Subjects Freshman Year Reading African American Studies African Studies American Studies Anthropology Art, Film, Music and Architecture Asian Studies Business and Economics Criminology Education Environmental Studies Foreign Language Instructional Materials Gender Studies History Irish Studies Jewish Studies Latin American & Caribbean Studies Law and Legal Studies Literature and Drama Literature in Spanish Media Issues, Journalism and Communication Middle East Studies Native American Studies Philosophy Political Science Psychology Reference Religion Russian and Eastern European Studies Science and Mathematics Sociology Study Aids

E-Newsletters: Click here to be notified of new titles in your field
Click here to request Desk/Exam copies
Freshman Year Reading
View Our Award Winners
Click here to view our Catalogs
Systems of Survival

Systems of Survival

Upgrade to the Flash 9 viewer for enhanced content, including the ability to browse & search through your favorite titles.
Click here to learn more!

Order Exam Copy
E-Mail this Page Print this Page
Add This - Systems of Survival

Written by Jane JacobsAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Jane Jacobs

  • Format: Trade Paperback, 256 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage
  • On Sale: January 13, 1994
  • Price: $16.00
  • ISBN: 978-0-679-74816-8 (0-679-74816-4)
about this book

In her first book in a decade, Jacobs offers a brilliant and original study of the ethical basis of public life. Written in the form of a platonic dialogue, Systems of Survival argues that human behavior is governed by two distinct ethical systems. The first is a guardian syndrome, which arises from behavior we share with other animals--foraging for food and protecting our territories. The second syndrome is a commercial syndrome, arising from trade and the production of goods, an endeavor unique to human beings. Conflicts occur, according to Jacobs, when the precepts appropriate to the guardian syndrome are imposed on the commercial syndrome, and vice versa.


1. Armbruster's Summons
2. A Pair of Contradictions
3. Kate on the Commercial Syndrome
4. Why Two Syndromes?
5. Jasper and Kate on the Guardian Syndrome
6. Trading, Taking, and Monstrous Hybrids
7. Anomalies
8. Casts of Mind
9. Armbruster on Systemic Moral Corruption
10. Syndrome-Friendly Inventions
11. Hortense on Castes and Flexibility
12. Pitfalls of the Methods
13. Hortense's Defense of Moral Flexibility
14. Plans and Champagne
Appendix: The Commercial and Guardian Moral Syndromes