Evolutionary Psychology - The Moral Animal

anonymous anonymous.scripps.edu
Thu Oct 12 17:54:28 EST 1995

In article <badger.813460874 at phylo.life.uiuc.edu>,
badger at phylo.life.uiuc.edu (Jonathan Badger) wrote:

> bgold at itsa.ucsf.edu (Bert Gold) writes:
> >I have just finished reading Robert Wright's new book,
> >The Moral Animal [...]
> >If I remember the New York Times book review of this work correctly,
> >it emphasized Mr. Wright's deep understanding of why beautiful young
> >women are attracted to moneyed greying men.
> >Although I am impressed with both Mr. Wright's and Dr. E. O. Wilson's
> >elucidation of the importance of altruism, sib-selection and kin selection
> >for behavioral evolution; I remain unconvinced that a necessary relation
> >to the laws of physics and chemistry has been forged by these two
> >writers. [...]
> >Do any of you have any insight into what troubles me about this field
> >(evolutionary psychology) and how I might learn to think this way?

I think you may be better off reading a book titled "Sexual Selection", by
Grant and Carol Gould, if you are looking for an excellent evolutionary
explanation of sexual behaviors.  Grant Gould, a professor at Princeton
University, is an expert in the area of animal behavior, and attempts to
explain it through strictly scientific methods.  He deals with the subject
of Ethology in several of his books (including, remarkably enough,
"Ethology"), although primarily utilizing non-primate animals in his
examples.  Nevertheless, like most strong works of basic science, the
conclusions reached in these books shed light on human behaviors as well. 

John C. Tilton
Scripps Research Institute

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