The Triumph of Sociobiology

The Triumph of Sociobiology

3.81 (55 ratings by Goodreads)
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In The Triumph of Sociobiology, John Alcock reviews the controversy that has surrounded evolutionary studies of human social behavior following the 1975 publication of E.O. Wilson's classic, Sociobiology, The New Synthesis. Denounced vehemently as an "ideology" that has justified social evils and inequalities, sociobiology has survived the assault. Twenty-five years after the field was named by Wilson, the approach he championed has successfully demonstrated its value in the study of animal behavior, including the behavior of our own species. Yet, misconceptions remain-to our disadvantage. In this straight-forward, objective approach to the sociobiology debate, noted animal behaviorist John Alcock illuminates how sociobiologists study behavior in all species. He confronts the chief scientific and ideological objections head on, with a compelling analysis of case histories that involve such topics as sexual jealousy, beauty, gender difference, parent-offspring relations, and rape. In so doing, he shows that sociobiology provides the most satisfactory evolutionary analysis of social behavior today. "A clear, evocative, and accurate account of the history and content on the subject, inviting to the student and the general reader alike."-Edward O. Wilson, Harvard more

Product details

  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 154.94 x 231.14 x 17.78mm | 385.55g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • numerous halftones and figures
  • 0195163354
  • 9780195163353
  • 106,263

Review quote

"Darwinist heavyweight Alcock understands what's at stake in evolution as well as any scientist living.... The author argues against the competing blank-slate 'culture is all' theory, and he dispels the misconception that sociobiology is in any way an ideological endorsement of racism, sexism or the social dominance of the rich over the poor.... This is an important and necessary reappraisal of humankind's place in the Darwinist puzzle-one that will undoubtedly provoke renewed debate."-Publishers Weekly "This book rights some of the intellectual wrongs that have r s2 perpetrated on sociobiology and certain of its practitioners by individuals who either do not understand what sociobiologists really are saying or who have subverted the truth in pursuit of their own agendas. Not everyone will agree with Alcock's conclusions, but everyone will have to reckon with them-to the delight of the sociobiologists and the chagrin of their critics."-Paul W. Sherman, Cornell University "It doesn't matter whether you call it sociobiology, behavioral ecology, evolutinoary psychology or even selfish genery, John Alcock shows that triumph is exactly the right word. It is a field of research in its mature growing season, with new young scientists flocking to join in. Alcock captures the active spirit of this once-controversial subject perfectly."-Richard Dawkins, Oxford University "A clear, evocative, and accurate account of the history and content on the subject, inviting to the student and the general reader alike."-Edward O. Wilson, Harvard Universityshow more

About John Alcock

John Alcock is Professor of Biology at Arizona State University. A researcher in animal behavior, he is the author of the leading book in the field, Animal Behavor: An Evolutionary Approach, as well as several other books on behavior. He lives in Tempe, more

Rating details

55 ratings
3.81 out of 5 stars
5 38% (21)
4 24% (13)
3 25% (14)
2 7% (4)
1 5% (3)
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