A Leading Primatologist Explains why We are who We are
Author: Frans de Waal
Argues that such social virtues as cooperation, empathy, and morality are as genetically inherent as aggressive and competitive behaviors, drawing on research with two ape species whose DNA most closely resembles that of humans to explain how ape instincts can inform readers about human behavior. Reprint. 50,000 first printing.
A Leading Primatologist Explains Why We Are Who We Are
Author: Frans de Waal
Category: Social Science
Visit the author's Web site at www.ourinnerape.com It’s no secret that humans and apes share a host of traits, from the tribal communities we form to our irrepressible curiosity. We have a common ancestor, scientists tell us, so it’s natural that we act alike. But not all of these parallels are so appealing: the chimpanzee, for example, can be as vicious and manipulative as any human. Yet there’s more to our shared primate heritage than just our violent streak. In Our Inner Ape, Frans de Waal, one of the world’s great primatologists and a renowned expert on social behavior in apes, presents the provocative idea that our noblest qualities—generosity, kindness, altruism—are as much a part of our nature as are our baser instincts. After all, we share them with another primate: the lesser-known bonobo. As genetically similar to man as the chimpanzee, the bonobo has a temperament and a lifestyle vastly different from those of its genetic cousin. Where chimps are aggressive, territorial, and hierarchical, bonobos are gentle, loving, and erotic (sex for bonobos is as much about pleasure and social bonding as it is about reproduction). While the parallels between chimp brutality and human brutality are easy to see, de Waal suggests that the conciliatory bonobo is just as legitimate a model to study when we explore our primate heritage. He even connects humanity’s desire for fairness and its morality with primate behavior, offering a view of society that contrasts markedly with the caricature people have of Darwinian evolution. It’s plain that our finest qualities run deeper in our DNA than experts have previously thought. Frans de Waal has spent the last two decades studying our closest primate relations, and his observations of each species in Our Inner Ape encompass the spectrum of human behavior. This is an audacious book, an engrossing discourse that proposes thought-provoking and sometimes shocking connections among chimps, bonobos, and those most paradoxical of apes, human beings.
Political Science by Frans de Waal,Frans B. M. Waal
The first edition of Frans de Waal's Chimpanzee Politics was acclaimed not only by primatologists for its scientific achievement but also by politicians, business leaders, and social psychologists for its remarkable insights into the most basic human needs and behaviors. Twenty-five years later, this book is considered a classic. Featuring a new preface that includes recent insights from the author, this anniversary edition is a detailed and thoroughly engrossing account of rivalries and coalitions—actions governed by intelligence rather than instinct. As we watch the chimpanzees of Arnhem behave in ways we recognize from Machiavelli (and from the nightly news), de Waal reminds us again that the roots of politics are older than humanity.
What Primate Behavior Can Tell Us about Human Social Evolution
Author: Frans B. M. De Waal
Publisher: Harvard University Press
How did we become the linguistic, cultured, and hugely successful apes that we are? Our closest relatives--the other mentally complex and socially skilled primates--offer tantalizing clues. In "Tree of Origin" nine of the world's top primate experts read these clues and compose the most extensive picture to date of what the behavior of monkeys and apes can tell us about our own evolution as a species. It has been nearly fifteen years since a single volume addressed the issue of human evolution from a primate perspective, and in that time we have witnessed explosive growth in research on the subject. "Tree of Origin" gives us the latest news about bonobos, the "make love not war" apes who behave so dramatically unlike chimpanzees. We learn about the tool traditions and social customs that set each ape community apart. We see how DNA analysis is revolutionizing our understanding of paternity, intergroup migration, and reproductive success. And we confront intriguing discoveries about primate hunting behavior, politics, cognition, diet, and the evolution of language and intelligence that challenge claims of human uniqueness in new and subtle ways. "Tree of Origin" provides the clearest glimpse yet of the apelike ancestor who left the forest and began the long journey toward modern humanity.
