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This book presents a fresh synthesis of the principles of social evolution that underlie the major transitions, explaining how the basic theory underpinning social evolution - inclusive fitness theory - is central to understanding each event. The book defines the key stages in a major transition, then highlights the shared principles operating at each stage across the transitions as a whole. It addresses in new ways the question of how, once they have arisen, organisms and societies become more individualistic.
a superb book, one that should change how we teach and think about life on our planet. ... an accessible, comprehensive, and highly readable overview, which will be invaluable in undergraduate teaching ... equally suitable for frontline researchers from postgraduate to professorial levels. Stuart West, Science
Preface and Acknowledgements 1: An Expanded View of Social Evolution 2: A Primer in Inclusive Fitness Theory 3: The Major Transitions in Light of Inclusive Fitness Theory 4: Social Group Formation 5: Social Group Maintenance 6: Social Group Transformation 7: Synthesis and Conclusions References Index
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