this book presents an entirely new approach to the analysis of human behaviour. there are many reasons why such a reappraisal is timely and important. although man's technological progress has been impressive, all his unresolved problems, other than disease and natural disaster, are fundamentally sociological and therefore of his own making, and their solution depends upon a more profound and more widely assimilated understanding of human motivation. as we are constantly reminded by reports in the media, the roots of human dysfunction at a personal level have persisted unchanged since the stone age, despite the inputs of philosophy, religion and politics. on the world stage, the metamorphosis being brought about by increasing globalisation, democratisation and secularisation has exposed the serious inadequacies of legacy tribal, nationalistic and religious tenets, and the uncompromising conduct to which these give rise. the key to comprehensive sociological maturation is the provision of an unbiased educational strategy which instils the ability to think logically and adroitly. since logic requires the use of prior knowledge, a core text must also be furnished which by-passes the dependence on conjectural theories so prevalent in psychological and sociological research, and reverts instead to the bedrock evidence enshrined in our history as a species, and in our prehistory as mirrored in the lives of other primates. this book should be of special interest, not only to the general reader, but to parents and prospective parents, to all those professionally tasked with coping with the vagaries of human conduct, to those seeking an intrinsically rational system of ethics, and to those who aspire, as we all should, to become enlightened global citizens. the author is a medical graduate and university research fellow.