Science by John C. Mitani,Josep Call,Peter M. Kappeler,Ryne A. Palombit,Joan B. Silk
Author: John C. Mitani,Josep Call,Peter M. Kappeler,Ryne A. Palombit,Joan B. Silk
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
In 1987, the University of Chicago Press published Primate Societies, the standard reference in the field of primate behavior for an entire generation of students and scientists. But in the twenty-five years since its publication, new theories and research techniques for studying the Primate order have been developed, debated, and tested, forcing scientists to revise their understanding of our closest living relatives. Intended as a sequel to Primate Societies, The Evolution of Primate Societies compiles thirty-one chapters that review the current state of knowledge regarding the behavior of nonhuman primates. Chapters are written by the leading authorities in the field and organized around four major adaptive problems primates face as they strive to grow, maintain themselves, and reproduce in the wild. The inclusion of chapters on the behavior of humans at the end of each major section represents one particularly novel aspect of the book, and it will remind readers what we can learn about ourselves through research on nonhuman primates. The final section highlights some of the innovative and cutting-edge research designed to reveal the similarities and differences between nonhuman and human primate cognition. The Evolution of Primate Societies will be every bit the landmark publication its predecessor has been.
Can virtuous behavior be explained by nature, and not by human rational choice? "It's the animal in us," we often hear when we've been bad. But why not when we're good? Primates and Philosophers tackles this question by exploring the biological foundations of one of humanity's most valued traits: morality. In this provocative book, renowned primatologist Frans de Waal argues that modern-day evolutionary biology takes far too dim a view of the natural world, emphasizing our "selfish" genes and reinforcing our habit of labeling ethical behavior as humane and the less civilized as animalistic. Seeking the origin of human morality not in evolution but in human culture, science insists that we are moral by choice, not by nature. Citing remarkable evidence based on his extensive research of primate behavior, de Waal attacks "Veneer Theory," which posits morality as a thin overlay on an otherwise nasty nature. He explains how we evolved from a long line of animals that care for the weak and build cooperation with reciprocal transactions. Drawing on Darwin, recent scientific advances, and his extensive research of primate behavior, de Waal demonstrates a strong continuity between human and animal behavior. He probes issues such as anthropomorphism and human responsibilities toward animals. His compelling account of how human morality evolved out of mammalian society will fascinate anyone who has ever wondered about the origins and reach of human goodness. Based on the Tanner Lectures de Waal delivered at Princeton University's Center for Human Values in 2004, Primates and Philosophers includes responses by the philosophers Peter Singer, Christine M. Korsgaard, and Philip Kitcher and the science writer Robert Wright. They press de Waal to clarify the differences between humans and other animals, yielding a lively debate that will fascinate all those who wonder about the origins and reach of human goodness.
A Twenty-First-Century Portrait of Our Closest Kin
Author: Craig Stanford
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Drawing on extensive observations of wild chimpanzees' behavior and social dynamics, Craig Stanford portrays a complex and more humanlike ape than the chimps Jane Goodall popularized more than a half century ago--one that plots political coups, strategizes for resources, and passes on cultural traditions to younger generations.
In this lively and illuminating discussion of his landmark research, esteemed primatologist Frans de Waal argues that human morality is not imposed from above but instead comes from within. Moral behavior does not begin and end with religion but is in fact a product of evolution. For many years, de Waal has observed chimpanzees soothe distressed neighbors and bonobos share their food. Now he delivers fascinating fresh evidence for the seeds of ethical behavior in primate societies that further cements the case for the biological origins of human fairness. Interweaving vivid tales from the animal kingdom with thoughtful philosophical analysis, de Waal seeks a bottom-up explanation of morality that emphasizes our connection with animals. In doing so, de Waal explores for the first time the implications of his work for our understanding of modern religion. Whatever the role of religious moral imperatives, he sees it as a “Johnny-come-lately” role that emerged only as an addition to our natural instincts for cooperation and empathy. But unlike the dogmatic neo-atheist of his book’s title, de Waal does not scorn religion per se. Instead, he draws on the long tradition of humanism exemplified by the painter Hieronymus Bosch and asks reflective readers to consider these issues from a positive perspective: What role, if any, does religion play for a well-functioning society today? And where can believers and nonbelievers alike find the inspiration to lead a good life? Rich with cultural references and anecdotes of primate behavior, The Bonobo and the Atheist engagingly builds a unique argument grounded in evolutionary biology and moral philosophy. Ever a pioneering thinker, de Waal delivers a heartening and inclusive new perspective on human nature and our struggle to find purpose in our lives.
