The Moral Animal: Why We Are the Way We Are: The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology

( 21 )

Overview

Are men literally born to cheat? Does monogamy actually serve women's interests? These are among the questions that have made The Moral Animal one of the most provocative science books in recent years. Wright unveils the genetic strategies behind everything from our sexual preferences to our office politics--as well as their implications for our moral codes and public policies. Illustrations.

Are men literally born to cheat? Does monogamy actually serve women's ...

See more details below
Paperback (REPRINT)
$11.84
BN.com price
(Save 34%)$18.00 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (64) from $1.99   
  • New (15) from $9.89   
  • Used (49) from $1.99   
The Moral Animal: Why We Are, the Way We Are: The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$13.99
BN.com price

Overview

Are men literally born to cheat? Does monogamy actually serve women's interests? These are among the questions that have made The Moral Animal one of the most provocative science books in recent years. Wright unveils the genetic strategies behind everything from our sexual preferences to our office politics--as well as their implications for our moral codes and public policies. Illustrations.

Are men literally born to cheat? Does monogamy actually serve women's interests? These are among the questions that have made The Moral Animal one of the most provocative science books in recent years. Wright unveils the genetic strategies behind everything from our sexual preferences to our office politics--as well as their implications for our moral codes and public policies. Illustrations.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
New Republic senior editor Wright's account of the latest trends in Darwinian theory unravels the evolutionary logic behind subjects ranging from friendship and romance to xenophobia and sibling rivalry. (Sept.)
Library Journal
In the past 25 years, a new model of human behavior has arisen. Originally termed sociobiology (a term that fell out of favor when its early proponents were labeled neo-Social Darwinists), this model seeks to apply evolutionary theory to human behavior. Wright (Three Scientists and Their Gods, LJ 8/88) does a fine job of explaining the current state of sociobiological theory and illustrates its tenets in an unusual way-by applying them to the life of Charles Darwin himself. Answering some critics, Wright argues that the evolutionary paradigm is not at all incompatible with support of religious or moral codes, liberal political agendas, or women's rights. Wright has written a fine state-of-the-art introduction to this increasingly important model of human psychology. Highly recommended as a single source on the topic for small libraries and as an addition for larger libraries needing to update their holdings in this still-developing area.-Mary Ann Hughes, Neill P.L., Pullman, Wa.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679763994
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/28/1995
  • Series: Vintage Series
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 496
  • Sales rank: 180,939
  • Product dimensions: 5.15 (w) x 7.98 (h) x 0.99 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Wright
Robert Wright

Robert Wright is the author of Three Scientists and Their Gods and The Moral Animal, which was named by the New York Times Book Review as one of the twelve best books of the year and has been published in nine languages. A recipient of the National Magazine Award for Essay and Criticism, Wright has published in The Atlantic, The New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, Time, and Slate. He was previously a senior editor at The New Republic and The Sciences and now runs the Web site nonzero.org.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 21 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(10)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2002

    The best book in a long time

    This book is well written, at times humorous, not as dry as it could be, and interesting in it's use of Darwin's life to explain it's theories. Though some critics have not liken this take, I find it clever and well done. While some areas are left gray, Wright is quick to admit that he doesn't have all the answers. However, the theories he does provide are well thought out and generally make sense. His dismissal of some Freudian psychology is refreshing. The topic of evolutionary psychology has taken alot of heat lately, and in this book Wright tends to tread lightly in certain areas. My only criticism is that he should not have pulled any punches whatsoever. All in all, a very important book.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2000

