The Price of Altruism: George Price and the Search for the Origins of Kindness

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9780393339994: The Price of Altruism: George Price and the Search for the Origins of Kindness

“Enthralling.”―Frans de Waal, The New York Times Book Review

Survival of the fittest or survival of the nicest? Since the dawn of time man has contemplated the mystery of altruism, but it was Darwin who posed the question most starkly. From the selfless ant to the stinging bee to the man laying down his life for a stranger, evolution has yielded a goodness that in theory should never be.

Set against the sweeping tale of 150 years of scientific attempts to explain kindness, The Price of Altruism tells for the first time the moving story of the eccentric American genius George Price (1922–1975), as he strives to answer evolution's greatest riddle. An original and penetrating picture of twentieth century thought, it is also a deeply personal journey. From the heights of the Manhattan Project to the inspired equation that explains altruism to the depths of homelessness and despair, Price's life embodies the paradoxes of Darwin’s enigma. His tragic suicide in a squatter’s flat, among the vagabonds to whom he gave all his possessions, provides the ultimate contemplation on the possibility of genuine benevolence. 24 black-and-white illustrations

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About the Author:

Oren Harman, who has a doctorate from Oxford University, is the Chair of the Graduate Program in Science Technology and Society at Bar Ilan University and a professor of the history of science. He is the author of The Man Who Invented the Chromosome, a documentary film maker, and a frequent contributor to The New Republic. He lives in Tel Aviv and New York.

Review:

“[E]nthralling.... Extremely well researched and written with great love of the subject, The Price of Altruism reveals all sorts of personal details of momentous events in the history of science.... This is a book for anyone interested in the question, first posed by Darwin himself, of how we ended up with so much kindness in a natural world customarily depicted as 'red in tooth and claw.' Price struggled with it on an intensely personal level. His story is highly relevant at a time when greed as the basis of society has lost much of its appeal.”
- Frans de Waal, The New York Times Book Review

“Would make a great film (probably starring Matt Damon).”
- Reader's Digest

“[A] rich and vigorous survey of the controversy over altruism and its evolutionary role, stretching from the 19th century to now.”
- Sunday Times [UK]

“Ever since Charles Darwin published his theory of evolution in 1859, scientists have wondered whether it can explain the existence of altruism. Price wanted to describe mathematically how a genetic disposition to altruism could evolve. As Mr. Harman so vividly describes, Price ultimately became one of the vagabonds he set out to save.”
- The Economist

“I stayed up a good part of the night reading... fascinating!”
- Sylvia Nasar, author of A Beautiful Mind

“A masterfully told story... This book is in the same class as Sylvia Nasar's A Beautiful Mind.”
- Library Journal

The Price of Altruism puts Price's work into a wide scientific and social context, showing real insight into its importance and genuine sympathy for the tale of his life.”
- Steve Jones, New Scientist

“Brilliant... A great story.”
- Brian Appleyard, Literary Review

“Remarkable... fascinating.”
- The Big Issue

“Fascinating.... Important... full of complex and deeply interesting ideas.”
- Sam Leith, The Spectator

"Sobre este título" puede pertenecer a otra edición de este libro.

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Descripción WW Norton Co, United States, 2011. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Survival of the fittest or survival of the nicest? Since the dawn of time man has contemplated the mystery of altruism, but it was Darwin who posed the question most starkly. From the selfless ant to the stinging bee to the man laying down his life for a stranger, evolution has yielded a goodness that in theory should never be. Set against the sweeping tale of 150 years of scientific attempts to explain kindness, The Price of Altruism tells for the first time the moving story of the eccentric American genius George Price (1922-1975), as he strives to answer evolution s greatest riddle. An original and penetrating picture of twentieth century thought, it is also a deeply personal journey. From the heights of the Manhattan Project to the inspired equation that explains altruism to the depths of homelessness and despair, Price s life embodies the paradoxes of Darwin s enigma. His tragic suicide in a squatter s flat, among the vagabonds to whom he gave all his possessions, provides the ultimate contemplation on the possibility of genuine benevolence. Nº de ref. de la librería BTE9780393339994

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Descripción WW Norton Co, United States, 2011. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Survival of the fittest or survival of the nicest? Since the dawn of time man has contemplated the mystery of altruism, but it was Darwin who posed the question most starkly. From the selfless ant to the stinging bee to the man laying down his life for a stranger, evolution has yielded a goodness that in theory should never be. Set against the sweeping tale of 150 years of scientific attempts to explain kindness, The Price of Altruism tells for the first time the moving story of the eccentric American genius George Price (1922-1975), as he strives to answer evolution s greatest riddle. An original and penetrating picture of twentieth century thought, it is also a deeply personal journey. From the heights of the Manhattan Project to the inspired equation that explains altruism to the depths of homelessness and despair, Price s life embodies the paradoxes of Darwin s enigma. His tragic suicide in a squatter s flat, among the vagabonds to whom he gave all his possessions, provides the ultimate contemplation on the possibility of genuine benevolence. Nº de ref. de la librería AAC9780393339994

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Descripción WW Norton Co, United States, 2011. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Survival of the fittest or survival of the nicest? Since the dawn of time man has contemplated the mystery of altruism, but it was Darwin who posed the question most starkly. From the selfless ant to the stinging bee to the man laying down his life for a stranger, evolution has yielded a goodness that in theory should never be. Set against the sweeping tale of 150 years of scientific attempts to explain kindness, The Price of Altruism tells for the first time the moving story of the eccentric American genius George Price (1922-1975), as he strives to answer evolution s greatest riddle. An original and penetrating picture of twentieth century thought, it is also a deeply personal journey. From the heights of the Manhattan Project to the inspired equation that explains altruism to the depths of homelessness and despair, Price s life embodies the paradoxes of Darwin s enigma. His tragic suicide in a squatter s flat, among the vagabonds to whom he gave all his possessions, provides the ultimate contemplation on the possibility of genuine benevolence. Nº de ref. de la librería AAC9780393339994

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