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A Cooperative Species: Human Reciprocity and Its Evolution. By Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis

A Cooperative Species: Human Reciprocity and Its Evolution. By Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis. Princeton University Press 2011. ISBN: 0691151253; 9780691151250


A Cooperative Species: Human Reciprocity and Its Evolution

Why do humans, uniquely among animals, cooperate in large numbers to advance projects for the common good? Contrary to the conventional wisdom in biology and economics, this generous and civic-minded behavior is widespread and cannot be explained simply by far-sighted self-interest or a desire to help close genealogical kin.

In A Cooperative Species, Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis–pioneers in the new experimental and evolutionary science of human behavior–show that the central issue is not why selfish people act generously, but instead how genetic and cultural evolution has produced a species in which substantial numbers make sacrifices to uphold ethical norms and to help even total strangers.

The authors describe how, for thousands of generations, cooperation with fellow group members has been essential to survival. Groups that created institutions to protect the civic-minded from exploitation by the selfish flourished and prevailed in conflicts with less cooperative groups. Key to this process was the evolution of social emotions such as shame and guilt, and our capacity to internalize social norms so that acting ethically became a personal goal rather than simply a prudent way to avoid punishment.

Using experimental, archaeological, genetic, and ethnographic data to calibrate models of the coevolution of genes and culture as well as prehistoric warfare and other forms of group competition, A Cooperative Species provides a compelling and novel account of how humans came to be moral and cooperative.

Samuel Bowles heads the Behavioral Sciences Program at the Santa Fe Institute and teaches economics at the University of Siena. Herbert Gintis holds faculty positions at the Santa Fe Institute, Central European University, and the University of Siena. The authors’ recent research has appeared in Science, Nature, American Economic Review, Journal of Theoretical Biology, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, and Current Anthropology.

SuperCooperators: Altruism, Evolution, and Why We Need Each Other to Succeed. By Martin Nowak & Roger Highfield

SuperCooperators: Altruism, Evolution, and Why We Need Each Other to Succeed. By Martin Nowak & Roger Highfield. Free Press 2011. 352 pages. ISBN: 1439100187; 9781439100189


SuperCooperators: Altruism, Evolution, and Why We Need Each Other to Succeed

EVOLUTION IS OFTEN PRESENTED AS A STRICTLY COMPETITIVE ENDEAVOR. This point of view has had serious implications for the way we see the mechanics of both science and culture. But scientists have long wondered how societies could have evolved without some measure of cooperation. And if there was cooperation involved, how could it have arisen from nature “red in tooth and claw”?

Martin Nowak, one of the world’s experts on evolution and game theory, working here with bestselling science writer Roger Highfield, turns an important aspect of evolutionary theory on its head to explain why cooperation, not competition, has always been the key to the evolution of complexity. He offers a new explanation for the origin of life and a new theory for the origins of language, biology’s second greatest information revolution after the emergence of genes. SuperCooperators also brings to light his game-changing work on disease. Cancer is fundamentally a failure of the body’s cells to cooperate, Nowak has discovered, but organs are cleverly designed to foster cooperation, and he explains how this new understanding can be used in novel cancer treatments.

Nowak and Highfield examine the phenomena of reciprocity, reputation, and reward, explaining how selfless behavior arises naturally from competition; how forgiveness, generosity, and kindness have a mathematical rationale; how companies can be better designed to promote cooperation; and how there is remarkable overlap between the recipe for cooperation that arises from quantitative analysis and the codes of conduct seen in major religions, such as the Golden Rule.

In his first book written for a wide audience, this hugely influential scientist explains his cutting-edge research into the mysteries of cooperation, from the rise of multicellular life to Good Samaritans. With wit and clarity, Nowak and Highfield make the case that cooperation, not competition, is the defining human trait. SuperCooperators will expand our understanding of evolution and provoke debate for years to come.

The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined. By Steven Pinker

Steven Pinker, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined.
Viking Adult 2011; 832 pages; ISBN: 0670022950; 9780670022953.

The author of The New York Times bestseller The Stuff of Thought offers a controversial history of violence.

The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has DeclinedFaced with the ceaseless stream of news about war, crime, and terrorism, one could easily think we live in the most violent age ever seen. Yet as New York Times bestselling author Steven Pinker shows in this startling and engaging new work, just the opposite is true: violence has been diminishing for millennia and we may be living in the most peaceful time in our species’s existence. For most of history, war, slavery, infanticide, child abuse, assassinations, pogroms, gruesome punishments, deadly quarrels, and genocide were ordinary features of life. But today, Pinker shows (with the help of more than a hundred graphs and maps) all these forms of violence have dwindled and are widely condemned. How has this happened?

This groundbreaking book continues Pinker’s exploration of the essence of human nature, mixing psychology and history to provide a remarkable picture of an increasingly nonviolent world. The key, he explains, is to understand our intrinsic motives- the inner demons that incline us toward violence and the better angels that steer us away-and how changing circumstances have allowed our better angels to prevail. Exploding fatalist myths about humankind’s inherent violence and the curse of modernity, this ambitious and provocative book is sure to be hotly debated in living rooms and the Pentagon alike, and will challenge and change the way we think about our society.

