When this classic work was first published in 1975, it created a new discipline and started a tumultuous round in the age-old nature versus nurture debate. Although voted by officers and fellows of the international Animal Behavior Society the most important book on animal behavior of all time, Sociobiology is probably more widely known as the object of bitter attacks by social scientists and other scholars who opposed its claim that human social behavior, indeed human nature, has a biological foundation. The controversy surrounding the publication of the book reverberates to the present day.
In the introduction to this Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Edition, Edward O. Wilson shows how research in human genetics and neuroscience has strengthened the case for a biological understanding of human nature. Human sociobiology, now often called evolutionary psychology, has in the last quarter of a century emerged as its own field of study, drawing on theory and data from both biology and the social sciences.
For its still fresh and beautifully illustrated descriptions of animal societies, and its importance as a crucial step forward in the understanding of human beings, this anniversary edition of Sociobiology: The New Synthesis will be welcomed by a new generation of students and scholars in all branches of learning.
It is impossible to leave Wilson’s book without having one’s sense of life permanently and dramatically widened.
Rarely has the world been provided with such a splendid stepping stone for an exciting future of a new science.
This book enthralls and enchants… If you have this book… you can begin getting your mind ready for the illuminations about human society.
Sociobiology is an excellent book, full of extraordinary insights, and replete with the beauty and poetry of the animal kingdom.
Its contents do indeed provide a new synthesis, of wide perspective and great authority… Wilson’s plain uncluttered prose is a treat to read, his logic is rigorous, his arguments are lucid.
Sociobiology explores the possibility that animal social behaviour—group living, kinship, attraction and mating, reciprocity and sharing, cooperation, conflict, and cheating, to name just the most familiar—has a genetic basis and can be shaped by natural selection: genes can be shaped by natural selection: genes can code for social behaviours in the same way that they code for body parts such as hands, hooves, eyes, antlers and ears. But, in an audacious final chapter, Wilson extended the analysis to humans: biology had grabbed our kinship, cooperation, mate preferences and the rest. Some branded Wilson and his ideas fascist, others as racist or guilty of genetic determinism. They are none of these things and, two Pulitzer Prizes later, Wilson has been vindicated… Wilson’s Sociobiology laid the foundations for a lifetime of meditations.
A towering theoretical achievement of exceptional elegance… Like most great books, Sociobiology is unpedantic, lucid, and eminently accessible.
Sociobiology, a new concept, is one with extraordinary potential value for understanding and explaining human behavior.
This book will stand as a landmark in the comparative study of social behavior.
It’s been 25 years since E. O. Wilson wrote Sociobiology, naming a new science and starting it off with a bang—and a firestorm of protest. ‘Nurture!’ and ‘Nature!’ came the cries from every corner of the academic world, as the book became a causus belli for sociologists, feminists, human geneticists, and psychologists.
- 720 pages
- 9-11/16 x 9-3/4 inches
- Belknap Press
From this author
Sorry, there was an error adding the item to your shopping bag.
Sorry, your session has expired. Please refresh your browser's tab.