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Evolution and Ethics

By: Thomas Henry Huxley

131 pages, no illustrations

Princeton University Press

Paperback | deckle edge | May 2009 | #178080 | ISBN-13: 9780691141305
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NHBS Price: £18.99 $25/€22 approx
Hardback | May 2009 | #178081 | ISBN-13: 9780691141923
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About this book

Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-1895) was one of the most prominent proponents of evolutionary theory of the late nineteenth century. A close companion of Charles Darwin, Huxley developed a reputation as "Darwin's Bulldog" for his relentless defense of evolutionary theory. Huxley was also an ardent supporter of social reform, particularly in his call for quality education at all levels.

Evolution and Ethics, widely considered to be his greatest lecture, distilled a lifetime's wisdom and sensitive understanding of the nature and needs of humankind. Arguing that the human psyche is at war with itself, that humans are alienated in the cosmos, and that moral societies are necessarily in conflict with the natural conditions of their existence, Huxley nevertheless saw moral dictates as the key to future human happiness and success.

This new edition features an introduction by renowned historian and philosopher of biology Michael Ruse, placing Huxley's lecture in its original context while showing its even deeper relevance for our own time.

Praise for Princeton's previous edition: "For Huxley, natural selection is not to be deemed a mixed blessing; rather, it is a damnable mix. -- Arthur Falk, Humanist Praise for Princeton's previous edition: "Reading Huxley's text again is a pleasure and a double reminder ... that we're no closer than the Victorians to a comfortable understanding of our place in nature ... [and] that Huxley ... could contextualize [his] thinking ... with respect to a vast array of cultural and intellectual traditions [he] knew and respected. Few today could do that as Huxley does. -- Archie Mancato, Nineteenth-Century Contexts Praise for Princeton's previous edition: "Describing the struggle for existence in nature, Darwin tells us that 'we may console ourselves with the full belief ... that the vigorous, the healthy, and the happy survive and multiply.' Thomas Henry Huxley presents a more pessimistic interpretation. -- Allan Larson, TREE [T]he reissuing of Evolution and Ethics serves as a timely reminder of Huxley's important contribution to debates about evolution more broadly and his ongoing relevance to disciplines from biology to philosophy to psychology. -- Brett Bowden, European Legacy


Introduction vii Acknowledgments xxxvii A Note about the Text xxxix Evolution and Ethics Prolegomena to Evolution and Ethics 1 Evolution and Ethics 46 Notes 87 Editor's Notes 117 Further Reading 121 Index 125

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Michael Ruse is the Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor of Philosophy and director of the Program in the History and Philosophy of Science at Florida State University.

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