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Many things are counter intuitive, like for example how monogamy is contrary to the popular belief good for men more than women, since in the the moral animal robert wright many men will be without wives but no women without husbands. He argues that monogamy was probably adopted lately in order to maintain social stability.

It is a highly intelligent and earnest book. There's a beautiful technique used here by trying to explain Darwin's life which is described by most as "saintly" in light of Evolutionary Psychology which I enjoyed immensely, with Darwin being the moral animal.

The Moral Animal: Why We Are the Way We Are: The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology

However, like any science, some things are still speculative and need to be verified by data as Wright always reminds the moral animal robert wright. Having said all this, I marveled at the first pages or so of the book.

It changed many of my views about Evolution which I took for granted. Why do parents favor some children over others?

What evolutionary advantages might come from having low self-esteem?

The Moral Animal

What are the biological roots of self-deception? These are among the questions that have made The Moral Animal one of the most provocative science books in recent years, as well as one of the moral animal robert wright most genuinely important.

As he presents the latest findings in the emerging field of evolutionary psychology—which views human behavior in light of Darwinian theory—Robert Wright unveils the unconscious strategies that shape our romantic choices, familial feelings, friendships, and office politics.

Men place a greater value on signs of fertility such as youth and sexual fidelity such as coyness ; women place a greater value on signs of a lifelong provider status, strength, devotion.

The result is a roiling marriage market, complete with advertising campaigns and close-to-the-vest assessments of bargaining positions. Wright illustrates the marriage market using the diaries and correspondence of The moral animal robert wright Darwin and his fiancee, Emma Wedgwood.

Once a courtship is consummated, men and women have a common interest in their offspring. But love is not always infinite and everlasting.

Infidelity is a siren, always giving males an opportunity to multiply their progeny and sometimes giving females an opportunity to receive additional male investment. The costs to the cuckold are also asymmetrical. The wife of an adulterer is certain that a baby emerging from her body the moral animal robert wright her own genes, but the husband of an adulteress is in danger of lavishing resources on some other man's genes.

Robert Wright - The Moral Animal

Thus is joined the battle of the sexes. Friendship and other forms of decency toward nonrelatives are rooted in reciprocity: But such favor-trading is always vulnerable to cheaters. For reciprocity to have evolved, it must have been accompanied by the cognitive apparatus necessary to remember the moral animal robert wright has given and taken.

It must also have been supported by emotions like gratitude, anger, self-righteousness and guilt, emotions that impel one to favor reciprocators, punish nonreciprocators and stay on the positive side of others' ledgers.

The Moral Animal - Wikipedia

In humans, the talkative species, long-term reciprocity creates an arms race of impression management. Everyone tries to show signs of integrity exceeding that in actual behaviorwhile developing hypersensitive radar for such hypocrisy in others. Since an adversary's social radar will pick up any twitch or inconsistency that leaks the awful truth, it can even pay to deceive oneself about one's own intentions, so that there is nothing to leak.

The brain is like a good lawyer: WRIGHT is aware of the furor that greeted these ideas when they were presented as part of the new science of sociobiology in the 's. The newsmagazines misread the theory as claiming that we are puppets the moral animal robert wright by our genes. In fact, most sociobiologists assumed that behavior implicates both genes and culture; they were simply explaining why the genetic component is the way it is.

Social scientists, schooled in the idea that humans inherit only a general learning mechanism that absorbs a culture's mores bad ones now, better ones in a reformed societyresisted the idea of an inherited complex human nature.

And the forces of what would now be called political correctness accused sociobiologists of racism, sexism and oppression of the working class. Wright gives us a chilling reminder of the intolerant atmosphere by reproducing a poster urging students to bring noisemakers the moral animal robert wright a public lecture by the sociobiologist E.