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On Human Nature / Edition 2

On Human Nature / Edition 2

by Edward O. Wilson
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In his new preface E. O. Wilson reflects on how he came to write this book: how The Insect Societies led him to write Sociobiology, and how the political and religious uproar that engulfed that book persuaded him to write another book that would better explain the relevance of biology to the understanding of human behavior.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674016385
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 10/18/2004
Edition description: Revised Edition
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 289,231
Product dimensions: 6.12(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.69(d)

About the Author

Edward O. Wilson is Pellegrino University Professor, Emeritus, at Harvard University. In addition to two Pulitzer Prizes (one of which he shares with Bert Hölldobler), Wilson has won many scientific awards, including the National Medal of Science and the Crafoord Prize of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

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On Human Nature 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Bo-Wilson More than 1 year ago
There has always been a polarity between science and religion. I say that this work is as profound a scientific analysis of divine handiwork that ever was. Insulting this objective analysis of divine handiwork seems to me an insult of divinity itself.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book humbles the human species with the remark 'Human intelligence is weak, human passion unsurprising.' If you want to understand human nature rather than simply to live a human life, then you should read this book. It informs readers about the human dilemmas. The author's awareness of these dilemmas reflects his keen consciousness and profundity. The book shows that science can explain human nature, including aggression, altruism, and religious faith. It delights readers with a scientific analysis of human development and free will, reminding them that humans, like all organisms, are under their genetic and biological constraints although the phenomenon of human culture seems to indicate otherwise. It proposes a course for the human species where human's understanding and knowledge could be greatly accelerated. It's a very fine book from a very fine mind.
keylawk on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The book reveals how different characteristics of humans and society are explained from the point of evolution. Wilson challenges the tabula raza concept and other prejudices and misconceptions about the nature-nurture debate. Evolution has left its traces on the characteristics which are the speciality of human species, for example sex for pleasure, generosity, altruism and worship. The book is Darwinian, not only in its use of evolution, but in its restraint in drawing conclusions before an enormous amount of research and data has been brought to beach. He brings biological thought into social sciences and humanities.
ppendharkar on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The book is somewhat outdated and I disagree with Wilson here and there but overall a great book. Love Wilson. He is a great scientist and an infectious author.
RamiFaour on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In Human Nature, E.O.Wilson presents the theory that the anti-discipline of biology is in fact 'social science'. In a relationship analogous to that between physics and chemistry, Wilson sees biology as providing the foundation upon which the social sciences can be built. Probing the nature of the human species will, Wilson holds, will enable us to understand the nature(thoughts, behaviors, etc) of humans under different circumstances. Having accomplished this, Wilson sees the next challenge in deciding which course of action the human race will choose, and what aspects of human nature to reinforce at the expense of others. Wilson goes on to deal with six issues, such as religion and altruism, outlining how biology can explain these issues(though acknowledging it's incompleteness) in a manner in line with the 'selfish gene' hypothesis. Though Wilson's views are important, it nonetheless seems as if their fulfillment is still hypothetical. At the turn of the twenty first century, meteorological and ecological systems are still largely unpredictable, let alone malleable. As such, the complexity of the human organism first, and human society at large, seem to be out of reach for decades to come. Moreover, at the(hypothetical) time when society does acquire these skills, it is certain that those same people will be thinking about these same issues in a different way. Ultimately, only their decisions will matter.
gbsallery on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Staggeringly good; the product of a formidable (ha!) intellect. Calm, lucid, and bold in scope, this work explains the earlier themes of Sociobiology, with particular impact on the "anti-discipline" of sociology. Well worth a read, if you are at all interested in the biological basis of morality (or more generally, culture).
Guest More than 1 year ago
Typical 'crap' about how human beings are just bugs with bigger brains and that there is no free will nor rational altruism!