The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex, Volumes 1-2

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Princeton University Press, 1871 - Science - 475 pages
31 Reviews

In the current resurgence of interest in the biological basis of animal behavior and social organization, the ideas and questions pursued by Charles Darwin remain fresh and insightful. This is especially true of The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex, Darwin's second most important work. This edition is a facsimile reprint of the first printing of the first edition (1871), not previously available in paperback.

The work is divided into two parts. Part One marshals behavioral and morphological evidence to argue that humans evolved from other animals. Darwin shoes that human mental and emotional capacities, far from making human beings unique, are evidence of an animal origin and evolutionary development. Part Two is an extended discussion of the differences between the sexes of many species and how they arose as a result of selection. Here Darwin lays the foundation for much contemporary research by arguing that many characteristics of animals have evolved not in response to the selective pressures exerted by their physical and biological environment, but rather to confer an advantage in sexual competition. These two themes are drawn together in two final chapters on the role of sexual selection in humans.

In their Introduction, Professors Bonner and May discuss the place of The Descent in its own time and relation to current work in biology and other disciplines.

 

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Review: The Descent of Man

User Review  - Prooost Davis - Goodreads

The book's complete title is Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex, and the bulk of the book deals with sexual selection. Chapters eight through twenty are detailed catalogues of secondary ... Read full review

Review: The Descent of Man

User Review  - Zach - Goodreads

The Descent of Man, the first section, advances Darwin's argument that the evolution by natural selection that he described in Origin of Species applies to man as well. It's obviously a hugely ... Read full review

All 16 reviews »

Contents

PART I THE DESCENT OF MAN
9
CHAPTER II COMPARISON OF THE MENTAL POWERS OF MAN AND THE LOWER ANIMALS
34
CHAPTER III COMPARISON OF THE MENTAL POWERS OF MAN AND THE LOWER ANIMALS continued
70
CHAPTER IV ON THE MANNER OF DEVELOPMENT OF MAN FROM SOME LOWER FORM
107
CHAPTER V ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE INTELLECTUAL AND MORAL FACULTIES DURING PRIMEVAL AND CIVILISED TIMES
158
CHAPTER VI ON THE AFFINITIES AND GENEALOGY OF MAN
185
CHAPTER VII ON THE RACES OF MAN
214
PART II SEXUAL SELECTION
253
CHAPTER XIII SECONDARY SEXUAL CHARACTERS OF BIRDS
38
CHAPTER XIV BIRDS continued
99
CHAPTER XV BIRDS continued
154
CHAPTER XVI BIRDS concluded
183
CHAPTER XVII SECONDARY SEXUAL CHARACTERS OF MAMMALS
239
CHAPTER XVIII SECONDARY SEXUAL CHARACTERS OF MAMMALS continued
274
CHAPTER XIX SECONDARY SEXUAL CHARACTERS OF MAN
316
CHAPTER XX SECONDARY SEXUAL CHARACTERS OF MAN continued
355

CHAPTER IX SECONDARY SEXUAL CHARACTERS IN THE LOWER CLASSES OF THE ANIMAL KINGDOM
321
CHAPTER X SECONDARY SEXUAL CHARACTERS OF INSECTS
341
CHAPTER XI INSECTS continued ORDER LEPIDOPTERA
386
CHAPTER XII SECONDARY SEXUAL CHARACTERS OF FISHES AMPHIBIANS AND REPTILES
1
CHAPTER XXI GENERAL SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION
385
INDEX
406
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