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The Goodness Paradox: How Evolution Made Us Both More and Less Violent [9781781255834]

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It may not always seem so, but day-to-day interactions between individual humans are extraordinarily peaceful. That is not to say that we are perfect, just far less violent than most animals, especially our closest relatives, the chimpanzee and their legendarily docile cousins, the Bonobo. Perhaps surprisingly, we rape, maim, and kill many fewer of our neighbours than all other primates and almost all undomesticated animals.

But there is one form of violence that humans exceed all other animals in by several degrees: organised proactive violence against other groups of humans. It seems, we are the only animal that goes to war.

In the Goodness Paradox, Richard Wrangham wrestles with this paradox at the heart of human behaviour. Drawing on new research by geneticists, neuroscientists, primatologists, and archaeologists, he shows that what domesticated our species was nothing less than the invention of capital punishment which eliminated the least cooperative and most aggressive among us.

But that development is exactly what laid the groundwork for the worst of our atrocities.

'A fascinating new analysis of human violence, filled with fresh ideas and gripping evidence from our primate cousins, historical forebears, and contemporary neighbours' -- Steven Pinker

'A brilliant analysis of the role of aggression in our evolutionary history' -- Jane Goodall

AUTHOR: Richard Wrangham is Ruth B. Moore Professor of Biological Anthropology, Harvard University. He is the author of Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human, and Demonic Males: Apes and the Origins of Human Violence (with Dale Peterson). Professor Wrangham is a leader in primate behavioral ecology. He is the recipient of the Rivers Memorial Medal from the Royal Anthropological Institute and a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the British Academy.

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SKU:
9781781255834
ISBN13:
9781781255834
Availability:
Delivery usually in 2-6 working days.
Author:
Richard Wrangham
Publisher:
Profile Books Ltd
Publication:
17-Jan-2019
Format:
Hardback
Pages:
400
Weight:
734 Grams
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