The Moral Animal

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The Moral Animal
The Moral Animal, first edition.jpg
Cover of the first edition
AuthorRobert Wright
CountryUnited States
SubjectsSocial evolution, Evolutionary psychology, Morality, Ethics
PublisherVintage Books
Publication date
Media typePrint (Hardcover and Paperback)
Pages466 pages (paperback)
ISBN0-679-76399-6 (1st edition, hardcover)

The Moral Animal is a 1994 book by the journalist Robert Wright, in which the author explores many aspects of everyday life through evolutionary biology.


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.[1] The anthropologist Melvin Konner called the book "delightful".[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gould, Stephen Jay. Evolution: The Pleasures of Pluralism, The New York Review of Books. June 26, 1997.
  2. ^ Konner, Melvin. The Tangled Wing: Biological Constraints on the Human Spirit. Times Books, 2002, p. 498.

Bibliographical information[edit]

  • 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.

External links[edit]