The author of Chimpanzee Politics and Bonobo: The Forgotten Ape captures the social interactions of apes, focusing on the subtle gestures of chimps, bonobos, capuchin, baboons, and macaques as they interact within their groups. 10,000 first printing. (Biology & Natural History)
This comprehensive introductory text integrates evolutionary, ecological, and demographic perspectives with new results from field studies and contemporary noninvasive molecular and hormonal techniques to understand how different primates behave and the significance of these insights for primate conservation. Each chapter is organized around the major research themes in the field, with Strier emphasizing the interplay between theory, observations, and conservation issues. Examples are drawn from the "classic" primate field studies as well as more recent studies on previously neglected species, illustrating the vast behavioral variation that exists across the primate order. Primate Behavioral Ecology 5th Edition also examines how anthropogenic activities are negatively impacting primate populations, including a thorough analysis of behavioural plasticity and its implications. This fully updated new edition incorporates exciting new discoveries and the most up-to-date approaches in the field to provide an invaluable overview of the field of primate behavioral ecology and its applications to primate conservation. It is considered to be a “must read” for all students interested in primates.
Nature by Frans de Waal,Frans B. M. de Waal,Frans Lanting
Author: Frans de Waal,Frans B. M. de Waal,Frans Lanting
Publisher: Univ of California Press
This remarkable primate with the curious name is challenging established views on human evolution. The bonobo, least known of the great apes, is a female-centered, egalitarian species that has been dubbed the "make-love-not-war" primate by specialists. In bonobo society, females form alliances to intimidate males, sexual behavior (in virtually every partner combination) replaces aggression and serves many social functions, and unrelated groups mingle instead of fighting. The species's most striking achievement is not tool use or warfare but sensitivity to others. In the first book to combine and compare data from captivity and the field, Frans de Waal, a world-renowned primatologist, and Frans Lanting, an internationally acclaimed wildlife photographer, present the most up-to-date perspective available on the bonobo. Focusing on social organization, de Waal compares the bonobo with its better-known relative, the chimpanzee. The bonobo's relatively nonviolent behavior and the tendency for females to dominate males confront the evolutionary models derived from observing the chimpanzee's male power politics, cooperative hunting, and intergroup warfare. Further, the bonobo's frequent, imaginative sexual contacts, along with its low reproduction rate, belie any notion that the sole natural purpose of sex is procreation. Humans share over 98 percent of their genetic material with the bonobo and the chimpanzee. Is it possible that the peaceable bonobo has retained traits of our common ancestor that we find hard to recognize in ourselves? Eight superb full-color photo essays offer a rare view of the bonobo in its native habitat in the rain forests of Zaire as well as in zoos and research facilities. Additional photographs and highlighted interviews with leading bonobo experts complement the text. This book points the way to viable alternatives to male-based models of human evolution and will add considerably to debates on the origin of our species. Anyone interested in primates, gender issues, evolutionary psychology, and exceptional wildlife photography will find a fascinating companion in Bonobo: The Forgotten Ape.
How Humans Made Language, How Language Made Humans
Author: Derek Bickerton
Publisher: Hill and Wang
How language evolved has been called "the hardest problem in science." In Adam's Tongue, Derek Bickerton—long a leading authority in this field—shows how and why previous attempts to solve that problem have fallen short. Taking cues from topics as diverse as the foraging strategies of ants, the distribution of large prehistoric herbivores, and the construction of ecological niches, Bickerton produces a dazzling new alternative to the conventional wisdom. Language is unique to humans, but it isn't the only thing that sets us apart from other species—our cognitive powers are qualitatively different. So could there be two separate discontinuities between humans and the rest of nature? No, says Bickerton; he shows how the mere possession of symbolic units—words—automatically opened a new and different cognitive universe, one that yielded novel innovations ranging from barbed arrowheads to the Apollo spacecraft. Written in Bickerton's lucid and irreverent style, this book is the first that thoroughly integrates the story of how language evolved with the story of how humans evolved. Sure to be controversial, it will make indispensable reading both for experts in the field and for every reader who has ever wondered how a species as remarkable as ours could have come into existence.
