A Darwinian Left: Politics, Evolution and Cooperation

Hardcover | April 4, 2000

byPeter Singer

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In this ground-breaking book, a renowned bioethicist argues that the political left must radically revise its outdated view of human nature. He shows how the insights of modern evolutionary theory, particularly on the evolution of cooperation, can help the left attain its social and political goals.

Singer explains why the left originally rejected Darwinian thought and why these reasons are no longer viable. He discusses how twentieth-century thinking has transformed our understanding of Darwinian evolution, showing that it is compatible with cooperation as well as competition, and that the left can draw on this modern understanding to foster cooperation for socially desirable ends. A Darwinian left, says Singer, would still be on the side of the weak, poor, and oppressed, but it would have a better understanding of what social and economic changes would really work to benefit them. It would also work toward a higher moral status for nonhuman animals and a less anthropocentric view of our dominance over nature.

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In this ground-breaking book, a renowned bioethicist argues that the political left must radically revise its outdated view of human nature. He shows how the insights of modern evolutionary theory, particularly on the evolution of cooperation, can help the left attain its social and political goals.Singer explains why the left original...

Peter Singer is Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics, University Center for Human Values, Princeton University.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:80 pages, 7 × 4.5 × 0.44 inPublished:April 4, 2000Publisher:Yale University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0300083238

ISBN - 13:9780300083231

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from A new chance for Canada In southern Canada, spring weather melts rivers from the mouth upstream to the north. Northern rivers flow toward the Arctic; warm weather starts the spring melt at the headwaters -- creating a huge buildup of water until a sudden massive flood sweeps all the ice out at once. Think of Canadian politics as a river flowing north; after decades of peace, order and good government, a dramatic flood is building up. Liberals are slumbering, Progressive Conservatives are panic stricken, New Democrats are irrelevant and only the Canadian Alliance seems poised to "restore order." There is an alternative. This brief book with a big idea offers the first new idea in political thinking in the past two hundred years. Singer starts by rejecting the old greed of socialism (more, more, more for workers instead of capitalists) and outlines a mutual cooperation proposal that will truly benefit the weak, poor and oppressed without curbing capitalist entrepreneurs. It's different than the old politics of imposing ideologies on people, those "isms" that created the tyrannies of the past. Singer uses basic Darwinian principles to reject Greed is Enough Reaganomics and advocate mutual cooperation that is compatible with competition. It offers a new direction for Canada.
Date published: 2000-05-27