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3.2 out of 5 stars
24
3.2 out of 5 stars
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on 12 October 2010
I was made aware of this book by a very entertaining seminar on human expression and FACS coding. As a biologist of course I had to buy this less well known book by Darwin.

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.
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on 19 September 2016
Do not buy this book. The print is so small that you cannot read it.

Also there are no illustrations.

I feel I have been conned.
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on 9 June 2012
This book is good, but its hard going because it has french during the paragraph your reading and its also diverts to what other discoverers opinions are on the matters discussed it flits a bit and if youve not studied for a while and are trying to study this subject its hard going but its very interesting when reading about how he studied peoples facial expressions in certain situations its so right i tended after reading this to watch people more carefully when they talked to spot certain expressions which tells you sometimes something totally different from what they are saying and the information in the book on the subjects been studied is facinating and i really did enjoy it just had to learn to skip read and pull out the info i was after, a clever man in all its a good book.
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on 29 December 2016
Bought this a few months ago for a course Im on. Only just had chance to look at it and its too late to return it unfortunately. Its an appalling copy with teeny tiny print. Im going to buy another copy. Its not worth the headache of trying to read this one.
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on 17 February 2013
The brilliant Mr Darwin's words did their utmost to redeem this appalling sham of a version. Failure to provide any of the images which are integral to the text is unacceptable. The text routinely references and seeks to elucidate the meanings of expressions - all of which images are simply omitted. What is more, the merging of (mostly incomplete) footnotes into the main body of the text detracted from its flow and readability and the regular typos and sentences left hanging was extremely . This is a cheap and nasty version of a no doubt brilliant original. Clearly the publishers/printers did not bother to read this poor imitation, as to do so would surely make them blush with shame!
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on 17 July 2017
Book far too wide for easy handling. No figures/pictures to correlate to text. Amazon, I would be demanding my money back from printers!
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on 26 July 2013
I got the amazon printed version, which is not very pretty, has no pictures, and footnotes are merged. Try and make sure you get an edition with paul ekman's introduction!
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on 15 August 2017
No pictures! For this text it seems imperative...
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on 5 March 2016
Don't buy this as a gift. Someone cheaply printed out an ebook. Small writing and not well made.
Does the job if you have good eyesight but I like my books to be abit more aesthetically pleasing
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on 9 September 2008
Darwin's book is seminal in the understanding of emotions, and is just as relevant today as it was when it was first published in 1872.

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!
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