The Origins of Virtue: Human Instincts and the Evolution of Cooperation

by Matt Ridley
London: Penguin Books, 1998. 304 pages.

"Our minds have been built by selfish genes, but they have been built to be social, trustworthy and cooperative." A paradox? Not according to Matt Ridley, the author of The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature. His richly multidisciplinary discussion of the science behind human morality scintillates with anecdote and wit. Richard Dawkins exclaims, "If my Selfish Gene were to have a volume two devoted to humans, The Origins of Virtue is pretty much what I think it ought to look like."