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  • Print publication year: 1997
  • Online publication date: November 2009

Preface

Summary

Machiavellian Intelligence II is not just a second edition of Machiavellian Intelligence. All but one of the authors are new. The one author in common is writing on a different topic, as are the editors themselves. Moreover, the titles and contents of the chapters are not simple updates of those in the original volume. Instead, this book complements our earlier one in rather particular ways. This means that although we provide an introductory chapter to bring readers new to the area up to speed, the significance of the papers in this new book will be much better appreciated if the contents of its predecessor volume have been assimilated. We trust that serious new students of Machiavellian intelligence will take the time to do this and — although we would say this wouldn't we? – we strongly believe that there is no substitute for this route to a rounded grasp of the subject.

Machiavellian Intelligence brought together the scattered origins of the idea that primate intellect had its roots in the problems posed by complex social life, and additional chapters explored the reasons for its plausibility. Since, then, ‘Machiavellian intelligence’ has become a commonplace phrase in the literature, even to the point of acceptance where it sometimes appears with a small ‘m’! We felt the time was ripe to assess progress.

Machiavellian Intelligence II is designed to move things forward in two main ways, as suggested by our subtitle. One falls mainly under the heading of extensions of the earlier body of empirical work and accompanying theory.