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The Biological Roots of Human Nature : Forging Links between Evolution and Behavior - Timothy H. Goldsmith

The Biological Roots of Human Nature

Forging Links between Evolution and Behavior

Paperback Published: 20th October 1995
ISBN: 9780195093933
Number Of Pages: 176

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In this stimulating book, Goldsmith argues that biology has a great deal to say that should be of interest to social scientists, historians, philosophers, and humanists in general. He believes that anyone studying the social behavior of humans must take into consideration both proximate cause--the physiology, biochemistry, and social mechanisms of behavior--and ultimate cause--how the behavior came to exist in evolutionary time. Goldsmith, a neurobiologist, draws examples from neurobiology, psychology, and ethology (behavioral evolution). The result is a work that overcomes many of the misconceptions that have hindered the rich contributions the biological sciences have to offer concerning the evolution of human society, behavior, and sense of identity. Among the key topics addressed are the nature of biological explanation, the relationship between genes and behavior, those aspects of behavior most likely to respond to natural selection, the relationship between evolution and learning, and some probable modes of interaction between cultural and biological evolution. By re-examining the role of biological explanation in the domain of social development, the author has significantly advanced a more well-rounded view of human evolution and shed new light on the perennial question of what it means to be human. His book will appeal to biologists, social scientists, traditional humanists, and interested general readers.

"The book is well-written and amasses considerable evidence in support of its thesis. ... He (Goldsmith) brings to his work not only familiarity with evolutionary theory but also his particular skills as a neurobiologist. So he is in a better than average position to make the connections between genetics, neurobiology and psychology as these affect behavior." -- New Ideas in Psychology "The strength of the book is. . .the succinct way in which Goldsmith explains many of the confusing and misunderstood elements of sociobiology." --Choice "An outstanding work reflecting careful synthesis and great explanatory power. A superb achievement that provides a succinct and readable overview of an extraordinarily broad and complex area."--Owen D. Jones, Professor of Law, Arizona State University "The book is well-written and amasses considerable evidence in support of its thesis. ... He (Goldsmith) brings to his work not only familiarity with evolutionary theory but also his particular skills as a neurobiologist. So he is in a better than average position to make the connections between genetics, neurobiology and psychology as these affect behavior." -- New Ideas in Psychology "The strength of the book is. . .the succinct way in which Goldsmith explains many of the confusing and misunderstood elements of sociobiology." --Choice "An outstanding work reflecting careful synthesis and great explanatory power. A superb achievement that provides a succinct and readable overview of an extraordinarily broad and complex area."--Owen D. Jones, Professor of Law, Arizona State University

1: The Dual Nature of Causation in Biology 2: Some Fallacies and Misconceptions 3: Evolutionary Theory Since Darwin 4: Reasoning About Ultimate Causes of Behavior 5: Getting From Genes to Behavior 6: Evolutionary Perspectives on Volition, Learning, and Language 7: Decisions, Decisions! 8: Culture, Anthropology, and Evolution 9: Epilogue -- "Concerning Biological Reductionism"

ISBN: 9780195093933
ISBN-10: 0195093933
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 176
Published: 20th October 1995
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 20.85 x 13.92  x 1.35
Weight (kg): 0.23