Sociobiology: The Adridged Edition

Sociobiology PDFSociobiology: The Adridged  Edition by Edward O. Wilson

“Modem sociobiology is being created by gifted investigators who work primarily in population biology, invertebrate zoology, including entomology especially, and vertebrate zoology.

Because my training and research experience were fortuitously in the first two subjects and there was some momentum left from writing The Insect Societies, I decided to leam enough about vertebrates to attempt a general summary.

The result was Sociobiology: The New Synthesis, published in 1975. The book met with substantial critical success. It has been widely used throughout the world as a source book in research, an advanced textbook, and a general reference work. However, its large size (697 double-column pages) and necessarily high cost prevented it from reaching much of the large audience of lay readers and students who have become interested in sociobiology and in the manner in which this particular work formulated it.

General readers were further discouraged by the thickets of technical discussions and data summaries. In the present version, Sociobiology: The Abridged Edition, I have trimmed the text down to its essential introductory parts and most interesting case histories, while retaining the full basic structure of the original book. This shortened version is intended to serve both as a textbook and a semi-popular general account of sociobiology. Because of the unusual amount of interest and commentary it has generated, I have left the final chapter on human social behavior  virtually intact.

In writing on general sociobiology, I have had to venture into many disciplines in which I have no direct experience, and thus had to rely on the expertise and advice of colleagues at Harvard University and elsewhere. The generosity they displayed, guiding me patiently through films and publications, correcting my errors, and offering the kind of enthusiastic encouragement usually reserved for promising graduate students, is a testament to the communality of science.”


Part I Social Evolution 

  •  The Morality of the Gene
  •  Elementary Concepts of Sociobiology
  • The Prime Movers of Social Evolution
  • The Relevant Principles of Population Biology
  • Group Selection and Altruism

Part II Social Mechanisms 

  •  Group Size and Reproduction
  • The Development and Modification of Social Behavior
  • Communication: Basic Principles
  • Communication: Functions and Complex Systems
  • Communication: Origins and Evolution
  • Aggression
  • Social Spacing, Including Territory
  • Dominance Systems
  • Roles and Castes
  • Sex and Society
  • Parental Care

Part III The Social Species 

  •  The Four Pinnacles of Social Evolution
  • The Colonial Invertebrates
  • The Social Insects
  • The Cold-Blooded Vertebrates
  • The Birds
  • Evolutionary Trends within the Mammals
  • The Ungulates and Elephants
  • The Carnivores
  • The Nonhuman Primates
  • Man: From Sociobiology to Sociology

Language: English
Pages: 377