History by Adam Ashforth,Assistant Professor of Political Science Baruch College Adam Ashforth
Author: Adam Ashforth,Assistant Professor of Political Science Baruch College Adam Ashforth
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
In a true story of a man bewitched, set against the turbulent backdrop of contemporary Soweto, Ashforth shows that witchcraft is not simply superstition but a complex response to spiritual insecurity in a troubling time of political and economic upheaval.
This short, engaging volume develops new and sociologically sophisticated concepts to bring the fields of biology and sociology together. It is about the social biology of face-to-face dominance interactions and explores the evolution of behavior through connections among biology, language, culture, and socialization. Meant to be a self-contained exploration_sociologists would require no prior knowledge of biology; biologists would require no prior knowledge of sociology_this book is a fun, informative supplement for courses throughout sociology and the social sciences.
In Religious Affects Donovan O. Schaefer challenges the notion that religion is inextricably linked to language and belief, proposing instead that it is primarily driven by affects. Drawing on affect theory, evolutionary biology, and poststructuralist theory, Schaefer builds on the recent materialist shift in religious studies to relocate religious practices in the affective realm—an insight that helps us better understand how religion is lived in conjunction with systems of power. To demonstrate religion's animality and how it works affectively, Schaefer turns to a series of case studies, including the documentary Jesus Camp and contemporary American Islamophobia. Placing affect theory in conversation with post-Darwinian evolutionary theory, Schaefer explores the extent to which nonhuman animals have the capacity to practice religion, linking human forms of religion and power through a new analysis of the chimpanzee waterfall dance as observed by Jane Goodall. In this compelling case for the use of affect theory in religious studies, Schaefer provides a new model for mapping relations between religion, politics, species, globalization, secularlism, race, and ethics.
The Race to Save Bonobos in the Congo and Make Conservation Go Viral
Author: Deni Yvan Béchard
Describes the author's and the Bonobo Conservation Initative's efforts to protect the endangered bonobos in the Congo through a grassroots approach that works with communities to create a self-sustaining model of conservation.
What if apes had their own culture rather than an imposed human version? What if they reacted to situations with behavior learned through observation of their elders (culture) rather than with pure genetically coded instinct (nature)? In answering these questions, eminent primatologist Frans de Waal corrects our arrogant assumption that humans are the only creatures to have made the leap from the natural to the cultural domain.The book's title derives from an analogy de Waal draws between the way behavior is transmitted in ape society and the way sushi-making skills are passed down from sushi master to apprentice. Like the apprentice, young apes watch their group mates at close range, absorbing the methods and lessons of each of their elders' actions. Responses long thought to be instinctive are actually learned behavior, de Waal argues, and constitute ape culture.A delightful mix of intriguing anecdote, rigorous clinical study, adventurous field work, and fascinating speculation, The Ape and the Sushi Master shows that apes are not human caricatures but members of our extended family with their own resourcefulness and dignity.
In the summer of 1985, in his exclusive Upper East Side Manhattan apartment, Robert Bierenbaum, a prominent surgeon and certified genius, strangled his wife Gail to death. He then drove her body to an airstrip in Caldwell, N.J., and dumped it into the Atlantic Ocean from a single-engine private plane. The next day he reported her missing. Gail's parents had been thrilled to learn she was marrying Robert Bierenbaum. He seemed to be the perfect match for their daughter. he was from a well-to-do family, a medical student who spoke five languages fluently, a skier, and he even flew an airplane. But Gail would come to learn of her husband's dark side. On one occasion when Robert had tried to choke Gail because he caught her smoking, she filed a police report. She also alleged that he tried to kill her cat because he was jealous of it. For year, her sister pleaded with Gail to run for her life. Even her therapist warned his vulnerable patient that she could eventually die at the hands of the man she married. Fifteen years after this unspeakable, unfathomable crime, a jury found Robert Bierenbaum guilty of murder--and stripped the mask off of this privileged professional to reveal a monster.