A watershed book that masterfully integrates insights from evolutionary biology, genetics, psychology, economics, and more to explore the development and workings of human societies
“There is no good reason why human societies should not be described and explained with the same precision and success as the rest of nature.” Thus argues evolutionary psychologist Pascal Boyer in this uniquely innovative book.
Integrating recent insights from evolutionary biology, genetics, psychology, economics, and other fields, Boyer offers precise models of why humans engage in social behaviors such as forming families, tribes, and nations, or creating gender roles. In fascinating, thought-provoking passages, he explores questions such as: Why is there conflict between groups? Why do people believe low-value information such as rumors? Why are there religions? What is social justice? What explains morality? Boyer provides a new picture of cultural transmission that draws on the pragmatics of human communication, the constructive nature of memory in human brains, and human motivation for group formation and cooperation.
- Rene De Paula Jr.
I am really impressed by the explanatory power of the evolutionary laws, it really opened my mind to our human nature and also to popular misunderstandings about natural selection.
mankind is all about collaboration, not individual competitions
A Great Idea- Obscured with too many words
The progressively common practice of combining fields of competence and finding new ground or better tools to understand, is a great idea. Boyer takes the idea of evolutionary biology & applies it to sociology to help understand the reason and purpose of many of the acts we do on a daily basis and ultimately to form societies unlike any before us. But he spends so many words describing minutia that the central thread gets foggy if not completely lost. He also intermixes constructs based on reliable data with his conjectures- his best guess- with little distinction between the two.