The Moral Animal
|Subjects||Social evolution, Evolutionary psychology, Morality, Ethics|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover and Paperback)|
|Pages||466 pages (paperback)|
|ISBN||0-679-76399-6 (1st edition, hardcover)|
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Wright explores many aspects of everyday life through evolutionary biology. He provides Darwinian explanations for human behavior and psychology, social dynamics and structures, as well as people's relationships with lovers, friends, and family.
Wright borrows extensively from Charles Darwin's better-known publications, including On the Origin of Species (1859), but also from his chronicles and personal writings, illustrating behavioral principles with Darwin's own biographical examples.
The New York Times Book Review chose The Moral Animal as one of the 12 best books of 1994; it was a national bestseller and has been published in 12 languages. The paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould criticized the book in The New York Review of Books. In a somewhat critical review of the book, neurologist Amy Wax wrote that "One measure of his [Wright's] success is that most of the incoherences in the book can be traced to weaknesses in the body of work he seeks to present, and not in Wright's exposition." The linguist Steven Pinker in a review in the New York Times Book Review praised The Moral Animal as "fiercely intelligent, beautifully written and engrossingly original book", but found fault with the author's "larger ethical arguments."
- Evolutionary ethics
- Evolutionary psychology
- John Stuart Mill
- Kin selection
- Reciprocal altruism
- Richard Dawkins
- Steven Pinker
- The Naked Ape
- Gould, Stephen Jay. Evolution: The Pleasures of Pluralism, The New York Review of Books. June 26, 1997.
- Wax, Amy. Against Nature-On Robert Wright's The Moral Animal. The University of Chicago Law Review, 1996, p. 308.
- Pinker, Steven. Is There a Gene for Compassion? New York Times Book Review, September 25, 1994.
- Robert Wright (1995-08-29). The Moral Animal: Why We Are, the Way We Are: The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology. Vintage. ISBN 978-0-679-76399-4.