The Age of Empathy

Author: Frans de Waal
Publisher: Crown
ISBN: 9780307462527
Release Date: 2009-09-22
Genre: Psychology

In this thought-provoking book, the acclaimed author of Our Inner Ape examines how empathy comes naturally to a great variety of animals, including humans. Are we our brothers' keepers? Do we have an instinct for compassion? Or are we, as is often assumed, only on earth to serve our own survival and interests? By studying social behaviors in animals, such as bonding, the herd instinct, the forming of trusting alliances, expressions of consolation, and conflict resolution, Frans de Waal demonstrates that animals–and humans–are "preprogrammed to reach out." He has found that chimpanzees care for mates that are wounded by leopards, elephants offer "reassuring rumbles" to youngsters in distress, and dolphins support sick companions near the water's surface to prevent them from drowning. From day one humans have innate sensitivities to faces, bodies, and voices; we've been designed to feel for one another. De Waal's theory runs counter to the assumption that humans are inherently selfish, which can be seen in the fields of politics, law, and finance. But he cites the public's outrage at the U.S. government's lack of empathy in the wake of Hurricane Katrina as a significant shift in perspective–one that helped Barack Obama become elected and ushered in what may well become an Age of Empathy. Through a better understanding of empathy's survival value in evolution, de Waal suggests, we can work together toward a more just society based on a more generous and accurate view of human nature. Written in layman's prose with a wealth of anecdotes, wry humor, and incisive intelligence, The Age of Empathy is essential reading for our embattled times. "An important and timely message about the biological roots of human kindness." —Desmond Morris, author of The Naked Ape

The Age of Empathy

Author: Frans B. M. Waal
Publisher: Souvenir Press
ISBN: 0285640380
Release Date: 2011-09-01
Genre: Empathy

Drawing on a lifetime's experience of studying animals Frans de Waal has come to realise that animals survive by sharing, evolution has pre-programmed us to care for, and help, others. It seems that the harsh view of mankind offered by Social Darwninism is not a view supported by contemporary science. Social behaviour in animals, the herding instinct, bonding rituals, expressions of consolation, even conflict resolution, demonstrates that animals are designed to feel for each other (humanity's natural condition is also to be group animals). From chimpanzees caring for mates that have been wounded by leopards, elephants reassuring youngsters in distress to dolphins preventing sick companions from drowning the animal kingdom has many examples of altruism. Can studying the role of empathy in evolution among animals help to build a just society based on the more generous elements of human nature?

The Age of Empathy

Author: Frans de Waal
Publisher: Emblem Editions
ISBN: 0771027389
Release Date: 2010-09-21
Genre: Empathy

An engrossing, lucid exploration of the origins of human morality that challenges our most basic assumptions, from the world’s leading primatologist Is it really human nature to stab one another in the back in our climb up the corporate ladder? Competitive, selfish behaviour is often explained away as instinctive, thanks to evolution and “survival of the fittest,” but in fact humans are equally hard-wired for empathy. Using research from the fields of anthropology, psychology, animal behaviour, and neuroscience, de Waal brilliantly argues that humans are group animals — highly cooperative, sensitive to injustice, and mostly peace-loving — just like other primates, elephants, and dolphins. This revelation has profound implications for everything from politics to office culture. From the Hardcover edition.

The Bonobo and the Atheist In Search of Humanism Among the Primates

Author: Frans de Waal
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 9780393089196
Release Date: 2013-03-25
Genre: Science

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.

Good Natured

Author: Frans B. M. DE WAAL
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674033177
Release Date: 2009-06-30
Genre: Science


Our Inner Ape

Author: Frans de Waal
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9781101217382
Release Date: 2006-08-01
Genre: 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.

The Meaning of Friendship

Author: Mark Vernon
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 9780230275355
Release Date: 2016-04-30
Genre: Science

Mark Vernon offers penetrating insights on the idea of friendship, using philosophy and modern culture to ask about friendship and sex, work, politics and spirituality. He also explores how notions of friendship may or may not be changing because of the internet, and looks at the psychology of friendship.

Bonobo

Author: Frans Lanting
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520205359
Release Date: 1997
Genre: Nature

Describes the habits and behavior of the bonobo, the ape believed to be biologically closest to humans, which has an egalitarian, female-dominant society based on broad sexual contact, and discusses the risks the animals face

Others in Mind

Author: Philippe Rochat
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521506359
Release Date: 2009
Genre: Psychology

In this book, Philippe Rochat explores self-consciousness, how it originates and how it shapes our lives, arguably the most important and revealing of all psychological problems. Why are we so prone to guilt and embarrassment? Why do we care so much about how others see us, about our reputation? What are the origins of such afflictions? Rochat argues that it is because we are members of a species that evolved the unique propensity to reflect upon themselves as an object of thoughts; an object of thoughts that is potentially evaluated by others. Based on empirical observations, this is a book of ideas, tapping into both developmental and anthropological phenomena and guided by strong existential intuitions regarding the human condition. At the core of these intuitions, there is the idea that human psychic life is predominantly determined by what we imagine others perceive of us.

