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Beyond Bad: How obsolete morals are holding us back – Chris Paley Hardcover 2021


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Beyond Bad: How obsolete morals are holding us back 
by Chris Paley
Hardcover – Illustrated, 8 June 2021
RRP $45
‘Vital reading’ – THE TIMES
‘Brilliantly unillusioned thinking… It could hardly be more necessary in these all-too-moralistic times’ – James Marriott, THE TIMES
Morals have held empires together, kept soldiers marching under fire, fed the hungry, passed laws, built walls, welcomed immigrants, destroyed careers and governed our sex lives. But what if morality’s all meaningless rubbish, a malfunctioning relic of our evolutionary past?

This is the provocative argument that Chris Paley makes. This isn’t an attack on one set of moral codes or one way of thinking about ethics: it’s a call for abolishing the whole caboodle.
He uses evolutionary psychology to show how and why morality emerged: they enabled our forebears to survive and prosper in tribal groups. Today, our morals constrain us, bias us, and push us in the wrong direction.
The biggest challenges our species faces, whether global warming, nuclear proliferation or the rise of the robots, are pan-human. These challenges are beyond what our moral minds were designed to cope with. You can’t build smartphones with stone-age axes, and you can’t solve modern humanity’s problems with tools that are designed to create primitive, competitive groups.
From Chris Paley, author of the ‘extraordinary’, ‘startling’ and ‘thought-provoking’ Unthink, comes Beyond Bad, which shows morals hinder us from achieving what we want to achieve. Beyond Bad is the book that ‘does for morals what Dawkins did for God’.
About the Author
Dr Chris Paley has an MSci and a PhD from the University of Cambridge. He is the author of Unthink: Why You Don’t Think The Way You Think You Think.
In Chris’s view the greatest scientific leap of his generation is throwing off common-sense assumptions about the mind: what it’s doing for us, why we have morals, and how we make decisions. This leaves scientists free to overturn millennia of fruitless theorising and truly explain why we are what we are and think what we think.
He has a wife, three blameless daughters and an imaginary, but mischievous, cat. Chris might believe himself to be thoroughly amoral, but his wife thinks him ‘a good man’.
Product details
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Coronet; 1st edition (8 June 2021)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 272 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1529327091
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 9781529327090
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 22.23 x 5.08 x 14.61 cm

Additional information

Weight 0.800 g
Dimensions 25 × 15 × 5 cm


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Dust Jacket

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Book Title

Beyond Bad: How Obsolete Morals Are Holding US Back

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Popular Philosophy


Hodder & Stoughton

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272 Pages


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