgence of interest in the biological basis of animal behavior and social organization, the ideas and questions pursued by Charles Darwin remain fresh and insightful. This is especially true of The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex, Darwin's second most important work. This edition is a facsimile reprint of the first printing of the first edition (1871), not previously available in paperback.

The work is divided into two parts. Part One marshals behavioral and morphological evidence to argue that humans evolved from other animals. Darwin shoes that human mental and emotional capacities, far from making human beings unique, are evidence of an animal origin and evolutionary development. Part Two is an extended discussion of the differences between the sexes of many species and how they arose as a result of selection. Here Darwin lays the foundation for much contemporary research by arguing that many characteristics of animals have evolved not in response to the selective pressures exerted by their physical and biological environment, but rather to confer an advantage in sexual competition. These two themes are drawn together in two final chapters on the role of sexual selection in humans.

In their Introduction, Professors Bonner and May discuss the place of The Descent in its own time and relation to current work in biology and other disciplines.

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Editorial Reviews

Natural History
[This work] is second only in importance to the Origin of Species . . . among Darwin's works and the book in which he uses the word evolution for the first time.
From the Publisher
"[This work] is second only in importance to the Origin of Species . . . among Darwin's works and the book in which he uses the word evolution for the first time."Natural History
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691023694
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/1981
  • Edition description: With a New introduction by J. T. Bonner and R. M. May
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 528
  • Product dimensions: 5.44 (w) x 8.01 (h) x 1.97 (d)

Meet the Author

Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin (1809—1882) was an evolutionary biologist, best known for his controversial and ground-breaking The Origin of Species (1859).

James Moore is a reader in history of science and technology at the Open University.

Adrian Desmond is an honorary research fellow in the Biology Department at University College London.
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    1. Date of Birth:
      February 12, 1809
    2. Place of Birth:
      Shrewsbury, England
    1. Date of Death:
      April 19, 1882
    2. Place of Death:
      London, England
    1. Education:
      B.A. in Theology, Christ’s College, Cambridge University, 1831

Table of Contents

Introduction
Preface to the Second Edition
Introduction 1
I The Evidence of the Descent of Man from Some Lower Form 5
II On the Manner of Development of Man from Some Lower Form 26
III Comparison of the Mental Powers of Man and the Lower Animals 66
IV Comparison of the Mental Powers of Man and the Lower Animals (continued) 100
V On the Development of the Intellectual and Moral Faculties during Primeval and Civilized Times 131
VI On the Affinities and Genealogy of Man 151
VII On the Races of Man 172
VIII Principles of Sexual Selection 214
IX Secondary Sexual Characters in the Lower Classes of the Animal Kingdom 268
X Secondary Sexual Characters of Insects 283
XI Insects (continued) - Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths) 316
XII Secondary Sexual Characters of Fishes, Amphibians, and Reptiles 341
XIII Secondary Sexual Characters of Birds 370
XIV Birds (continued) 417
XV Birds (continued) 459
XVI Birds (concluded) 481
XVII Secondary Sexual Characters of Mammals 518
XVIII Secondary Sexual Characters of Mammals (continued) 544
XIX Secondary Sexual Characters of Man 576
XX Secondary Sexual Characters of Man (continued) 606
XXI General Summary and Conclusion 629
Supplemental Note 644
Index 649
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Customer Reviews

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