A Darwinian Left: Politics, Evolution and Cooperation

A Darwinian Left: Politics, Evolution and Cooperation

by Peter Singer
Pub. Date:
Yale University Press


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A Darwinian Left: Politics, Evolution and Cooperation

In this ground-breaking book, a renowned bioethicist argues that the political left must radically revise its outdated view of human nature. He shows how the insights of modern evolutionary theory, particularly on the evolution of cooperation, can help the left attain its social and political goals.

Singer explains why the left originally rejected Darwinian thought and why these reasons are no longer viable. He discusses how twentieth-century thinking has transformed our understanding of Darwinian evolution, showing that it is compatible with cooperation as well as competition, and that the left can draw on this modern understanding to foster cooperation for socially desirable ends. A Darwinian left, says Singer, would still be on the side of the weak, poor, and oppressed, but it would have a better understanding of what social and economic changes would really work to benefit them. It would also work toward a higher moral status for nonhuman animals and a less anthropocentric view of our dominance over nature.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780300083231
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 03/28/2000
Series: Darwinism Today series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 80
Product dimensions: 4.50(w) x 7.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Peter Singer is DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University. He is the author of numerous books, including Should the Baby Live? The Problem of Handicapped Infants and Individuals, Humans and Persons: Questions of Life and Death, both coauthored with Helga Kuhse.

What People are Saying About This


Singer challenges the conventional wisdom that a recognition of human nature is incompatible with progressive ideals… [This book] is deep, original, and beautifully researched and argued.
—Steven Pinker, Darwinism Today series

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