The definitive edition of Darwin's classic -- a brilliantly entertaining and accessible exploration of human and animal behaviour, reissued to mark the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth. Why do we bite people we feel affection towards? Why do dogs wag their tails? Or cats purr? Why do we get embarrassed, and why does embarrassment make us blush ...
The definitive edition of Darwin's classic -- a brilliantly entertaining and accessible exploration of human and animal behaviour, reissued to mark the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth. Why do we bite people we feel affection towards? Why do dogs wag their tails? Or cats purr? Why do we get embarrassed, and why does embarrassment make us blush? These and many other questions about the emotional life of man and animals are answered in this remarkable book. Expression is the only book in which Darwin sketches out his revolutionary ideas about human behaviour in detail: he discusses childhood learning, insanity, painting and sculpture, animal behaviour and the differences in facial expression of the world's peoples.
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Introduction, Afterward and Commentaries by Paul Ekman. First Edition Thus; First Printing indicated. This title was first published in 1872. This is the paperback reprinted in 1999 from the Third Edition, with a New Introduction, Commentaries and Illustrative material, appendices, and afterward, published in hardcover in 1998. Trade Paperback. Ever since I received Paul Ekman's new edition of Darwin's classic work, the book has been my constant companion. I carry it with me from room to room, picking it up to read whenever I have a few minutes. You can open to just about any page and discover yet another gem. Whether you find a bit to read by chance, or whether you like to be guided by the fascinating table of contents and index, or whether you prefer to begin at the beginning, Darwin is always interesting and accessible. In view of our troubled world, I find it helpful to remember that empathy is an essential part of human and animal nature. It seems the study of emotion must lead us toward a deeper understanding of these universal, powerful forces that energize and transform our lives. "Expression" is really an old friend. As a young dance therapist in the 1960s, I was impressed first by Darwin's ability to describe the dynamic process of expressive movement. Obviously it is the emotions that motivate and shape the way we move. I learned then that his observations were gathered over a period of 30 years. His subjects included not only all kinds of animals, but also human infants, children and adults from every walk of life and from many different cultures. He approached the study of emotional expression from the perspective of art, literature and inner experience, as well as from muscles and the nervous system. Although it was first published over 125 years ago, Darwin's work continues to inspire and inform contemporary research in many fields. The new edition is simply outstanding. Paul Ekman's editing is clearly a labor of love, and at the same time a thorough, original scholarly contribution. I particularly like the way he places Darwin’s work in a cultural and social/political context. Ekman's commentary offers rich resources as he quietly updates, re-frames or differs, yet more than anything, confirms and extends Darwin's observations. It is as if Ekman and Darwin were engaged in a kind of dialogue, each learning from the other. The reader is a privileged witness.
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This book clearly demonstrates the brilliance of Darwin, His work is still used to day in the study of emotional dynamics.
Aug 23, 2008
Another classic from Darwin
Darwin?s The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals came after The Origin of Species and The Descent of Man. In this work Darwin illustrates the basic suite of human facial expressions and allied bodily movements and relates these to the expression of emotions in animals. He provides a very argument for how far genetics preponderate in the expression of emotions, and at what point human gestures and expressions come to be determined by culture. His solution is that the basic suite of emotions have a universal expression in all human societies, but that beyond these, gestures are culturally-determined. (The expression of emotions are also culturally-determined in that different societies have different rules on how openly individuals are allowed to express the basic emotions). Would that more intemperate researchers of later times (those who try to put everything down to nature or, alternatively, everything down to culture) read these pages and took note.
Paul Ekman?s edition is a putative third edition of the work; The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals had only one edition during Darwin?s lifetime. A second edition was edited by his son and published after his death, but did not include all the material that Darwin would have wanted to include, which is now in this edition. The only problem I have with it is that Ekman discusses his own research in this area in text boxes where Darwin?s words suggest such a discussion. This seems rather presumptuous, and I would have thought it would have been better to put this discussion in footnotes.
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