What is A Theory of Everyone?
Apart from being a modest and not-at-all grandiose book title.
What is A Theory of Everyone? Obviously, apart from being a modest and not-at-all grandiose book title.
In 2021, I gave the most watched plenary at the Human Behavior and Evolution Society (HBES) conference. Unusually high for an online specialist academic conference. It’s an answer to the question and a quick synopsis of where we are in the human and social sciences:
The book synopsis that you'll find online offers a longer explanation of why I wrote the book:
A Theory of Everyone is a blueprint for a better future that offers a unified theory of human behavior, culture, and society.
Playing on the phrase “a theory of everything” from physics, Michael Muthukrishna’s ambitious, original, and deeply hopeful book A Theory of Everyone draws on the most recent research from across the sciences, humanities, and the emerging field of cultural evolution to paint a panoramic picture of who we are and what exactly makes human beings different from all other forms of life on the planet.
Muthukrishna argues that it is our unique ability to create culture, a shared body of knowledge, skills, and experience passed on from generation to generation, that has enabled our current dominance. But it is only by understanding and applying the laws of life—the need for energy, innovation, cooperation, and evolution—that we can solve the practical and existential challenges we face as a species. A Theory of Everyone attempts to provide solutions for the most pressing problems of our collective future, such as polarization, inequality, the “great stagnation” in productivity, and the energy crisis.
Casting a bold and wide net, Muthukrishna’s book is a must-read for anyone interested in a better future for ourselves and for generations to come.
Pre-order link: https://linktr.ee/theoryofeveryone
For paid subscribers, here’s a section from the book. A reminder that founding subscribers will get a signed copy shipped out as I have them and paid subscribers go into a draw to win one of at least 10 signed copies.
Who are we? How did we get here? These most profound of questions have been pondered by generations of philosophers, theologians, and college roommates. Scientists have also been studying these questions, developing better theories and more convincing evidence for how our species evolved, the secret to our creativity and intelligence, how we work together to create corporations, governments, and other structures within our societies, and how these elements interact with one another. This ‘science of us’ is studied in different ways by different disciplines within the human and social sciences. But up until very recently, it was most accurate to describe both the human and social sciences as ‘young’ sciences.
A young science behaves like a child.
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