The Origins of Virtue

The Origins of Virtue


By (author) Matt Ridley

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  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 304 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 196mm x 22mm | 200g
  • Publication date: 30 October 1997
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0140244042
  • ISBN 13: 9780140244045
  • Illustrations note: 13 b&w line drawings
  • Sales rank: 79,335

Product description

Why are people nice to each other? What are the reasons for altruism? Matt Ridley explains how the human mind has evolved a special instinct for social exchange, offering a lucid and persuasive argument about the paradox of human benevolence.

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Author information

MATT RIDLEY is a research fellow of the Institute of Economic Affairs and a Trustee of the International Centre for Life, living in Northumberland. His last book, The Red Queen, was short-listed for the Rhone-Poulenc Prize for science books and the Writers' Guild Award for non-fiction.

Editorial reviews

Ridley made his name with an excellent book about sex and evolution, The Red Queen. This is an even better book, about the evolution of society, altruism and cooperation - in short, sociobiology, although that word (regarded by some as an obscenity) does not appear in the index. There is little that is new in this book, where we meet such familiar concepts as the Prisoner's Dilemma and the evolutionary nature of hawks and doves; but Ridley puts the package together in such a satisfying manner that the whole is much greater than the sum of its parts. (Kirkus UK)