On Human Nature

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
On Human Nature
On Human Nature, first edition.jpg
Cover of the first edition
Author E. O. Wilson
Country United States
Language English
Subject Human nature
Publisher Harvard University Press
Publication date
Media type Print (Hardcover and Paperback)
ISBN 0-674-01638-6
OCLC 55534964
304.5 22
LC Class GN365.9 .W54 2004

On Human Nature is a 1978 book by Harvard biologist E. O. Wilson, in which Wilson attempts to explain human nature and society from the point of view of evolutionary theory. Wilson argues that evolution has left its traces on characteristics such as generosity, self-sacrifice, worship and the use of sex for pleasure, and proposes a sociobiological explanation of homosexuality.[1] He attempts to complete the Darwinian revolution by bringing biological thought into social sciences and humanities.


On Human Nature won a 1979 Pulitzer Prize.[2]

John Gribbin and Mary Gribbin write that On Human Nature is an "accessible account of the application of sociobiology to people."[3]

David P. Barash and Ilona A. Barash write that On Human Nature is, "A wide-ranging, thoughtful, and controversial classic of human sociobiology, written by the renowned biologist who first brought the discipline into the popular and scientific limelight."[4]


  1. ^ Wilson, Edward O. (1995). On Human Nature. London: Penguin Books. p. 143. ISBN 0-14-024535-9. 
  2. ^ http://entertainment.time.com/2011/08/30/all-time-100-best-nonfiction-books/slide/on-human-nature-by-edward-o-wilson/
  3. ^ Gribbin, Mary; Gribbin, John (1993). Being Human: Putting People in an Evolutionary Perspective. London: J. M. Dent. p. 286. ISBN 0-460-86164-6. 
  4. ^ Barash, David P.; Barash, Ilona A. (2001). The Mammal in the Mirror: Understanding Our Place in the Natural World. New York: W. H. Freeman and Company. p. 362. ISBN 0-7167-4166-0. 

External links[edit]