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8 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Belief in Progress Cloaked in the Rhetoric of Game Theory
Back in 1794 the Enlightenment philosphe Marie Jean Antoine Nicolas Caritat, Marquis de Condorcet wrote his Sketch for a Historical Picture of the Progress of the Human Mind--the boldest of the eighteenth-century declarations that humanity had and was destined to see Progress with a capital P. Condorcet was a powerful and convincing advocate--Malthus wrote his Essay on...
Veröffentlicht am 1. Juni 2000 von James B. Delong

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3.0 von 5 Sternen Excellent history but miserable "Tips on Saving the World"
Nonzero starts off great. The history of humankind is reviewed from the perspective that human culture advances as technology advances by people instituting cultural changes to increase nonzero sum gains (gains accrued by the facilitation of trade). This whole analysis is exciting and thought provoking, which explains why so many people have been stimulated to write...
Veröffentlicht am 19. Juli 2000 von James P. Simmer


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5.0 von 5 Sternen Sweeping, informative and entertaining, 25. Januar 2000
Von Ein Kunde
Thankfully, an increasing number of authors (Landes, Diamond, et al) have been tackling social evolution - a crucial topic that's been shied away from for too long. Wright's effort is inspired, intelligent, engaging, erudite, not the least bit pretentious, and exceedingly well-written. Wright's basic message is that living organizations - both organisms and the groups they form - have been getting increasingly complex and well-integrated since life began, so it's a good bet that this trend will continue into the future. He presents a general hypothesis, and then provides a mountain of fascinating evidence to back it up. It's not experimental science, it's theory-driven science, but it's definitely not "bad science" as a few reviewers (usually non-scientists, interestingly) have said. Reading this book will definitely increase your knowledge and understanding of the history of life on earth, and as the goal of science is to increase knowledge and understanding, I'd say the scientific value of this book is high - much higher than most history you will read (historians usually don't even try to make their interpretations consistent with biological knowledge). Though not the last word in social evolution, this book is an excellent leap forward, and anyone interested in history, biology, or social evolution should read it, and have a great time doing it. Highly recommended.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen The Game of History, 26. Januar 2000
Von Ein Kunde
Nonzero is a work of amazing erudition and daring. Wright takes on the entire sweep of history-both human and biological-and reinterprets it through the prism of games theory. And it works. The whole question of proof or non-proof seems beside the point to me (Was Kant or Hegel ever proved right or proved wrong?). Rather, Wright has given us an astonishingly powerful tool with which to analyze the larger movement of history. This is no simplification; Wright takes pains to point out that, on the micro level, history is full of countercurrents and various other aberrations; but his case for the general movement toward greater complexity and greater cooperation is extremely persuasive. Naturally, since this is Big Think analysis, it will stir up controversy among more traditional thinkers eager to defend their turf. But anyone who really cares about recent developments in modern thought must read this book. It's probably the most exciting-and, given Wright's humor and razor-sharp style, the most entertaining-books I've read in a long, long time.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen A subtle mechanism for a sweeping trend, 4. Mai 2000
This is a fantastic book. Robert Wright's application of game theory to broad trends in biological and social evolution - growing complexity and expanding scope - proposes a mechanism that drives those trends. While his data is admittedly not wholly experimental, he does an excellent job of synthesizing a new perspective from the fragments of solid evidence that do exist. The book raises questions about the costs and benefits of social power, providing the author's own conclusions without preventing the reader from forming her own conclusions. Readers interested in political globalization, social justice, and biological evolution will all find an equally refreshing perspective on their topic of interest. (A note: This book is an excellent companion to Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond. I highly recommend reading them one after the other.)
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Ambitious, erudite, extraordinary, 28. Februar 2000
Wright's ambition is no less than to offer an analog of physical science's elusive unified theory. He wants to explain the entire course of human history. To an astonishing degree, he succeeds. His erudition is almost overwhelming. He ranges fluidly from cellular biology to Chinese history to Islamic theology. And he does so in a style that is both friendly and accessible. Reading Nonzero is like having a pleasant, extended conversation over brandy with a wise friend who's had time to read and ponder all the books you've wished you read but haven't gotten to yet. No doubt this will expose Wright to scads of petty complaints from academics who are so narrowly focused on departmental politics and the minutiae of their dissertations that they not only can't see the forest, but have forgotten its existence. For the rest of us, though, Nonzero is a treat.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Excellent Read, 30. Januar 2000
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Eric Falkenstein (United States) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
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I read his prior book The Moral Animal, and found Nonzero proof that someone who can write one good nonfiction book has at least one more in him. As an economist I appreciate the prominence given to game theory, as it lurks above everything (in the book and in life!). He writes in a compelling, fair, and entertaining way: classic popular nonfiction. The application to the meaning of life and its direction is something more pusillanimous academics would never attempt, so the new thing to me is actually writing out the interesting and straightforward implications of various well-accepted findings (anyone who thinks this is all based on speculative ideas is a dilettante). More to the point of population contention, the thinking that life in general isn't mere happenstance, is good cocktail chatter.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen A knockout!, 1. April 2000
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R. Zubrin (Colorado, USA) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
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This is a terrific book. Wright's devastating refutation of Stephen J. Gould's fashionable pose denying progress in evolution alone is worth the price of purchase. The book's use of game theory to demonstrate the high probability of the development of intelligence from life is extremely good, and (though Wright confines himself to terrestrial matters) has decisive implications bearing on the question of the distribution of intelligence and civilization in the universe at large. Overall, the book is seminal. No person interested in the most important philosophical questions facing humnaity should fail to read it.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen This book explains virtually everything, 25. Januar 2000
Von Ein Kunde
Wright's last book, The Moral Animal, explained most of my life to me. This explains everything else! Wright outlines a drive to greater and greater complexity that isn't necessarily produced by biological evolution (the subject of Moral Animal). It's also the product of cultural evolution. It all seemed quite plausible to me, and well-argued -- Wright can be funny, and he must have read an incredible amount of history and science. This is genuine Big Think, and it will change how you view your place in the grand scheme. Indeed, it shows what the grand scheme is.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Bill Clinton hat es öffentlich empfohlen, 19. Februar 2010
Verifizierter Kauf(Was ist das?)
