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Inhaltsangabe: Robert Wright challenges the conventional view that biological evolution and human history are aimless. Employing game theory - the logic of "zero-sum" and "non-zero-sum" games - he isolates the impetus behind life's basic direction: the impetus that, via biological evolution, created complex, intelligent animals, and then via cultural evolution, pushed the human species towards deeper and vaster social complexity. In this view, the coming of today's independent global society was "on the cards" - not quite inevitable, but, as Wright puts it, "so probable as to inspire wonder". Wright takes on some of the past century's most prominent thinkers, including Isaiah Berlin, Karl Popper, Stephen Jay Gould, and Richard Dawkins, arguing that a coolly specific appraisal of humanity's three-billion-year past can give new spiritual meaning to the present and even offer political guidance for the future.
Rezension: Nonzero, from New Republic writer Robert Wright, is a difficult and important book--well worth reading--addressing the controversial question of purpose in evolution. Using language suggesting that natural selection is a designer's tool, Wright inevitably draws the conclusion that evolution is goal-oriented (or at least moves toward inevitable ends independently of environmental or contingent variables).
The underlying reason that non-zero-sum games wind up being played well is the same in biological evolution as in cultural evolution. Whether you are a bunch of genes or a bunch of memes, if you're all in the same boat you'll tend to perish unless you are conducive to productive coordination.... Genetic evolution thus tends to create smoothly integrated organisms, and cultural evolution tends to create smoothly integrated groups of organisms.
Admittedly, it's as hard to think clearly about natural selection as it is to think about God, but that makes it just as important to acknowledge our biases and try to exclude them from our conclusions. It is this that makes Nonzero potentially unsatisfying to the scientifically literate. Time after time we've seen thinkers try to find in biological evolution a "drive toward complexity" that might explain all sorts of other phenomena from economics to spirituality. Some authors, like Teilhard de Chardin, have much to offer the careful reader who takes pains to read metaphorically. Others--legions of cranks--provide nothing but opaque diatribes culminating in often-bizarre assertions proven to nobody but the author. Wright is much closer to de Chardin along this axis; his anthropological scholarship is particularly noteworthy, and his grasp of world history is excellent. Unfortunately, he has the advocate's willingness to blind himself to disagreeable facts and to muddle over concepts whose clarity would be poisonous to his positions: try to pin him down on what he means by complexity, for example. Still, his thesis that human cultures are historically striving for cooperative, nonzero-sum situations is heartening and compelling; even though it's not supported by biology, it's not knocked down, either. If the reader can work around the undefined assumptions, Wright's charm and obvious interest in planetary survival make Nonzero a worthy read. If the first chapter's title--"The Ladder of Cultural Evolution"--makes you cringe, the last one--"You Call This a God?"--will make you smile. --Rob Lightner
Titel: Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny
Verlag: Little, Brown & Company
Zustand: very good
Buchbeschreibung Little, Brown, 2000. Hardcover. Buchzustand: Used; Good. pages curly on the edge. **SHIPPED FROM UK** We believe you will be completely satisfied with our quick and reliable service. All orders are dispatched as swiftly as possible! Buy with confidence!. Buchnummer des Verkäufers 2447657
Buchbeschreibung Hardback. Buchzustand: Very Good. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged. Buchnummer des Verkäufers GOR002564669
Buchbeschreibung Hardback. Buchzustand: Good. The book has been read but remains in clean condition. All pages are intact and the cover is intact. Some minor wear to the spine. Buchnummer des Verkäufers GOR005782141
Buchbeschreibung Hardback. Buchzustand: Fair. A readable copy of the book which may include some defects such as highlighting and notes. Cover and pages may be creased and show discolouration. Buchnummer des Verkäufers GOR007054957
Buchbeschreibung Little, Brown & Company N.D. HDJ. Buchzustand: G+ / VG. VERY-GOOD EXCEPT SMALL AMT OF NOTES AND UNDERLINING. Buchnummer des Verkäufers 87597
Buchbeschreibung Little Brown, UK, 2000. Hardback. Buchzustand: Fine. Zustand des Schutzumschlags: Fine Unclipped. First. Fine clean tight book in fine unclipped jacket. Appears unread. Protected. A powerful, profound book that will change the way people think about the human prospect. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Academic. Buchnummer des Verkäufers 005081
Buchbeschreibung Little, Brown & Company, 2000. Paperback. Buchzustand: New. book. Buchnummer des Verkäufers 316644854
Buchbeschreibung Little, Brown & Company, 2000. Paperback. Buchzustand: New. book. Buchnummer des Verkäufers 0316644854