Books  General Natural History  Philosophy, Ethics & Religion 

The Tragedy of Evolution: The Human Animal Confronts Modern Society

By: M Kitahara

Praeger Publishers

Hardback | Oct 1991 | #16646 | ISBN: 0275940411
Availability: Usually dispatched within 2-3 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £59.95 $73/€67 approx

About this book

In this examination of problems in the modern world, Michio Kitahara argues that a logical inconsistency in the philosophy of enlightenment has caused humans to approach their environment in a way that is inconsistent with their biological background. Human biological and cultural evolution has created a form of suffering that derives in part from Western civilization's simultaneous acceptance and rejection of human variation.

Both specialists and the general public assume that evolution is good and desirable, but Kitahara's analysis suggests the opposite: that evolution itself is tragic. In his analysis of human evolution, Kitahara discusses deviant and criminal behaviour, social conflict, liberalism and the nature of Western civilization. He holds two axiomatic assumptions: that humans are characterized by "stimulus seeking behaviour" accompanied by the manipulatory drive, and that humans are characterized by physical, psychological and cultural variation. He argues that the tyranny of the majority and the technology we have developed deny human variation, and that the drive to manipulate the environment is the wellspring of modern, sociocultural phenomena.


Stimulus seeking behaviour and the manipulatory drive; to be a human child; deviant behaviour; conflict in society; human variation; fallacy of categorical thinking; history of cultural evolution; birth and death of liberalism; evolution as tragedy.

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