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but this is not what I want from a book like this.
on 2 January 2015
The blurb on the front of this book claims that it is 'remarkable' and 'beautifully written'...I haven't read much specifically on this topic, but my previous readings in psychology, philosophy and evolutionary biology (by no means extensive) had pointed to the basic concepts put forth in this book. At no point is a 'new' idea posited, and the whole book seems to go round in circles 'proving' it's thesis by simply restating the same things over and over. As for 'beautifully written', it probably is, but this is not what I want from a book like this...the author digresses so often from the actual topic - alternating between making a point of how 'special' humans are in relation to our nearest Great Ape relatives (often making claims about the lack of co-operation in ape societies that, based on previous reading, frankly just are not true) and anthropomorphising the co-operative behaviours of amoeba and insects (another fundamental error) - that it seems like he is reaching far beyond his own field of expertise. I appreciate it is intended as a book of 'popular science', and I do appreciate that it is written in an understandable manner without too much jargon, but it seems so lacking in actual new ideas or genuine explication that I could not recommend it - you'll learn far more from an introductory text on evolutionary psychology and a subscription to New Scientist.