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“On the Origins of the Arts” was reprinted from The Social Conquest of Earth by Edward O. Wilson. Copyright © 2012 by Edward O. Wilson. With the permission of the publisher, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.

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The text excerpted here was posted with permission of W.W. Norton, but that permission has since expired and the text has been taken down. 

Read a Harvard Magazine profile of E.O. Wilson here.

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