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Sex, Murder, and the Meaning of Life

ISBN: 9780465020447 | 0465020445
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Basic Books
Pub. Date: 4/26/2011

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Evolutionary psychology is a powerful tool but can be hackneyed. Cognitive science exposes the many inherent shortcuts and biases we use to think. In Sex, Murder, and the Meaning of Life, social psychologist Douglas Kenrick argues that it is in the fusion of these two fields that we can begin to tell a coherent story of human nature. In his view, many ingrained, apparently irrational behaviors-- one-night stands, prejudice, conspicuous consumption, even art and religious devotion-- are quite explicable and (when desired) avoidable. When combined with insights from complexity theory, Kenrick's argument reveals how simple mechanisms give rise to complex life. Idiosyncratic, controversial, and fascinating, Sex, Murder, and the Meaning of Lifeis an exploration of the pitfalls and promise of our biological inheritance.

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