- Hardcover: 179 pages
- Publisher: Watts; 1st Thus edition (1934)
- Language: English
- ASIN: B000861UN2
- Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 10.4 x 1.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,252,905 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
THE THINKER'S LIBRARY, NO. 47: THE EXPRESSION OF THE EMOTIONS IN MAN AND ANIMALS. Hardcover – 1934
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Top Customer Reviews
Also there are no illustrations.
I feel I have been conned.
As always, Darwin takes great care as he works his way through the origins and recognition of emotions in both man and animals. He tries to explain how they might have evolved. Darwin uses a wealth of references to back his ideas. Modern readers can find Victorian writers a bit heavy in the way they write but this is an enjoyable book if you read it in stages (as I am still doing!)
Perhaps one of the most interesting facts was Darwin's belief in the "inheritance of acquired characteristics", as proposed by Lamarck. Darwin could see nothing wrong with the idea that expressions in frequent use become acquired. It made me, as a biologist, aware that Darwin was a man of his time. We must not forget that there was no physical explanation at the time about how natural selection works on genes that are transferred to offspring. Darwin was unaware of Mendel's work, for example.
Darwin's work on the expression of emotions fell into disfavour in the 20th Century. The balance of scientific opinion swung towards a belief that cultural factors were more important. Now the pendulum is swinging the other way. It is therefore a pleasure to find that many of Darwin's findings are being rediscovered and confirmed in new research.
The book includes comments by Paul Ekman. Paul is a modern expert, researcher and teacher in facial expression. This is great for the reader, who can then see how Darwin's work fits in with modern opinion. I should add that science is still actively debating the expression of emotions to this day!
An thoughtful book which is a great addition to your bookshelf.
Does the job if you have good eyesight but I like my books to be abit more aesthetically pleasing
However, you must be careful to buy the right edition. In particular, Amazon is rather cavalier about sharing reviews and "search inside" images between different editions that just happen to have the same title. Don't let this mislead you.
Paul Ekman's definitive third edition published by Fontana [ISBN 0006387349] starts with the text and illustrations (including photographs) from the 1889 second edition, and includes further changes that Charles Darwin had indicated but which his son Francis did not include. Ekman adds further photographs and his own comments, which put the work fully into a modern context. It's a fine piece of scholarship.
On the other hand, the Filiquarian edition [ISBN 1599869152] is complete rubbish. It just reprints the freely available text of the second edition with no illustrations and no copy editing. Avoid it.
The Ekman edition fully deserves a 5* review, but I am only giving four because Amazon will attach this review to all the editions, and I want you to read it and realise the difference!
But by the early 1870s he felt confident enough to openly discuss the evolution of humans from animals. He did this in "The Descent of Man" (1871) and in this book, "The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals" (1872).
In "The Expression of Emotions" Darwin's main aim was to show that humans are not separate from animals. He shows the origins of human facial expressions in the animal world, and he argues that human expressions are innate and universal (the same in all cultures).
I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in Darwin's ideas. But in my view it is not Darwin at his best. It has been pointed out that there are two main weaknesses in the book. Firstly, Darwin focuses mainly on the emotional roots of facial expressions and says too little about the role of expressions in communication.
Secondly, despite having developed the revolutionary (and correct) theory of natural selection as the mechanism for evolutionary change, Darwin mistakenly allowed a subsidiary role for the Lamarckian idea of the inheritance of acquired characteristics. This book is unfortunately full of examples of this latter idea.
In recent decades the book has also featured in controversies over the so-called "nature versus nurture" debate. Social anthropologist Margaret Mead argued that human facial expressions are learned, not innate, and that they vary from one culture to another.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
There is not a single illustration in this book, Darwin's work is intriguing but without the illustrations is just too dry. No wonder it was free!Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
There should have been some illustrations or photos in this book, therefore I was dissapointedPublished 21 months ago by malcolm jackson
AS EVER, HIS WORK WAS FAR TOO AHEAD OF HIS TIME, BUT MAKES SENSE TO US TODAY.
A MAN WITH AN EXCEPTIONAL MIND
emotions can be made, and compared between human beings and animals.Published on 9 Oct. 2014 by Lin Hao