The Biological Roots of Human Nature: Forging Links between Evolution and Behavior

Paperback | October 1, 1994

byTimothy H. Goldsmith

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In this stimulating book, Goldsmith argues that biology has a great deal to say that should be of interest to social scientists, historians, philosophers, and humanists in general. He believes that anyone studying the social behavior of humans must take into consideration both proximatecause--the physiology, biochemistry, and social mechanisms of behavior--and ultimate cause--how the behavior came to exist in evolutionary time. Goldsmith, a neurobiologist, draws examples from neurobiology, psychology, and ethology (behavioral evolution). The result is a work that overcomes manyof the misconceptions that have hindered the rich contributions the biological sciences have to offer concerning the evolution of human society, behavior, and sense of identity. Among the key topics addressed are the nature of biological explanation, the relationship between genes and behavior,those aspects of behavior most likely to respond to natural selection, the relationship between evolution and learning, and some probable modes of interaction between cultural and biological evolution. By re-examining the role of biological explanation in the domain of social development, theauthor has significantly advanced a more well-rounded view of human evolution and shed new light on the perennial question of what it means to be human. His book will appeal to biologists, social scientists, traditional humanists, and interested general readers.

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From the Publisher

In this stimulating book, Goldsmith argues that biology has a great deal to say that should be of interest to social scientists, historians, philosophers, and humanists in general. He believes that anyone studying the social behavior of humans must take into consideration both proximatecause--the physiology, biochemistry, and social me...

Timothy H. Goldsmith is at Yale University.

other books by Timothy H. Goldsmith

Format:PaperbackDimensions:176 pages, 8.19 × 5.47 × 0.51 inPublished:October 1, 1994Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195093933

ISBN - 13:9780195093933

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Table of Contents

1. The Dual Nature of Causation in Biology2. Some Fallacies and Misconceptions3. Evolutionary Theory Since Darwin4. Reasoning About Ultimate Causes of Behavior5. Getting From Genes to Behavior6. Evolutionary Perspectives on Volition, Learning, and Language7. Decisions, Decisions!8. Culture, Anthropology, and Evolution9. Epilogue -- "Concerning Biological Reductionism"

Editorial Reviews

"An outstanding work reflecting careful synthesis and great explanatory power. A superb achievement that provides a succinct and readable overview of an extraordinarily broad and complex area."--Owen D. Jones, Professor of Law, Arizona State University