A Theory of Everyone: The New Science of Who We Are, How We Got Here, and Where We’re Going
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.
About the Author
Michael Muthukrishna is Associate Professor of Economic Psychology in the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science and Affiliate in Developmental Economics and Data Science at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). His work on cultural evolution focuses on answering three big questions: why humans are so different from other animals, what are the psychological and evolutionary processes that underlie culture and social change, and how the answers to these questions can be used to tackle some of the biggest challenges we face as a species.
Praise for A Theory of Everyone: The New Science of Who We Are, How We Got Here, and Where We’re Going
"A deep humanism lurks implicitly under the surface of every chapter. Muthukrishna presents a fundamentally optimistic narrative, brimming with ideas and concepts. A Theory of Everyone serves as a reality-based check on overly pessimistic or bearish works that see the end of human civilization and the diminution of our creative energies."
“A wildly ambitious romp toward a ‘periodic table for people.’”
“A fabulous book.”
—The Economist’s Babbage podcast