A Darwinian Left: Politics, Evolution, and Cooperation
- Author:Peter Singer
- Publisher:Yale University Press
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- Sales Rank:137,222
- Languages:English (Unknown), English (Original Language), English (Published)
- Number Of Items:1
- Shipping Weight (lbs):0.4
- Dimensions (in):7.2 x 4.7 x 0.4
- Publication Date:April 2000
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In A Darwinian Left, Peter Singer argues that the political left has misunderstood Darwinian ideas and as a result been hostile to the application of Darwinian thinking to politics. Those on the political left who seek a more egalitarian society should instead embrace evolutionary ideas and learn how to use evolutionary thinking in order to build the kind of cooperative society sought.
Philosophers don't have to be arcane and out of touch. Princeton's Peter Singer gives 21st-century liberals and radicals something to think about with the slim but powerful volume of Darwinism Today titled A Darwinian Left
. Long noted for holding controversial bioethical beliefs related to animal rights, abortion, and euthanasia, Singer tends to quickly polarize his readers. This time, he chooses to antagonize those most sympathetic with his positions, arguing that the political left should re-evaluate its dependence on Marxism and its shunning of Darwinism. His writing is lucid and pulls no punches in examining the consequences of 20th-century answers to poverty; fans of the welfare state are in for some discomfort.
But Singer sees making a few liberals squirm as crucial to stealing Darwinism from the right and combining the noble desire to help the helpless with a realistic view of human nature and evolution. He builds a compelling line of thought, peppered with examples, that shows how our competitive "survival of the fittest" conception of evolution falls far short of modern scientific thinking. Instead, Singer suggests we incorporate a Darwinian ethic of cooperation into our political thought and reflect carefully on the consequences of our remedies for the evils of the world. --Rob Lightner
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