The Mating Mind: How Sexual Choice Shaped the Evolution of Human Nature

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Dec 21, 2011 - Psychology - 528 pages
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At once a pioneering study of evolution and an accessible and lively reading experience, The Mating Mind marks the arrival of a prescient and provocative new science writer. Psychologist Geoffrey Miller offers the most convincing–and radical–explanation for how and why the human mind evolved.

Consciousness, morality, creativity, language, and art: these are the traits that make us human. Scientists have traditionally explained these qualities as merely a side effect of surplus brain size, but Miller argues that they were sexual attractors, not side effects. He bases his argument on Darwin’ s theory of sexual selection, which until now has played second fiddle to Darwin’ s theory of natural selection, and draws on ideas and research from a wide range of fields, including psychology, economics, history, and pop culture. Witty, powerfully argued, and continually thought-provoking, The Mating Mind is a landmark in our understanding of our own species.
 

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User Review  - Drifter83 - LibraryThing

I am always impressed when very smart people in very technical fields can effectively explain their work to the rest of us. Miller does this, and he does it in an entertaining (and sexy) way.What I ... Read full review

The mating mind: how sexual choice shaped the evolution of human nature

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Miller (senior research fellow, Centre for Economic Learning and Social Evolution, Univ. Coll., London) here argues that the human mind and human behaviorDincluding language and moralityDhave evolved ... Read full review

Contents

Central Park
1
Darwins Prodigy
33
The Runaway Brain
68
A Mind Fit for Mating
99
Ornamental Genius
138
Courtship in the Pleistocene
177
Bodies of Evidence
224
Arts of Seduction
258
Cyrano and Scheherazade 34
341
The Wit to Woo
392
Epilogue
426
Acknowledgments
434
Glossary
436
Notes
447
Bibliography
467
Index
491

Virtues of Good Breeding
292

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About the author (2011)

Geoffrey F. Miller is senior research fellow at the Centre for Economic Learning and Social Evolution at University College, London. Born in 1965 in Cincinnati, he studied at Columbia University and received a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from Stanford University. After moving to Europe, he worked at the Universities of Sussex and Nottingham and at the Max Planck Institute of Psychological Research in Munich. He lives in Surrey with his family.

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