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Natural Selection and Social Theory: Selected Papers of Robert Trivers (Evolution and Cognition)

4.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0195130621
ISBN-10: 0195130626
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Editorial Reviews

Review

This is a good book by a great evolutionary biologist, full of interesting personal narrative and readable and historically important papers on reciprocal altruism, sex ratios, parental investment and sexual selection, and much more. Animal Behaviour One striking feature of Trivers' papers is that most contain very little mathematics, but there is plenty of verbal logic ... the book is suitable for reading in bed with falling asleep over pages of baffling formulae ... interesting stuff. Animal Behaviour

About the Author

Robert Trivers is Professor of Anthropology and Biological Sciences, Rutgers University. Professor Trivers has been named 2007 winner of the Crafoord Prize in Biosciences.
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Product Details

  • Series: Evolution and Cognition
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (September 5, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195130626
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195130621
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 0.9 x 6.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #619,755 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I am an evolutionary biologist who has always wanted to build social theory based on natural selection. i have concentrated on selection at the level of the individual and of the gene, including all cases of within-individual genetic conflict, where the genes inside you may act against your own best interests.

I have also always wanted to live life as well as study it, as described in my recent memoir: Wild Life: Adventures of an Evolutionary Biologist (2005)

For more information, including contact info and pdf's of all of my articles and two of my books, go to roberttrivers.com

For a recent profile in Psychology Today (December 2015) see https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/201601/trivers-pursuit

For a 13 minute TEDx talk on knee symmetry and sprinting excellence in Jamaica, see http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/Symmetrical-Knees-and-Sprinting

Robert Trivers

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Those of us who are interested in the stories behind just HOW major breakthroughs in evolutionary and ecological thought were made have been spoiled in recent years: First there was W.D. Hamilton's marvelous 2 volume NARROW ROADS OF GENE LAND, now we get Bob Triver's wonderful NATURAL SELECTION AND SOCIAL THEORY. Here, in one place, one can find most of Trivers' revolutionary work on the evolution of social behavior, and as an added bonus one also gets Trivers' unvarnished -and often highly entertaining- commentary on just how he came to put together the ideas that -love 'em or hate 'em- provided much of the driving force behind Sociobiology & ultimately lead to Behavioural Ecology and Evolutionary Psychology. Along the way we are introduced to a fascinating cast of characters, ranging from Ernst Mayr, the foremost living Darwinian, through the neo-Marxist wing of Harvard, to Huey Newton, ex-Minister of Defense for the Black Panthers. Trivers' thinking is as eclectic and far ranging as the list of his friends and enemies, and while many of his subjects (altruism, parent-offspring conflict, fluctuating asymmetry, etc.) are still at the cutting edge of evolutionary thought, his writing is sufficiently free of jargon that I think it will draw in even the non-specialist. You may not agree with everything that Trivers says here -and I suspect that some folks will be offended by his candor- but this is a really important book & I see it as essential reading for any of us interested in the question of why we may do so many of the things that we do. Bravo!
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Format: Paperback
When I was doing my doctoral work, I took a psychology class from a wonderful young professor. He introduced us to Robert Trivers,then at Harvard. It's been nearly 30 years since I received my degree and I have never forgotten that name nor the fascinating research with which we were presented. I have often made references to his work in the classes I taught but I never pursued my own suggestion to "go read Trivers." When this book popped up on my Amazon page, I decided it was karma and I ordered it. I was not disappointed. This is not an easy read and I don't for one minute pretend to understand the equations, but Trivers' introductions to each article are well written and often humorous. The research itself still holds as much fascination for me as it did when I was a young doc student. Give it a try.
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Format: Paperback
This book contains all of Robert Triver's best papers.

In addition, each is book-ended between a two short essays outlining the background to Professor Trivers' initial exploration and thinking behind the paper, often including quite intriguing sociological contexts. Then, which is extremely valuable, Triver's brings the reader up-to-date with the subsequent history of the idea in that paper: who did it influence? Does he still believe it? What is the current hot take on the area?

It is a magnificent tribute to a life-time of work, and valuable for anyone active in the area of evolution.
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Format: Paperback
This is a beautiful book. It combines seminal papers with anecdotes and a post-scripts which place the paper in their context and make it easier for those of us who have been consumers of socio-biology to better appreciate the significance of the ideas presented. Trivers is a compelling writer and this book is a true gift to anybody curious about human psyche and behaviour. Highly recommended.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
These are reprints of scholarly works. They are not entertaining except to those interested in the seminal arguments that led to "accepted" theories of the evolution of Altruism and Parental Investment. As such they are very interesting.

David Sackett
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Natural Selection and Social Theory: Selected Papers of Robert Trivers (Evolution and Cognition)
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