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Blueprint

The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society

Nicholas A. Christakis

$14.99

Paperback

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Little, Brown & Company
16 April 2020
Drawing on advances in social science, evolutionary biology, genetics, neuroscience and network science, Blueprint shows how and why evolution has placed us on a humane path -- and how we are united by our common humanity.

For too long, scientists have focused on the dark side of our biological heritage: our capacity for aggression, cruelty, prejudice, and self-interest. But natural selection has given us a suite of beneficial social features, including our capacity for love, friendship, cooperation, and learning. Beneath all our inventions - our tools, farms, machines, cities, nations - we carry with us innate proclivities to make a good society.

In Blueprint, Nicholas A. Christakis introduces the compelling idea that our genes affect not only our bodies and behaviors, but also the ways in which we make societies, ones that are surprisingly similar worldwide. With many vivid examples -- including diverse historical and contemporary cultures, communities formed in the wake of shipwrecks, commune dwellers seeking utopia, online groups thrown together by design or involving artificially intelligent bots and even the tender and complex social arrangements of elephants and dolphins that so resemble our own - Christakis shows that, despite a human history replete with violence, we cannot escape our social blueprint for goodness.

In a world of increasing political and economic polarisation, it's tempting to ignore the positive role of our evolutionary past. But by exploring the ancient roots of goodness in civilisation, Blueprint shows that our genes have shaped societies for our welfare and that, in a feedback loop stretching back many thousands of years, societies have shaped and are still shaping, our genes today.
By:   Nicholas A. Christakis
Imprint:   Little, Brown & Company
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 170mm,  Width: 104mm,  Spine: 38mm
Weight:   320g
ISBN:   9780316497176
ISBN 10:   0316497177
Pages:   656
Publication Date:   16 April 2020
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  Primary ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Nicholas A. Christakis is a physician and sociologist who explores the ancient origins and modern implications of human nature. He directs the Human Nature Lab at Yale University, where he is the Sterling Professor of Social and Natural Science, in the Departments of Sociology, Medicine, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Statistics and Data Science, and Biomedical Engineering. He is the Co-Director of the Yale Institute for Network Science and the co-author of Connected.

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