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The Extended Phenotype: The Long Reach of the Gene (Popular Science) [Kindle Edition]

Richard Dawkins , Daniel Dennett
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)

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Book Description

By the best selling author of The Selfish Gene

'This entertaining and thought-provoking book is an excellent illustration of why the study of evolution is in such an exciting ferment these days.'

Science

'The Extended Phenotype is a sequel to The Selfish Gene . . . he writes so clearly it could be understood by anyone prepared to make the effort'

John Maynard Smith, London Review of Books

'Dawkins is quite incapable of being boring this characteristically brilliant and stimulating book is original and provocative throughout, and immensely enjoyable.'

G. A. Parker, Heredity

'The extended phenotype is certainly a big idea and it is pressed hard in dramatic language.'

Sydney Brenner, Nature

'Richard Dawkins, our most radical Darwinian thinker, is also our best science writer.'

Douglas Adams

'Dawkins is a superb communicator. His books are some of the best books ever written on science.'

Megan Tressider, Guardian

'Dawkins is a genius of science popularization.'

Mark Ridley, The Times

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Review

The Extended Phenotype is a sequel to The Selfish Gene ... he writes so clearly it could be understood by anyone prepared to make the effort (John Maynard Smith, LRB)

This entertaining and thought-provoking book is an excellent illustration of why the study of evolution is in such an exciting ferment these days. (Science)

Book Description

Voted 'Author of the Year' at the Galaxy British Book Awards 2007

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 810 KB
  • Print Length: 325 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0192880519
  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks; Revised edition (4 Mar. 1999)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00GPONW1E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #71,544 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Richard Dawkins first catapulted to fame with his iconic work The Selfish Gene, which he followed with a string of bestselling books: The Extended Phenotype, The Blind Watchmaker, River Out of Eden, Climbing Mount Improbable, Unweaving the Rainbow, The Ancestor's Tale, The God Delusion, The Greatest Show on Earth, The Magic of Reality, and a collection of his shorter writings, A Devil's Chaplain.

Dawkins is a Fellow of both the Royal Society and the Royal Society of Literature. He is the recipient of numerous honours and awards, including the Royal Society of Literature Award (1987), the Michael Faraday Award of the Royal Society (1990), the International Cosmos Prize for Achievement in Human Science (1997), the Kistler Prize (2001), the Shakespeare Prize (2005), the Lewis Thomas Prize for Writing about Science (2006), the Galaxy British Book Awards Author of the Year Award (2007), the Deschner Prize (2007) and the Nierenberg Prize for Science in the Public Interest (2009). He retired from his position as the Charles Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University in 2008 and remains a fellow of New College.

