Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist
Biology and Freedom

Biology and Freedom
An Essay on the Implications of Human Ethology

$160.00 (C)

  • Date Published: January 1989
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521353168

$ 160.00 (C)
Hardback

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Paperback, eBook


Looking for an examination copy?

If you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact collegesales@cambridge.org providing details of the course you are teaching.

Description
Product filter button
Description
Contents
Resources
Courses
About the Authors
  • Biology and Freedom is an essay on human nature; an attempt to make a just assessment of a species often presented as predominantly and unavoidably violent, greedy, and stupid. Likening human beings to animals is a traditional method of influencing attitudes on questions of morals and politics. Here, Professor Barnett shows that modern ethology, experimental psychology, genetics, and evolutionary theory give the currently fashionable misanthrophy no authentic support. He asks whether the theory of evolution has any bearing on, for instance, Machiavellianism in politics or the concept of original sin; and whether laboratory experiments on the effects of reward and punishment tell us anything useful about why we work, or about the enigma of free will. Combining the findings of modern biology with logic and humor, Professor Barnett gives a lucid alternative portrait of humanity. He stresses the questions that the complexities of human existence will raise long after the currently fashionable theories have faded. All those interested in these questions, in the truth about human nature, and in the future of human society will want to read this book.

    Reviews & endorsements

    "[Biology and Freedom] goes beyond the mere debunking of certain popular biologistic follies, to offer instead a vision of a humanity set free by our very biological situation...Barnett remains unshakeably a progressive." Nature

    "The importance of Barnett's book is that it was written by a practising scientist who fully accepts the role of reductionism in science. His main message is an indictment of the techniques and results of scientific reductionism as tools for use in social engineering and to explain (or, rather, to explain away) those instincts of ethics and morality in persons and communitites which could be called the art of living. Lord Eric Ashby

    "Every reader will admire the breadth of Barnett's scholarship." Robert Hinde, MRC Unit on the Development and Integration of Behavior

    "The book are a whole is an eloquent plea for the humanness and humaness of human beings. It is accessible to the general reader and enjoyable for its gracefulness of style and liberal use of literary and historical references."--Bioscience

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity

    ×

    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?

    ×

    Product details

    • Date Published: January 1989
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521353168
    • length: 396 pages
    • dimensions: 244 x 170 x 22 mm
    • weight: 0.83kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of illustrations
    Preface
    Acknowledgements
    Part I. An Introduction:
    1. Four portraits
    2. The pessimistic tradition
    3. Animals and analogy
    Part II. Homo Pugnax: The Violent Species:
    4. Communication and instinct
    5. The aggression labyrinth
    Part III. Homo Egoisticus: The Selfish Species:
    6. Evolution and natural selection
    7. Environment and heredity
    8. Stories of human evolution
    9. Darwinism, genetics and politics
    Part IV. Homo Operans: The Greedy Species:
    10. Conditioning and improvisation
    11. Work and play
    Part V. Homo Sapiens: The Human Species:
    12. The reductionist imperative
    13. Human communication
    14. Teaching and tradition
    15. The question
    Glossary
    Notes
    References
    Name index
    Subject index.

  • Author

    S. A. Barnett

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account

Cancel

Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email lecturers@cambridge.org

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner www.ebooks.com. Please see the permission section of the www.ebooks.com catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.

Cancel

Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

×
Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.
×