BOOKS

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An excellent argument that evolution applies to culture as well as organisms...A masterful educator, Wilson begins with basics and then carefully amplifies them...One of the major advances in modern biology receives a splendid overview.

—Kirkus (starred review)

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This book, coauthored with two leaders in Contextual Behavioral Science, provides a comprehensive guide to Prosocial.world​, a practical framework for working with single groups and multi-group cultural ecosystems to become more prosocial and adaptable to changing environments. It will interest anyone who wants to roll up their sleeves and get personally involved in making their world a better place. Tim Kasser writes: "What do you get when you combine contemporary evolutionary theory, insights from a winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, and years of psychological research on behavior change?  As it turns out, a practical and intuitively-appealing set of steps for increasing care and cooperation amidst the 21st century's soul-sapping and ecologically damaging selfishness."  

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Contextual Behavioral Science (CBS) is the study of human behavior in the context of everyday life, with the goal of positive influence in addition to basic scientific understanding. It is rooted in the tradition of notables such as William James, John Dewey, and B.F. Skinner, who themselves were influenced by evolutionary theory. This edited volume re-unites CBS with modern evolutionary science by pairing experts from the two disciplines on the topics of Learning, Symbolic Thought and Communication, Development and Adolescence, Emotions and Empathy, Organizational Development, Behavioral and Physical Health, Small Groups, and Psychopathology and Behavior Change. Stefan G. Hofmann writes: "A remarkable and unique volume that will likely start a paradigm shift in the behavioral sciences."  

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This is a concise (150 page) scholarly account of altruism from both an ultimate and proximate perspective. I describe it as the first "post-resolution" account of multilevel (MLS) selection theory, both in general and in relation to human affairs. Read it and you will be able to hold your own among the experts. Christopher Boehm writes: "In this highly readable book a remarkable philosophical mind is at work, inspired by applying evolutionary theory to real life as we know it."

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I started the first campus-wide program to teach evolution across the curriculum, which resulted in the creation of a number of sister programs. This edited volume provides guidance for teachers and students at any college or university. 

This volume starts to provide a new foundation for economics based on a combination of complex systems theory and evolutionary theory. It is based on a conference organized with Germany's Ernst Strungmann Forum that brought over 40 experts together for a 5-day period. Here is my chapter in the volume titled "Two Meanings of Complex Adaptive Systems". 

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Evolution doesn't make everything nice! Just as there are benign and pathological forms of selfishness, the same can be said for altruism as a set of psychological motives. Altruism, defined in terms of motives, must always be considered separately from altruism, defined in terms of action. 

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This is my most novelistic book; both a personal memoir of starting to work in real-world settings and a reflection on the nature of science and scientists as everyday people who wandered into a peculiar line of work. Jared Diamond writes: "Unique, beautifully written, wide-ranging...will delight a universe of readers." 

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My 2002 book helped to launch the field of evolutionary religious studies. Here is an appraisal which states:   "We appreciate and celebrate the 15-year anniversary of Wilson’ s seminal theoretical contributions in Darwin’s Cathedral, which propelled the contemporary evolutionary study of religion forward." 

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My 2007 book is still widely read and used as a first text in courses. The fundamentals don't change! New York Times columnist Natalie Angier writes: "Wilson invites readers inside and shows them how Darwinism is done...The result is a sprightly, absorbing..book that manages a minor miracle, the near complete emulsifying of science and the real world.   

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My 1997 book with the distinguished philosopher Elliott Sober remains a foundational analysis of altruism, defined separately in terms of action and psychological motivation.