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Optimism: The Biology of Hope (Kodansha Globe)

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1568360720
ISBN-10: 156836072X
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

First published in 1979, Rutgers professor Tiger explores the human trait of believing in hope and improvement.

Copyright 1995 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


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Product Details

  • Series: Kodansha Globe
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Kodansha Amer Inc (June 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 156836072X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568360720
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,868,175 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
The tiger's claws are in repose. Instead of the imperious stance pouncing upon a new truth or asserting the macho dogma of Men in Groups, this new work finds the author in a speculative, thoughtful mood. He argues that here is a force of optimism in humans which has a biological urgency. The force underlies much of human action - bearing children, sowing crops, building monuments, believing in God, falling in love, acting charitably. Optimism is inextricably bound up with the future, and Tiger notes to what extent humans are unique in their awareness of time passing and mortality. These are grand concepts which in some hands might be grandiose, but Tiger displays virtuosity in the breadth and depth of his analogy, example, experiment, and commentary. The discourse ranges from the meaning of Cro-Magnon cave paintings and the Mosaic development of God as unseen and unnamable, to all manner of contemporary observations, whether on the optimism and power-resentments of the Beatles' generation or the apparent abandonment of contraceptives by teenage girls in the present epidemic of illegitimate births. Pleasure, illusion, dreams, and their opposites in depression, pessimism, doom-saying are noted, as Tiger examines how humans have coped and gambled about uncertainty and destiny. The biological necessity of learning and teaching, and the use of symbols - religious, political, or other - Tiger interprets as vital means of uniting individuals who are fundamentally separated by unique genetic and environmental differences. Tiger has dampened his male-dominated hunting-based hypotheses of human evolution. (At least women are credited with equal cerebral skills in reasoning, planning, and future-oriented behavior!Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I feel we all live with hope/ faith. We just have to believe. It was an Ok read and probably would have rated it higher if I had not read Spontaneous Evolution before it.
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