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The Descent of Man Charles Darwin

The Descent of Man By Charles Darwin

The Descent of Man by Charles Darwin


Summary

The Descent of Man is Darwin's second book, first published in 1871. In this edition, Darwin applies evolutionary theory to humans and details his theory of sexual selection.

The Descent of Man Summary

The Descent of Man by Charles Darwin

In The Descent of Man Darwin addresses many of the issues raised by his notorious Origin of Species: finding in the traits and instincts of animals the origins of the mental abilities of humans, of language, of our social structures and our moral capacities, he attempts to show that there is no clear dividing line between animals and humans. Most importantly, he accounts for what Victorians called the 'races' of mankind by means of what he calls sexual selection. This book presents a full explanation of Darwin's ideas about sexual selection, including his belief that many important characteristics of human beings and animals have emerged in response to competition for mates.

This was a controversial work. Yet Darwin tried hard to avoid being branded as a radical revolutionary. He is steeped in Victorian sensibilities regarding gender and cultural differences: he sees human civilization as a move from barbarous savagery to modern gentlefolk, and women as more emotional and less intellectual than men, thus providing a biological basis for the social assumptions and prejudices of the day. The Descent of Man played a major role in the emergence of social Darwinism.

This complete version of the first edition gives the modern reader an unparalleled opportunity to engage directly with Darwin's proposals, launched in the midst of continuing controversy over On the Origin of Species.

Janet Browne is the author of the prize-winning biography, Charles Darwin: Voyaging and Charles Darwin: The Power of Place.

Additional information

GOR012727623
9781840226980
1840226986
The Descent of Man by Charles Darwin
Used - Like New
Paperback
Wordsworth Editions Ltd
20130708
464
N/A
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
The book has been read, but looks new. The book cover has no visible wear, and the dust jacket is included if applicable. No missing or damaged pages, no tears, possible very minimal creasing, no underlining or highlighting of text, and no writing in the margins

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