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The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals, Anniversary Edition (Anglais) Broché – 10 décembre 2009

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Revue de presse

"Why do we shrug? Why do dogs wag their tails? Why do we scowl when angry and pout when sad rather than the other way around? What is the difference between guilt and shame? This would be an extraordinary book even if it had only answered these and scores of similar questions about the emotions in 1872. But Expression also proved that the human mind, not just the body, is a product of evolution. It showed, during the heyday of scientific racism, that the races of mankind are fundamentally similar; anticipating virtually every twentieth-century behavioral science . . . Darwin enriched his arguments with hundreds of insightful observations, many with the pathos and humor of great literature, as when he describes the terror of a man being led to his execution or the comical dejection of his dog as soon as it sensed that a walk might end . . . This edition has the feel not of a lovingly restored museum piece but of a recent seminal work."

-Steven Pinker, Science

Darwin's most readable and human book . . . It was never republished in his lifetime, even though Darwin made many additions and revisions in the text. Only now have all of Darwin's changes been incorporated into the book, along with a full apparatus of notes and appendices and a number of photographs that never made it into the 1873 edition . . . This new comprehensive edition of Expression will introduce a new generation of readers to Darwin's masterpiece, undiminished and intensely relevant even 125 years after publication.

-Oliver Sacks

"The Expression of the Emotions predates Freud, and it will still be illuminating human psychology long after Freud's discrediting is complete."

--Richard Dawkins

"Highly original . . . this is scholarship at its best."

-Simon Baron-Cohen, Nature

"Ekman's edition is no mere reprint plus introduction."

-Mark Ridley, Scientific American

Biographie de l'auteur

Paul Ekman is Professor Psychology at the University of California at San Francisco. He is the editor of Darwin and Facial Expression and The Nature of Emotion, and author of Telling Lies: Clues to Deceit in the Marketplace, Politics, and Marriage. He lives in San Francisco.

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4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A classic beautifully presented 7 janvier 2013
Par John C. Fentress - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Darwin's classic Expression of the Emotions published in 1872 remains a remarkable testimony to the powers of observation and insight of this remarkable man. This edition adds value to the work through the thoughtful introduction and after notes by Paul Ekman, a man who as much as any other has shown how bringing Darwin's work into fields such as ethology and comparative psychology can help us understand the roots of our own emotional expressions. It is true, as Ekman notes, that some of Darwin's explanations for emotional expression have been replaced. This in no way invalidates the value of his remarkable insights. I suggest that all who are interested in how emotions are organized, in both animals and humans (a false distinction, by the way) take a serious look at what the originator of our modern evolutionary perspective on life had to say about the richness of emotional behavior, differing in detail across species (and individuals) with within a common core of historical roots.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Darwin on Facial Expressions 26 janvier 2014
Par P. Webster - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
When Charles Darwin in 1859 finally made public his theory of evolution by natural selection in “On the Origin of Species”, he avoided writing about human evolution, except for saying that “Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history.”

But by the early 1870s he felt confident enough to openly discuss the evolution of humans from animals. He did this in “The Descent of Man” (1871) and in this book, “The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals” (1872).

In “The Expression of Emotions” Darwin’s main aim was to show that humans are not separate from animals. He shows the origins of human facial expressions in the animal world, and he argues that human expressions are innate and universal (the same in all cultures).

I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in Darwin’s ideas. But in my view it is not Darwin at his best. It has been pointed out that there are two main weaknesses in the book. Firstly, Darwin focuses mainly on the emotional roots of facial expressions and says too little about the role of expressions in communication.

Secondly, despite having developed the revolutionary (and correct) theory of natural selection as the mechanism for evolutionary change, Darwin mistakenly allowed a subsidiary role for the Lamarckian idea of the inheritance of acquired characteristics. This book is unfortunately full of examples of this latter idea.

In recent decades the book has also featured in controversies over the so-called “nature versus nurture” debate. Social anthropologist Margaret Mead argued that human facial expressions are learned, not innate, and that they vary from one culture to another. Psychologist Paul Eckman, on the other hand, says that Mead has been proved wrong and that Darwin was correct in saying that human facial expressions are the same in all societies, reflecting their evolutionary and genetic rather than cultural origins.

But even if Ekman is correct on the specific issue of facial expressions, this does not mean that we can explain all other aspects of human behaviour primarily in genetic terms, as biological/genetic determinists claim. Ekman says that both nature and nurture play a part in determining human behaviour, which is clearly true, but he himself actually seems to lean much more towards the “nature” side. In fact he has claimed that “Darwin led the way not only in the biological sciences but in the social sciences as well.” Ekman seems to be using Darwin’s “Expressions” book as a stick with which to beat those who put forward social explanations of human behaviour.

In fact it is not just social scientists who argue that we cannot explain all human behaviour in biological terms. Evolutionary theorists like Stephen Jay Gould and Richard Lewontin also show that humans have evolved to be creatures which, because of their large brain, are very flexible in their behaviour. The result is that much of our behaviour (though perhaps not our facial expressions) is learned and therefore the result of social factors and interactions.

I am a great fan of Charles Darwin, and Darwin may well have been right about facial expressions being largely innate, but we should not try to use Darwinism to explain our society (and its problems).

Phil Webster.
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