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Academic & Professional Books  Evolutionary Biology  Evolution

The Origins of Virtue

Popular Science
By: Matt Ridley(Author)
295 pages, b/w illustrations
Publisher: Penguin Books
The Origins of Virtue
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  • The Origins of Virtue ISBN: 9780140244045 Paperback Jul 2011 Usually dispatched within 6 days
    £12.99
    #70742
  • The Origins of Virtue ISBN: 9780670863570 Hardback Jul 1997 Out of Print #59065
Selected version: £12.99
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About this book

Human beings are the ants of the ape family: they live in complex societies with subtle divisions of labour. Yet evolution by natural selection relentlessly favours self-interest. So how is it that we are able to construct an omelette called society from eggs called egoists? Ridley's book argues that new research shows how the human mind has evolved a special instinct for social exchange and that it is this mental programme that enables us to reap the benefits of cooperation, ostracize those who break the social contract and avoid the trap of being `rational fools'. Beginning with the social contract theory of Hobbes and Rousseau, The Origins of Virtue traces the evolution of society first among genes, then among cells, then in ants, vampire bats, apes and dolphins, and finally among human beings.

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Biography

Matt Ridley is a research fellow of the Institute of Economic Affairs and a Trustee of the International Centre for Life, living in Northumberland. His last book, The Red Queen, was short-listed for the Rhone-Poulenc Prize for science books and the Writers' Guild Award for non-fiction.

Popular Science
By: Matt Ridley(Author)
295 pages, b/w illustrations
Publisher: Penguin Books
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