The Politics of China: Sixty Years of The People’s Republic of China. 3rd Edition. Edited by Roderick MacFarquhar

The Politics of China: Sixty Years of The People’s Republic of China. 3rd Edition. Edited by Roderick MacFarquhar. Cambridge University Press 2011. ISBN: 0521145317; 9780521145312; 0521196930; 9780521196932.

The Politics of China: Sixty Years of The People's Republic of China. 3rd EditionThirty years ago, China was emerging from one of the most traumatic periods in its history. The Chinese people had been ravaged by long years of domestic struggle, terrible famine and economic and political isolation. Today, China has the world’s second largest economy and is a major player in global diplomacy. This volume, written by some of the leading experts in the field, tracks China’s extraordinary transformation from the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, through the Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution and the death of Chairman Mao, to its dynamic rise as a superpower in the twenty-first century. The latest edition of the book includes a new introduction and a seventh chapter which focuses on the legacy of Deng Xiaoping, the godfather of China’s transformation, under his successors Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao.


社会思想译丛 ★ 新书讯

玛丽安·康斯特布尔(Marianne Constable):《正义的沉默:现代法律的局限和可能性》(Just Silences: The Limits and Possibilities of Modern Law),曲广娣译,北京大学出版社2011年。ISBN: 9787301189771. @豆瓣 @小组





小批评集  《小批评集》收集了我自1994年以来用中文写作的篇幅较短的随笔、评论、访谈和杂文。这些文字大都曾经发表在国内的报刊杂志上。把这些文章结集出版,虽早就有友人热心催促,我自己却一直犹豫不决。最让我踌躇的,是把写于上个世纪的那些或被人遗忘、或已不被更年轻的一辈知晓的“少作”从故纸堆里拿出来重新公之于世。但是就有朋友说,展示求学乃至思想发展的历程,对于读者还是有用的。我于是翻检旧作,权衡再三,觉得朋友们的话确实不无道理,而且还感到无论是早几年的那些读书感想,还是更近几年感时而发的评论,虽非严格的学术写作的“正课”,倒是无不来自对文本的精读,无不是切切实实的观察与反思;惟其并非“正课”,它们才可能让专门学科之外的读者发生兴趣;再有就是从求学和思想发展的角度讲,那些我今天已经不复在意的话题与那些今天在我看来仍有意义的话题,彼此之间其实是有比较完整的相互关联性的;它们实际上具有相互解释和相互补充的功能。于是我不揣浅陋,把近二十年里的短文无论新旧都整理出来,订为一集,题为《小批评集》。称其为“小”,既因其中包含的文章篇幅较短,也是相对于所谓“正课”的学术论文乃至著作而言的。




刘皓明:《小批评集》,南京大学出版社2011年。ISBN: 9787305084478






社会思想译丛 ★ 新书讯


弗兰克·克罗斯(Frank Cross):《美国联邦上诉法院的裁判之道》(Decision Making in the U.S. Courts of Appeals),曹斐译,北京大学出版社2011年。ISBN: 9787301189382. @豆瓣 @小组







Make No Law: The Sullivan Case and the First Amendment),
ISBN: 9787301188736






经书上说,亚当的长子——夏娃“同耶和华一起”(’eth-YHWH)或“凭上帝佑助”(七十士本:dia tou theou)所生的“男人”(《创世记》4:1注),名叫该隐。该隐的儿女开创了牧、工、乐、妓四大行业,文明社会由此发端(同上,4:17以下)。那么,亚当子孙最初的翻译需求,该始于这四大行业的建立,即行话的生成与行业门槛维护,及随之而来的对语言障碍的克服(解释)吧。那可是远在宁录大王造通天塔,上帝“搅乱”子民语言之前的事情。换言之,人类虽然在巴别之野(今伊拉克)失去了亚当夏娃在伊甸园学会的“天堂语”,得来的却是远为复杂的“搅乱之语”的翻译知识,或由翻译而演进的理解、表达、分析、质疑与批判能力(详见《宽宽信箱·通天塔的教训》)——未必是坏事呢。推而论之,一切语言解释活动,都是翻译,远不止各民族语言间的转译沟通。因而,翻译必是永无止境、一场接一场的常新的斗争。


The Invention of Law in the West, by Aldo Schiavone

The Invention of Law in the West

The Invention of Law in the West, by Aldo Schiavone. Translated by Jeremy Carden & Antony Shugaar. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press 2011. ISBN 9780674047334. 640 pages.


Law is a specific form of social regulation distinct from religion, ethics, and even politics, and endowed with a strong and autonomous rationality. Its invention, a crucial aspect of Western history, took place in ancient Rome. Aldo Schiavone, a world-renowned classicist, reconstructs this development with clear-eyed passion, following its course over the centuries, setting out from the earliest origins and moving up to the threshold of Late Antiquity.