    A wonderful introduction to the theory of natural selection

    This is an extremely well written book, combining scientific seriousness with wit and humor. It is a wonderful introduction to the theory of natural selection that gives strong insights about how and why certain traits, both physical and psychological, have been selected for our genes to be passed on from generation to generation. For psychologists in general it offers the wonderful option to solve the nature/nurture conflict. Indeed, it shows how it is the environment that selects certain genes, and then in turn how our genes can influence the environment, leading to a new selection and thus going full circle. Therefore, it becomes obvious that genes and environment are entertwined for ever, and that it is their interaction that makes us who we are. It is also a wonderful tool to understand how very complex behaviors can be executed automatically (or unconsciously), either for strategic reasons or because the number of variables to consider is way too big for our limited consciousness to grasp. Indeed, haven't you ever found yourself saying 'I am not sure why I did that...' or 'I know it was stupid but I just could not help it...'? Evolutionary psychology is trying to understand why we sometimes feel compelled to do certain things, or why we are attracted toward certain persons, even though we are not aware of the powerful forces behind our actions. Among other things, the author presents compelling evidence about why males and females are so fundamentally different psychologically, why we feel love toward our offsprings and which ones we are likely to favor over others, why and how frienships emerge, and the role of social status in the search for a mate. Additionally, one of the most impressive things I found in the book was the explanation of the emergence and purpose of feelings. Indeed, feelings seem to be so deeply routed in our animal nature that it is extremely hard, if not impossible, for us not to react in very emotional ways in many situations. Evolutionary psychology offers a logical way for us to make sense out of this fact, and provides insights about why it is such a central part of us to feel outraged, humble, grateful, indignant, proud, etc... Do not expect to feel very good about yourself after you read this book. Indeed, the author points out that the most noble behaviors emerged for a very selfish end, that is, for our genes to be passed on to the next generation. This is why the last couple of chapters are dedicated to ethics. If you ask me, this part sounds way too patronizing for my taste, and I would have been glad to draw my own conclusions about what is to be done with the knowledge I acquired reading the book. However, it is important to note that we evolved to be moral animals; that is, we became able to be aware of unconscious forces and thus to slowly learn how to master them. Finally, the author indicates that our genes were selected in what he calls the 'ancestral environment,' when we lived in small groups in a world where the word civilization did not even exist. Thus, it allows us to understand why so many people either feel out of touch with their environment or are considered deviant. In the past our genes were selected for their fitness in a particualr environment and our children were thus fit for it as well, as the environment remained virtually the same. However, in our modern world where everything is changing so fast, the genes that had been fit for hundreds of thousands of years are now lost and clueless, and our ever changing environment is leaving us no hope to ever adapt ourselves to it. It is obviously impossible to go back to our ancestral environment for our genes to feel at home again. However, we still can stop our mad race toward destruction and allow human beings to once again feel like they are belonging to this world.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2000

    Bible for atheists

    This book has to be studied in schools instead of religion.It woud serve young people much better then ten comandments.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 17, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Very Compeling!

    Amazing book! The author does a great job with giving explanations for certain human behaviors by making comparisons to animals. He brings up the theory of Darwinism and evolution. This book made me want to learn more about evolution and the study of animals.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2002

    Terrific read - but really simple

    I very much enjoyed this book. The author does a nice job of presenting complex processes in a simple way. I agree with the positive comments of the other reviewers, so I won't re-hash. However, I do think that the author could have provided additional foundation for his arguments. Given that the primary thesis of the book is that psychological processes are transmitted via genes, it seems like he could have provided some evidence (other than to argue that it makes sense) that love or ambition are actually in the genes. He gets around this by saying that every culture has these characteristics and since there are so many differences in the cultures and we all share the same genes, then it must be in the genes. Not very convincing. I am guessing that there is additional evidence, but the author (perhaps not wanting to make things too complex) chooses not to present additional arguments.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2001

    I'm a believer

    On the whole, I think this book is great. It discusses connections between evolution and contemporary life that I wouldn't have thought of, and it certainly is thought-provoking. I found myself putting down the book numerous times just so I could mull over one of Wright's points. However, I could have done without all of the correlaries back to Darwin -- as interested as I am in evolutionary psychology, I'm not nearly as interested in, say, Darwin's home life. Some of the points need to be worked on, but it was an entertaining read overall.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2000

    Why do people do that? Here's an answer...

    This book is an amazingly clear, concise, and well-written account of how genetics and survival/selection have evolved over the eons to affect both animal and human behavior. The reasoning and theories Mr. Wright puts forth make good sense, and he does a great job of providing examples-- from ant colonies to singles bars-- to support his hypotheses. This book gave me incredible insight into the complex workings of the human mind, and provides a succinct, elegant explaination as to why we do the wierd things we do, or are motivated to act seemingly irrationally. Genetics is the core. Evolution is the playground. But with awareness, the final choices, the ultimate decisions, are up to us.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)