A Darwinian Left: Politics, Evolution and Cooperation

A Darwinian Left Politics Evolution and Cooperation In this ground breaking book a renowned bioethicist argues that the political left must radically revise its outdated view of human nature He shows how the insights of modern evolutionary theory par

  • Title: A Darwinian Left: Politics, Evolution and Cooperation
  • Author: Peter Singer
  • ISBN: 9780300083231
  • Page: 129
  • Format: Hardcover
  • In this ground breaking book, a renowned bioethicist argues that the political left must radically revise its outdated view of human nature He shows how the insights of modern evolutionary theory, particularly on the evolution of cooperation, can help the left attain its social and political goals.Singer explains why the left originally rejected Darwinian thought and whyIn this ground breaking book, a renowned bioethicist argues that the political left must radically revise its outdated view of human nature He shows how the insights of modern evolutionary theory, particularly on the evolution of cooperation, can help the left attain its social and political goals.Singer explains why the left originally rejected Darwinian thought and why these reasons are no longer viable He discusses how twentieth century thinking has transformed our understanding of Darwinian evolution, showing that it is compatible with cooperation as well as competition, and that the left can draw on this modern understanding to foster cooperation for socially desirable ends A Darwinian left, says Singer, would still be on the side of the weak, poor, and oppressed, but it would have a better understanding of what social and economic changes would really work to benefit them It would also work toward a higher moral status for nonhuman animals and a less anthropocentric view of our dominance over nature.

    One thought on “A Darwinian Left: Politics, Evolution and Cooperation”

    1. The application of "Darwinian principles" to society, rather than to biological evolution, has generally been the province of the political right, with the crackpot ideas of Herbert Spencer and his followers -- the philosophical school later called Social Darwinism -- being used by the Robber Barons and their ilk as a good excuse to ignore the inordinate amount of sheer human misery their activities caused: all the poverty, starvation and suffering, all the destroyed lives, were worth it because [...]

    2. Ak dôjde k diskusii o "ľudskej prirodzenosti" v spojitosti s politikou, hneď sa začnú vyberať hrozienka z koláča. Socialisti tvrdia, že človek je prirodezne kooperatívny a vyhľadáva spoluprácu, kapitalisti majú človeku za vlastnú konkurenciu a zápas o zdroje. Oba tábory robia tú istú chybu - a síce, že zanedbávajú fakt, že v istej podobe sú človeku prirodzené obe tieto polohy. Ako to teda je? Existuje vôbec niečo ako ľudská prirodzenosť? Ak áno, tak ako ju zade [...]

    3. Brilliant little book! As a left-leaning ethnic Kekistani, it was refreshing to read something as rational, intelligent and to-the-point as this.The general left has gone completely crazy with its politically correct authoritarian views and postmodern dogmas that are absurdly out of touch with reality. This book is the polar opposite of this madness that has inflicted contemporary left. I'd go even further and say that this perspective could at least provide a partial antidote to it and possibly [...]

    4. What's there to say? As someone deeply sympathetic to Evolutionary Psychology or the Darwinian approach towards Human Nature (especially its behavioral and psychological aspects), I pretty much agree with Peter Singer's starting point. In effect, I also agree with him that Marxist view of human nature as a social construct of society is pretty much bunk. The diamond in the rough is Singer's idea that instead of viewing Darwinian thought about human nature with hostility or suspicion (you know, b [...]

    5. Petra Singer je pre mňa veľkou inšpiráciou v oblasti aplikovanej etiky a už desaťročia bojovníkom za práva zvierat. Vegetariánstvu a vegánstvu dal morálny obsah a desaťročia dráždu svojimi názormi a postojmi. V tejto sviežej knižôčke sa snaží ísť k akejsi podstate ľavice. V prvej časti upozorňuje na to ako v minulosti zle ľavica pochopila Darwina. Prečo Engels nad Marxovým hrobom vyjadril mimoriadnu poklonu tým, že prirovnal Marxov objav zákona ľudského vývoj [...]

