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The Social Instinct Reviews

The Social Instinct by Nichola Raihani

The Social Instinct: How Cooperation Shaped the World

Nichola Raihani

Score pending

1 review

Category: Non-fiction, Psychology
Imprint: Jonathan Cape Ltd
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publication date: 3 Jun 2021
ISBN: 9781787332041

Why cooperate? This may be the most important scientific question we have ever, and will ever, face.

3 stars out of 5
23 May 2021

"As well as its vivid, forceful prose style, Richard Dawkins’s The Selfish Gene offered a darkly thrilling message. "

The Social Instinct is full of memorable things like that. The only problem is Raihani’s fairly rigid application of Darwinian logic. She doesn’t get bogged down in the long-running debate about how much of human nature can be explained by evolution. Still, the book tends towards the approach that the philosopher-neuroscientist Raymond Tallis witheringly calls “Darwinitis”; interpreting all human behaviour in terms of how it helps us to survive or reproduce. The “ultimate explanation” of our habits, Raihani believes, is a Darwinian one.