When this classic work was first published in 1975, it created a new discipline and started a tumultuous round in the age-old nature versus nurture debate. This book is widely known as the object of bitter attacks by social scientists and other scholars who opposed its claim that human social behaviour, indeed human nature, has a biological foundation. The controversy surrounding the publication of the book reverberates to the present day. In the introduction to this 25th anniversary edition, the author shows how research in human genetics and neuroscience has strengthened the case for a biological understanding of human nature. Human socio-biology, now often called evolutionary psychology, has in the last quarter of a century emerged as its own field of study, drawing on theory and data from both biology and the social sciences. From its illustrated descriptions of animal societies, and as a crucial step forward in the understanding of human beings, this volume should be of interest to a new generation of students and scholars in all branches of learning.
Edward O. Wilson is Pellegrino University Professor, Emeritus, at Harvard University. In addition to two Pulitzer Prizes (one of which he shares with Bert Holldobler), Wilson has won many scientific awards, including the National Medal of Science and the Crafoord Prize of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
* Part I. Social Evolution *1. The Morality of the Gene *2. Elementary Concepts of Sociobiology *3. The Prime Movers of Social Evolution *4. The Relevant Principles of Population Biology *5. Group Selection and Altruism *6. Group Size, Reproduction, and Time-Energy Budgets * Part II. Social Mechanisms *7. The Development and Modification of Social Behavior *8. Communication: Basic Principles *9. Communication: Functions and Complex Systems *10. Communication: Origins and Evolution *11. Aggression *12. Social Spacing, Including Territory *13. Dominance Systems *14. Roles and Castes *15. Sex and Society *16. Paternal Care *17. Social Symbioses * Part III. The Social Species *18. The Four Pinnacles of Social Evolution *19. The Colonial Microorganisms and Invertebrates *20. The Social Insects *21. The Cold-Blooded Vertebrates *22. The Birds *23. Evolutionary Trends within the Mammals *24. The Ungulates and Elephants *25. The Carnivores *26. The Nonhuman Primates *27. Man: From Sociobiology to Sociology * Glossary * Bibliography * Index