Why We Lie
By JOHN HORGAN - THE NEW YORK TIMES
Added: Sat, 24 Dec 2011 15:09:34 UTC
“This is a remarkable book, by a uniquely brilliant scientist. Robert Trivers has a track record of producing highly original ideas, which have gone on to stimulate much research. His Darwinian theory of self-deception is arguably his most provocative and interesting idea so far. The book is enlivened by Trivers’ candid personal style, and is a pleasure to read. Strongly recommended.”
In 1995 I traveled to the University of California, Santa Barbara, for the annual meeting of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society, which turned out to be a pep rally for psychologists, anthropologists and others who view humanity through the lens of evolutionary theory. Attendees heard Darwinian takes on lust, love, infidelity, status-seeking, mental illness, violence, patriotism, politics, economics and religion, as well as keynote addresses from such luminaries as Richard Dawkins and Steven Pinker.
The most influential thinker there, arguably, was a scruffily bearded fellow, wearing sunglasses and a knitted cap, who never gave a talk. He lurked around the margins of the conference; at one point I spotted him puffing a joint outside a meeting hall. This, at any rate, is how I remember Robert Trivers, although as he points out in “The Folly of Fools,” memory often tricks us. He also confesses to being a pothead, so I’m pretty sure my recollection is accurate.
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Note that the publisher titled the book differently in the UK:
Deceit and Self-Deception: Fooling Yourself the Better to Fool Others
The UK edition is also available for Kindle
Amazon.co.uk - Kindle
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