    6. A Darwinian Left would not:-Deny the existence of a human nature-Expect to end all conflict and strife between human beings-Assume that all inequalities are due to discriminationA Darwinian Left would:- Reject any inference from what is natural to what is right- Expect both competition and cooperation- Promote structures that foster the latter rather than the former

    7. Neither Darwinian nor left. A very shoddy, superficial, poorly argued book. Only occasionally worthwhile points, most of which have little directly do to with Darwinism.

    8. Given that I am neither a utilitarian nor a leftist, I was surprised how much I agreed with in this little book. And the few things that I do not agree with have very little to do with Singer's application of Darwinian thought to politics (an idea with which I am much sympathetic), nor indeed with his utilitarianism (which in this particular book is rather watered down), but rather with his weak grasp of economics. To counter this bias, I strongly recommend to read this book in tandem with Paul [...]

    9. Peter Singer is no stranger to radical political theorists or the metaphysical assumptions that many of those theorists hold. He has put out a work on Marx far long ago, so he isn't a stranger to debates between leftists of all sorts and variations. It's a big step for somebody to propose that the radical Left should replace Marx with Darwin, one that perhaps many communists wouldn't dare to even discuss, and that's exactly what he proposes. There are some valid points behind this reasoning :Mar [...]

    10. I liked this short piece by Singer. I agree with him that Darwin's findings should not be seen as relevant only for the right-wing. I particularly agree with Singer in that Darwin's research should show us humans that we are not radically different from the other animals with whom we share the biosphere--with religion and Marxism alike seemingly wanting to push the idea that there is a vast chasm between us and the rest of nature. Evolution shows us instead our commonalities and has implications [...]

    11. For once I wish a book was longer. In this book Peter Singer approaches the left as a well meaning outsider, wishing to make the political movement more effective for our age. He sees leftists as out of sync with the basic facts of biology, vastly underestimating the importance of genetics as opposed to the social environment. He posits a series of practical situations that the left simply may be mistaken about. For instance that the relative scarcity of women in high status jobs, would be due t [...]

    12. I feel, and have long felt, that the left needs a strong kick of Darwinism (and biology in general) in it. But why does everyone who tries come off as such an asshole? It's a short essay, and it's more of a statement of necessity than a long, precise argument, but he still commits a number of small sins that annoyed me. First, his starting point is utilitarian, which I find to be a simplistic, kind of Pollyanna-ish, perspective, and second, his grounding in bioethics leads him to ignore a great [...]

    13. Picked it up after going to a talk on effective altruism moderated by Peter Singer. Very interesting, super short read to plan a seed of an idea in your head. The idea in this book (how/whether (wo)mankind's evolutionary instincts can be harnessed toward a great good) is an idea that I had thought AROUND before, but not very directly. Also a timely read, given I'm studying public policy right now. Read it! It's only like 60 pages. Seriously.

    14. A short introduction to how Darwin's principles might inform the goals of leftist politics. The last little chapter lays out Singer's ideas succinctly. I got this book because it was cited in Steven Pinker's The Blank Slate, but Pinker does such a good job of summarizing the ideas that I really didn't need it.

    15. Truly a great book that anyone with a political interest must read. The message is clear and short. The writing is some of the best I have seen. And you feel good and intelligent while you read the book and after you have finished reading it. Evolution is true and proven. But it does not tell us where to go as humans. Required reading for everyone who votes!

    16. A good, short read from Peter Singer about a "Darwinian Left" and a re-reading/analysis of Darwin's ideas from a cooperative and objective scientific point of view. I remember it being a quick and accessible read, but nothing absolutely new or fantastic.

    17. Good but short read. A critical examination of how some parts of the left actively deny the existence of a fixed human nature.

    18. I wanted to read this book for a long time. Finally got the guts to find it and read it. Liked it a lot. It's pretty short and gave me a lot to think about.

    19. Singer owns - confronting, clear and concise as always, Singer never loses sight of what he is trying to say and never loses his cool while trying to do it!

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