A Sociobiology Compendium: Aphorisms, Sayings, Asides

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Delbert D. Thiessen
Transaction Publishers, 1998 - Social Science - 151 pages
Many have seen the links between our minds and the universe, the common thread of our existence and the inevitability of our loves and hates. This book includes many demonstrations that our nature has been on the minds and lips of many - poets, play-wrights, philosophers, historians, novelists, kings, slaves, religious leaders, and the greatest of knaves. From Ralph Waldo Emerson to Arthur Schopenhauer, from Aldous Huxley to Arthur Conan Doyle, from Aristotle to William Shakespeare, the truths about ourselves have come tumbling out.
In A Sociobiology Compendium, Del Thiessen mines the richness of biological investigations of human behavior comparing current views of human hehavior with expressions by non-scientists who have, in one way or another, touched the evolutionary strings of men and women. He begins each section with a brief account of biological notions of human behavior. The book shows in astonishing ways how the earlier thoughts of men and women from all cultures anticipate the biological observations about our being. A Sociobiology Compendium will be engaging reading for all psychologists, sociologists, and biologists.

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Contents

Culture is in Our Evolution
1
The Nature of Man
7
Romantic Love Passion and the Price of Reproduction
31
The Dark Side of Human Nature
57
The Duality of the Human Brain
69
The Historical Depth of Culture
81
Creativity and the Pain of SelfDiscovery
95
Masters of Death
107
Trying to Go Beyond the Genes
119
The Depth of Our Knowledge
137
References to Our Past
141
Index
147
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Page 104 - tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them ? — To die ; — to sleep ; — No more ; and by a sleep, to say we end The heart-ache, and the thousand natural shocks That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation Devoutly to be wish'd. To die ; — to sleep...
Page 34 - Ah, love, let us be true To one another! for the world, which seems To lie before us like a land of dreams, So various, so beautiful, so new, Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light, Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain; And we are here as on a darkling plain Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight, Where ignorant armies clash by night.
Page 103 - I have of late — but wherefore I know not — lost all my mirth, forgone all custom of exercises ; and indeed it goes so heavily with my disposition that this goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory ; this most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave o'erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire, why, it appears no other thing to me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours.
Page 50 - O curse of marriage, That we can call these delicate creatures ours, And not their appetites ! I had rather be a toad, And live upon the vapour of a dungeon, Than keep a corner in the thing I love For others
Page 91 - By preferring the support of domestic to that of foreign industry, he intends only his own security ; and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain; and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention.
Page 14 - It is universally acknowledged, that there is a great uniformity among the actions of men, in all nations and ages, and that human nature remains still the same, in its principles and operations. The same motives always produce the same actions: The same events follow from the same causes.
Page 103 - There is but one truly serious philosophical problem. and that is suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy.
Page 24 - It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.
Page 63 - There is so much good in the worst of us and so much bad in the best of us that it hardly behooves any of us to talk about the rest of us.

About the author (1998)

Del Thiessen is professor of evolutionary psychology at the University of Texas at Austin.

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