The invention of Western law occurred against the backdrop of the Roman Empire’s gradual consolidation—an age of unprecedented accumulation of power which transformed an archaic predisposition to ritual into an unrivaled technology for the control of human dealings. Schiavone offers us a closely reasoned interpretative essay that returns us to the primal origins of Western legal machinery and the discourse that was constructed around it—formalism, the pretense of neutrality, the relationship with political power. This is a landmark work of scholarship whose influence will be felt by classicists, historians, and legal scholars for decades.

Aldo Schiavone is Professor of Roman Law and Director of the Istituto Italiano di Scienze Umane.

Religion in Human Evolution: From the Paleolithic to the Axial Age, by Robert N. Bellah

Religion in Human Evolution: From the Paleolithic to the Axial Age
Religion in Human Evolution: From the Paleolithic to the Axial Age, by Robert N. Bellah. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press 2011. ISBN 9780674061439. 784 pages.


Religion in Human Evolution is a work of extraordinary ambition—a wide-ranging, nuanced probing of our biological past to discover the kinds of lives that human beings have most often imagined were worth living. It offers what is frequently seen as a forbidden theory of the origin of religion that goes deep into evolution, especially but not exclusively cultural evolution.

How did our early ancestors transcend the quotidian demands of everyday existence to embrace an alternative reality that called into question the very meaning of their daily struggle? Robert Bellah, one of the leading sociologists of our time, identifies a range of cultural capacities, such as communal dancing, storytelling, and theorizing, whose emergence made this religious development possible. Deploying the latest findings in biology, cognitive science, and evolutionary psychology, he traces the expansion of these cultural capacities from the Paleolithic to the Axial Age (roughly, the first millennium BCE), when individuals and groups in the Old World challenged the norms and beliefs of class societies ruled by kings and aristocracies. These religious prophets and renouncers never succeeded in founding their alternative utopias, but they left a heritage of criticism that would not be quenched.

Bellah’s treatment of the four great civilizations of the Axial Age—in ancient Israel, Greece, China, and India—shows all existing religions, both prophetic and mystic, to be rooted in the evolutionary story he tells. Religion in Human Evolution answers the call for a critical history of religion grounded in the full range of human constraints and possibilities.

Robert N. Bellah is Elliott Professor of Sociology Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley.







社会思想译丛 ★ 新书讯


杰弗瑞·西格尔(Jeffrey A. Segal)、哈罗德·斯皮斯(Harold J. Spaeth)、莎拉·蓓娜莎(Sara C. Benesh):《美国司法体系中的最高法院》(The Supreme Court in the American Legal System),刘哲玮、杨微波译,北京大学出版社2011年。ISBN: 9787301163443. @豆瓣@小组





第一编 引论

第一章 司法制定政策
第二章 司法裁决的形成路径
第三章 美国司法历史中的最高法院

第二编 司法过程

第四章 民事诉讼程序
第五章 证据
第六章 刑事诉讼程序

第三编 美国司法体系中的下级法院

第七章 各州法院
第八章 联邦地区法院
第九章 联邦上诉法院

第四编 美国司法体系中的最高法院

第十章 最高法院的组成
第十一章 进入法院
第十二章 最高法院的裁决形成
第十三章 意见与分配

第五编 影响

第十四章 司法判决的影响

附录一 美国联邦最高法院历任大法官(1789—2010)
附录二 美国各州缩写


《美国司法体系中的最高法院》是现有文献中一部具有独特贡献的书——与其他同类书不同,它有着自己的观点,并运用数据予以支撑。本书以不加掩饰的政治倾向,以及丰富的细节与事实,为课堂上的踊跃讨论提供了素材。对政治学系、法律系的学生,以及那些对法院制度的发展和历史感兴趣的人而言,这是一本非常重要的著作。——李·爱泼斯坦(Lee Epstein),华盛顿大学圣路易斯分校

《美国司法体系中的最高法院》对美国的法院以及司法程序提出了崭新的看法。西格尔、斯皮斯和蓓娜莎对司法程序课堂上所讨论到的一般话题,都有广泛涉及,且这种涉及是以一种独特的、有魅力的方法呈现出来。作者知识的深度与广度,以及他们敏锐的才智,在本书里得到了很好的体现,并有助于知识性的、真正愉悦的阅读的实现。本书如此独特(并且如此吸引人)的原因在于作者的这种关注:不仅告诉读者他们对法律和法院知道什么,而且告诉读者他们是怎样知道的。同时,作者还(不同寻常地)为我们带来了关于司法程序不同方面的社会科学研究。这本书无疑会成为一项典范。——温迪·马蒂内克(Wendy L.Martinek),纽约州立宾汉姆顿大学

从支配民事诉讼和刑事诉讼的规则,到最高法院判决的影响,西格尔、斯皮斯和蓓娜莎透彻地阐释了美国的司法体系。作者非常专业地将经验数据、历史分析,以及法律知识结合起来,给我们提供了一个广泛的视角,来观察法院如何运行,以及司法以哪些方式影响着公共政策。结果是,一本非常有益、水平很高的著作呈现在我们面前。——托马斯·沃克尔(Thomas Walker),埃默里大学








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