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny (Vintage) (Taschenbuch)
Kürzlich las ich ein Interview mit Bill Clinton, in dem er dieses Buch als außerordentlich wichtig und für ihn bedeutsam empfahl.
Ich habe es nur auf Englisch finden können.
Es ist aber auch so faszinierend, weil es die Geschichte der Menscheit so ganz anders erzählt.
Es ist aber kein Geschichtsbuch, sondern ein philosphischer Ansatz der der Entwicklung der Menschheit eine Bedeutung und Richtung zu geben versucht.
Ein spannender und überaus lesenswerter Beitrag zur Globalisierungsdebatte:
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2.0 von 5 Sternen Weak arguments, not much empirical data, 12. April 2000
Von Ein Kunde
If you read this book please also read Stephen J. Gould's book "Full House". I think Wright's arguments are weak and not supported by empirical evidence. For instance positive feed back "arms race" does not explain why bacteria are so numerous. If evolution favors complexity then why are bacteria still, by far, the most numerous life form on this planet after 3.5 billion years?
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1.0 von 5 Sternen Selectionism and Directionality, 30. Januar 2000
Von Ein Kunde
As the NeoDarwinian synthesis goes into terminal nosedive the last ditch hope would seem to blend natural selection and directionality, a tactic drastically evident in Wright's book, which achieves a new level of confusion with its teleological argument based on natural selection and game theory, bestseller candy. Not science, please! The result is pseudo-"philosophy of history" masquerading as science. What grounds do we have for applying evolution to history? Life is confused enough without scientific Darwin dummies playing theoretical Charles Chaplin. It is an odd fact that biologists claim a science of evolution in unobserved times while historians are critical of claims for a science of history in observable times. This should make us suspiciously skeptical of any argument claiming both history and evolution in one sweep. No theories are likely to have such universal range. History and the evidence it shows must speak for itself and is under no requirement to conform to the assumptions about earlier evolution of Darwinists. Applying Darwinian natural selection to history is a complete fallacy that has forever confused cultural evolutionism with racist Eurocentric nonsense. This can't be repaired except by abandoning natural selection, for the suggestion is the dangerous idea of cultural selectionism. The world's 'primitive' people have suffered enough from this phoney science. The debate over directionality in evolution by Darwinians(viz. Gould, Full House, Willis, The Runaway Brain) fails to consider that the appearance of directionality almost by definition contradicts the implications of natural selection. Here Gould in debate with Wright is at least consistent. Thus the attempt to make them compatible won't work. Kauffman's At Home in the Universe is careful thus to distinguish his different processes. The fanstastic use of the theory of games is not evidence, but hypothetical speculation. We have no evidence whatever that genes for altruism arose through natural selection.(David Stowe, Darwinian Fairytales),and the theory of games, as a mathematical toy, however interesting, will not resolve the issue and is too lightweight to be a candidate for the 'logic of destiny'! This book is the second this year on evolutionary directionality to cite Kant's seldom cited essay Idea for a Universal History with a Cosmopolitan Purpose. It is not clear if he is responding to this other book (by John Landon, World History and the Eonic Effect)which answers Kant's challenge to find 'nature's hidden plan' directly through periodization and shows the only simple way to infer directionality as this can be taken in world history, data that springs from observations beginning in the nineteenth century. Evolution in history shows a clear global character with long range sequential and parallel evolution, a far cry from anything in Darwinism. And we see that the 'evolution of ethics' is presented to us directly in history if we can see it. No theory of history can omit this data. Wright's misleading treatment of the theme of 'asocial sociability' might seem plausible to some in Kant's at first puzzling essay, but fails to consider the background of his famous Critiques and also that this is not given as a solution but a problem to be solved. Kant cannot be made a Darwinian and was wise to the fallacy of mechanical explanations of ethical will long before the onset of sociobiology (although he would seem to have supported 'evolution').Along with this we find the obligatory citation of Isaiah Berlin and Karl Popper on historicism. Wright actually claims he will bypass their objections and find a novel escape from their strictures, but it is hard to see his answer. The total confusion of directionality and teleology is evident everywhere. The problem of historical laws is connected to the famous Kantian antinomies, the third of freedom and causality being the ultimate source of Berlin and Popper's views. To attempt a hybrid between natural selection and teleology via the theory of games is notably confusing and won't stand. The point is that there is no 'theory' that is causal unless you renounce 'freedom', this and a host of variants that were prominent in the golden age of Universal History. Evolutionists make fun of this and promptly fall into all the traps. In Kant's wake dealing with the evolution of freedom in explicit terms we find such as Hegel, lately Fukuyama. Sociobiologists are noted for their blundering in this area with conservative renditions of liberalism and fail to consider that one of the proper themes of historical evolution is just this 'evolution of freedom', which cannot be made scientific (and prone no doubt to whiggish confusion). The philosophers of history were at least clear about their subject. Wright's argument summons all the old phantoms of historicism and hardly passes muster beside Popper's critique of the original leftist versions. John Landon nemonemini@eonix.8m.com
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Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny (Vintage)
Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny (Vintage) von Robert Wright (Taschenbuch - 9. Januar 2001)
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