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Customer Review

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New Learning, April 10, 2009
This review is from: The Altruism Equation: Seven Scientists Search for the Origins of Goodness (Hardcover)
For someone like me who has a tendency towards idealism this book was an important read. I began to learn of the significant contribution of kinship in altruism - Hamilton's Rule. The writer presents an excellent historical overview and background to this mathematical formula It rooted altruism in Darwin's theory of Natural Selection i.e. Evolution. I held the view that humans were predominantly social with only some influence from hereditary factors. The writer presents clearly and concretely the importance of genetic factors in the development of altruism. I did momentarily despair for those of us who have been adopted, abandoned, and/or are stepchildren. This book has wetted my apetite to find out more about this subject with its excellent references and bibliography. I will be examing works by Richard Dawkins (The Selfish Gene), Robert Axelrod (The Evolution of Cooperation)and revisiting Sigmund Freud. Maybe now I can begin to be more realistic about human beings and still retain some of my idealism - that is my challenge after reading this book. I would strongly recommend it for those idealists who grapple with the painful reality of the repetition of history.
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