Empathy Imperiled

Author: Gary Olson
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9781461461173
Release Date: 2012-12-12
Genre: Political Science

The most critical factor explaining the disjuncture between empathy’s revolutionary potential and today’s empathically-impaired society is the interaction between the brain and our dominant political culture. The evolutionary process has given rise to a hard-wired neural system in the primal brain and particularly in the human brain. This book argues that the crucial missing piece in this conversation is the failure to identify and explain the dynamic relationship between an empathy gap and the hegemonic influence of neoliberal capitalism, through the analysis of the college classroom, the neoliberal state, media, film and photo images, marketing of products, militarization, mass culture and government policy. This book will contribute to an empirically grounded dissent from capitalism’s narrative about human nature. Empathy is putting oneself in another’s emotional and cognitive shoes and then acting in a deliberate, appropriate manner. Perhaps counter-intuitively, it requires self-empathy because we’re all products of an empathy-anesthetizing culture. The approach in this book affirms a scientific basis for acting with empathy, and it addresses how this can help inform us to our current political culture and process, and make its of interest to students and scholars in political science, psychology, and other social sciences. ​ ​

My Family Album

Author: Frans B. M. Waal
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520236158
Release Date: 2003
Genre: Nature

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)

Spaceland

Author: Rudy Rucker
Publisher: Tor Books
ISBN: 1429980079
Release Date: 2003-07-04
Genre: Fiction

Joe Cube is a Silicon Valley hotshot--well, a would-be hotshot anyway--hoping that the 3-D TV project he's managing will lead to the big money IPO he's always dreamed of. On New Year's Eve, hoping to impress his wife, he sneaks home the prototype. It brings no new warmth to their cooling relationship, but it does attract someone else's attention. When Joe sees a set of lips talking to him (floating in midair) and feels the poke of a disembodied finger (inside him), it's not because of the champagne he's drunk. He has just met Momo, a woman from the All, a world of four spatial dimensions for whom our narrow world, which she calls Spaceland, is something like a rug, but one filled with motion and life. Momo has a business proposition for Joe, an offer she won't let him refuse. The upside potential becomes much clearer to him once she helps him grow a new eye (on a stalk) that can see in the fourth-dimensional directions, and he agrees. After that it's a wild ride through a million-dollar night in Las Vegas, a budding addiction to tasty purple 4-D food, a failing marriage, eye-popping excursions into the All, and encounters with Momo's foes, rubbery red critters who steal money, offer sage advice and sometimes messily explode. Joe is having the time of his life, until Momo's scheme turns out to have angles he couldn't have imagined. Suddenly the fate of all life here in Spaceland is at stake. Rudy Rucker is a past master at turning mathematical concepts into rollicking science fiction adventure, from Spacetime Donuts and White Light to The Hacker and the Ants. In the tradition of Edwin A. Abbott's classic novel, Flatland, Rucker gives us a tour of higher mathematics and visionary realities. Spaceland is Flatland on hyperdrive! At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

The Empathic Civilization

Author: Jeremy Rifkin
Publisher: Polity
ISBN: 9780745641461
Release Date: 2010
Genre: Social Science

In this sweeping new interpretation of the history of civilization, bestselling author Jeremy Rifkin looks at the evolution of empathy and the profound ways that it has shaped our development–and is likely to determine our fate as a species. Today we face unparalleled challenges in an energy–intensive and interconnected world that will demand an unprecedented level of mutual understanding among diverse peoples and nations. Do we have the capacity and collective will to come together in a way that will enable us to cope with the great challenges of our time? In this remarkable book Jeremy Rifkin tells the dramatic story of the extension of human empathy from the rise of the first great theological civilizations, to the ideological age that dominated the 18th and 19th centuries, the psychological era that characterized much of the 20th century and the emerging dramaturgical period of the 21st century. The result is a new social tapestry–The Empathic Civilization–woven from a wide range of fields. Rifkin argues that at the very core of the human story is the paradoxical relationship between empathy and entropy. At various times in history new energy regimes have converged with new communication revolutions, creating ever more complex societies that heightened empathic sensitivity and expanded human consciousness. But these increasingly complicated milieus require extensive energy use and speed us toward resource depletion. The irony is that our growing empathic awareness has been made possible by an ever–greater consumption of the Earth′s resources, resulting in a dramatic deterioration of the health of the planet. If we are to avert a catastrophic destruction of the Earth′s ecosystems, the collapse of the global economy and the possible extinction of the human race, we will need to change human consciousness itself–and in less than a generation. Rifkin challenges us to address what may be the most important question facing humanity today: Can we achieve global empathy in time to avoid the collapse of civilization and save the planet? One of the most popular social thinkers of our time, Jeremy Rifkin is the bestselling author of The European Dream, The Hydrogen Economy¸ The End of Work, The Biotech Century, and The Age of Access. He is the president of the Foundation on Economic Trends in Washington, D.C.

The Ape And The Sushi Master

Author: Franz De Waal
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 9780786724536
Release Date: 2008-08-05
Genre: Science

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.