A Theory of Everyone: Who We Are, How We Got Here, and Where We’re Going (Hardback)
  • A Theory of Everyone: Who We Are, How We Got Here, and Where We’re Going (Hardback)

A Theory of Everyone: Who We Are, How We Got Here, and Where We’re Going (Hardback)

Hardback 448 Pages
Published: 28/09/2023
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'A fabulous book' The Economist

'Mind expanding - this book will change your view of the world forever' Matthew Syed

'Wonderfully refreshing and thought-provoking' Peter Frankopan

'Original, fascinating, and provocative' Andrew McAfee

A blueprint for a better future.

Playing on the phrase "a theory of everything" in physics, Michael Muthukrishna offers a unified theory of human behavior, culture, and society - a theory of everyone.

Drawing on the most recent research across the sciences, humanities, and the emerging field of cultural evolution, he paints a panoramic picture of who we are and exactly what 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 how to solve 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 ambitious net, this is a must-read for anyone interested in a better future for ourselves and generations to come.

Publisher: John Murray Press
ISBN: 9781399810630
Number of pages: 448
Weight: 680 g
Dimensions: 236 x 164 x 44 mm


Mind expanding - this book will change your view of the world forever. Michael Muthukrishna is one of our greatest and most creative thinkers - Matthew Syed, broadcaster and author of REBEL IDEAS and BLACK BOX THINKING

Muthukrishna has a heart as big as his intellect, which is saying something. In this original, fascinating, and provocative book he dives deep into who we humans are and what makes us tick. His hopeful message is that once we understand ourselves better we'll coexist better. Let's prove him right - Andrew McAfee, author of THE GEEK WAY and co-author of THE SECOND MACHINE AGE

Buzzing with ideas, A Theory of Everyone encourages us to rethink what it is to be human. A compelling and essential read for anyone interested in building a better, more sustainable future - David Bodanis, author of THE ART OF FAIRNESS

A big, bold and ambitious look at the world around us in which nothing is off limits. Wonderfully refreshing and thought-provoking - Peter Frankopan, author of THE SILK ROADS

A Theory of Everyone is your guide to some of the most important advances in the social sciences, written by a foremost researcher, beautifully illustrated, and positively overflowing with fascinating facts and ideas - Erez Yoeli, Director, Applied Cooperation Initiative, MIT, co-author of HIDDEN GAMES

A must read for anyone interested in understanding the forces that shape all of our lives. Full of scientific discoveries, revolutionary insights, and delightful storytelling, you will not only see the world differently, you'll have the tools to create a brighter future - Michele Gelfand, Professor, Stanford Graduate School of Business and author of RULE MAKERS, RULE BREAKERS

The best book I've read in a decade. A sprightly page-turner that entertains with specifics, astonishes with universals, and reframes the big issues facing humanity - Robert Klitgaard, author of CONTROLLING CORRUPTION and TROPICAL GANGSTERS

This book, which I read with great fascination, shows how we can move beyond neoclassical economics with a firmer foundation in the natural sciences and energy. This is extremely important as the world soon, and Europe now, increasingly faces critical energy shortages. I hope this book helps more people understand the critical importance of energy in generating our current affluence, and its diminution as a probable root cause of future inflation. A failure to understand these relations is likely to cause our societies to become impossible to govern - Charles Hall, ESF Foundation Distinguished Professor at State University of New York, inventor of the EROI metric, author of ENERGY AND THE WEALTH OF NATIONS

There is a truly wonderful idea at the heart of this book: that by exchanging things and thoughts, human beings became capable of doing and knowing far more than their meagre brains would have otherwise made possible. It is not an entirely new idea, but Michael Muthukrishna explores its extraordinary and hopeful implications with rich and thrilling energy - Matt Ridley, author of THE EVOLUTION OF EVERYTHING

A Theory of Everyone flavorfully mixes a stunning breadth of scholarship with an impressive knowledge of pop-culture and current issues, boldly going where most social scientists fear to tread. Lucidly discussing ideas surrounding IQ, race, sex differences, inheritance taxes, religion, Microsoft and even monogamy, readers are treated to a fascinating intellectual flight that thoughtfully offers many new perspectives on old issues. Buckle up! - Joseph Henrich, Professor of Human Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University and author of THE WEIRDEST PEOPLE IN THE WORLD and THE SECRET OF OUR SUCCESS

Do you know your own species? You might think so, but Muthukrishna will make you think again. With clarity, humor, and energy, he opens new vistas on how genes and cultures shaped who we are and how we can improve our lives together. A Theory of Everyone is for everyone - Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Chauncey Stillman Professor of Practical Ethics, Duke University, author of THINK AGAIN

A Theory of Everyone uses the latest social science research to answer the critical question of how all human communities can be made to work better. Magisterial in scope and practical in application, this book should be required reading for CEOs, community organisers, Head Teachers, and Presidents - Jamie Heywood, CEO of zolar and former head of Uber, Northern and Eastern Europe

Michael brings the reader up to date on this powerful theoretical framework - including much of his own innovative work on corruption, cooperation, and collective intelligence - and thoughtfully discusses how this framework can be applied to address pressing societal issues, ranging from diversity to taxation to free speech - Moshe Hoffman, Visiting Lecturer on Economics, Harvard University, co-author of HIDDEN GAMES

This hugely enjoyable book, stuffed with surprising facts, shows how we can turn the social sciences into real sciences. Michael Muthukrishna's new "theory of everyone" reveals alarming threats to humanity's future - but also shows that once we understand the science behind society, we do have the power to produce permanent systemic solutions - Ian Morris, Professor, Stanford Archaeology Center, Stanford University, author of GEOGRAPHY IS DESTINY - BRITAIN AND THE WORLD

A Theory of Everyone delivers both an overarching theory and a practical toolkit for understanding and improving the human condition. What could be more important than that? - David Sloan Wilson, author of THIS VIEW OF LIFE

One of today's most brilliant minds weighs in on what ails us and how to fix it. Muthukrishna breaks life's biggest questions into their component parts, then reveals how artificial intelligence, physics, history, evolutionary biology and psychology can together answer them, in a way that will keep you up at night. The most important book you will quickly read this year - good luck not telling your friends about it! - Brian Hare, New York Times bestselling author, Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, Duke University.

A book all politicians should read - Matthew Syed, Sunday Times

An astonishing book that will change the way you think about human history and our future - Nichola Raihani, Professor of Evolution & Behaviour, University College London, and author of THE SOCIAL INSTINCT

If you hear the engine of human prosperity sputtering and see the world going dark, Michael Muthukrishna is knocking on your door with a lantern and a toolbox. With wisdom and precision, A Theory of Everyone makes sense of our historical moment and gives credible hope that, after some retooling, human energy and ingenuity can prevail - Joshua Greene, Professor, Harvard University; author of MORAL TRIBES

The world is breaking and society is becoming ever more polarized - yet a better realm is around the corner, if only we can stimulate our collective brains. In his magnificent A Theory of Everyone, polymath Michael Muthukrishna teaches us how to govern in the twenty-first century, how to address inequalities, and how to trigger creative explosions, improve the internet, and become brighter - all by harnessing the power of cultural evolution. A marvelous, rich, and entertaining read - Kevin N. Lala, Professor, Centre for Biological Diversity, University of St Andrews

A fabulous book - The Economist

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