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Ideas of Edmund O. Wilson, by Text

[American, b.1929, Born in Birmingham, Alabama.]

1978 On Human Nature
Ch.1 p.2 The only human purpose is that created by our genetic history
Ch.1 p.3 Beliefs are really enabling mechanisms for survival
Ch.1 p.5 Philosophers study the consequences of ethics instead of its origins
Ch.1 p.11 If observation goes up a level, we expect the laws of the lower level to remain in force
Ch.3 p.66 A child first sees objects as distinct, and later as members of groups
Ch.3 p.67 The rules of human decision-making converge and overlap in a 'human nature'
Ch.4 p.78 Cultural evolution is Lamarckian and fast, biological evolution is Darwinian and slow
Ch.4 p.84 Over 99 percent of human evolution has been in the hunter-gatherer phase
Ch.7 p.149 We undermine altruism by rewarding it, but we reward it to encourage it
Ch.7 p.156 The actor is most convincing who believes that his performance is real
Ch.7 p.157 Pure hard-core altruism based on kin selection is the enemy of civilisation
Ch.8 p.169 It is estimated that mankind has produced 100,000 religions