In 2012, scientists studying fish in Sri Lanka created Dawkinsia as a new genus name, in recognition of his contribution to the public understanding of evolutionary science. In the same year, Richard Dawkins appeared in the BBC Four television series Beautiful Minds, revealing how he came to write The Selfish Gene and speaking about some of the events covered in his latest book, An Appetite for Wonder. In 2013, Dawkins was voted the world's top thinker in Prospect magazine's poll of 10,000 readers from over 100 countries.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
61 of 62 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Firstly in reference to another review below, I think it is mean-spirited to give a negative review to a book you confess not to be capable of understanding!
This book was marketed as the sequel to The Selfish Gene, and chronologically it certainly was. However, the book is far more scholarly in its approach and for that reason is different in tone from Dawkins' other major works. Dawkins states at the outset that he is writing primarily for the professional biologist, but that anyone who makes the effort may understand and enjoy the work (I paraphrase).
This is true. With occasional reference to the helpful and educational glossary provided at the back of the book, I found it easy to make progress, to enjoy and to follow the arguments presented. I highly recommend this to all professionals, and to all others who may have read Dawkins' other works and feel ready to go deeper.
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58 of 60 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting but challenging read 8 Dec. 2004
Format:Paperback
"The Extended Phenotype" is the 4th and most demanding of Richard Dawkins' books that I've read. I hadn't realized that it was aimed mainly at his professional colleagues so was surprised at the amount of concentration, hard thinking and puzzled head scratching required to work through it. But what a glow of satisfaction: to finish such a challenging book, feeling that most of it has made sense to me. Like his other books (the ones I've read: "The Selfish Gene", "The Blind Watchmaker" and "Unweaving The Rainbow"), it's beautifully clearly written, with most of the more esoteric terms defined in the glossary at the back of the book. Not all of the terms could be found there however and nor were many of those to be found in an ordinary dictionary. The book is not so self-contained as those aimed at the more 'popular science' end of the market - the ones that you can read from cover to cover without reaching for a dictionary or other source of clarification. That's why I can only claim to have understood *most* rather than *all* of the book.
This book follows on from "The Selfish Gene" and in it, Dawkins argues that the phonotypic effects of genes do not stop at the limits of the organisms that carry them. He suggests, for example, that the phenotypic expression of beaver genes stretch right to the edges of the lakes formed by their dams and the genes of some parasites are expressed in their hosts. So a snail might behave in a manner that puts itself in harm's way because the fluke living inside it has, somehow, managed to modify the snail's behaviour for its own ends - say to continue its life cycle inside one of the snail's predators. That is to say, the snail's behaviour is maximizing the survival of fluke genes rather than snail genes.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth it 10 Jan. 2005
Format:Paperback
They weren't kidding when they said that this book is a bit more scholarly than The Selfish Gene. But in a good way: you can be sure that this is really what Dawkins wanted to say rather than some editor's attempt to make it more "accessible". You don't need to be a professional biologist but it might be a good idea to keep one standing by.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent as always 2 Aug. 2005
By Rob
Format:Paperback
As much as I love all Dawkins' books, this is probably my favourite. It explains how genes are not content to build organisms to ride around in - they also build structures like beaver dams, nests and so on, which are just as much an expression of genes as overtly biological traits and further perpetuate the genes' selfish 'desires'.
This is a really good treatment of that subject - you are unlikely to find any better.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A philosophical interlude 7 Dec. 2010
By Luc REYNAERT TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It is tempting to translate R. Dawkins' splendid views on natural selection, adaptation and evolution into a dialogue between Kant, Nietzsche, Plato and Schopenhauer.

Schopenhauer: We got it! The `thing in itself'.

Kant: But, son, I told you before that we cannot know it.

Schopenhauer: Father, I explained to you that we can know the `thing in itself', because we know our own body. I called it first the `will'; but, now, someone found the real, biological, fundamental, potentially immortal `thing in itself'.

Nietzsche: the Will to Power!

Schopenhauer: No, my son, I know you think of Darwinism as a `complète bêtise'. The Will to Power is not an end, but a means used by the `thing in itself' to attain immortality.

Plato: Immortality? Then, it is one of my `pure ideas', a universal!

Schopenhauer: No, dear grandfather, it is only potentially immortal. It can fail!

Kant, Nietzsche, Plato (together): So, what is it then?

Schopenhauer: It is called the gene, a really existing, living, active long strain of molecules, which exists everywhere in the world.

Kant: And has it phenomena?

Schopenhauer: Of course, father, you found them already. They are the individual living beings, the mortals, which are used as vehicles by the genes to survive for generations on this planet.

Kant: What a formidable `thing in itself'.

Nietzsche: I must revise my vision on science.

Plato: I got so very near the truth. But, genes are only potentially immortal.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars In this fascinating and wonderfully written volume
In this fascinating and wonderfully written volume, Dawkins disects and examines the long reach of the gene and looks at the subtle ways in which the behaviour of one species can... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Daryle Watson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very good, brilliant author
Published 2 months ago by mike
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Another superb book by Dawkins
Published 5 months ago by Yarmouth Bloater
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent value quick delivery
Published 5 months ago by Mark Haddon
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Another excellent book by Richard Dawkins
Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars a great read
a great read
Published 8 months ago by charlotte
5.0 out of 5 stars Author Richard Dawkins
Gift: Recipient was delighted
Published 11 months ago by Debbie S
3.0 out of 5 stars I don't know how to rate this book because I ...
I don't know how to rate this book because I honestly found it so difficult to follow. I have read most of Richard Dawkins' books and this is the only one I'd say don't don't buy... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Keith Wileman
5.0 out of 5 stars To be read with The Selfish Gene
Dawkins calls this his "seminal work", that which he is prodest of and wishes to be remembered for. I do not blame him. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Davide Ferrara
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic book
My goodness - this is a work of genius. There is no other word for it. it is so detailed, so clear.
Published 17 months ago by Jean Elliott
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