The Bonobo and the Atheist: in Search of Humanism Among the Primates

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9780393347791: The Bonobo and the Atheist: in Search of Humanism Among the Primates
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In this engaging book, leading primatologist and thinker Frans de Waal offers an illuminating new perspective on human nature. Bringing together his pioneering research on primate behaviour, the latest findings in evolutionary biology and insights from moral philosophy, de Waal explains that we don't need the spectres of God or the law in order to act morally. Instead, our moral nature stems from our biology - specifically, our primate social emotions, which include empathy, reciprocity and fairness. We can glimpse this in the behaviour of our closest relatives in the animal kingdom: chimpanzees soothe distressed neighbours and bonobos will voluntarily open a door to offer a companion access to their own food. Building on a wealth of evidence, de Waal reveals that morality is not dictated to us by religion or social strictures but is the product of our biological nature.

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Bonobo and the Atheist

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"...Frans de Waal's compelling book..." The Independent "...Frans de Waal's insightful and accessible book..." Times Higher Education "In Frans De Waal's new book, The Bonobo and the Atheist, he takes on the thinkers who believe that morality has to be imposed on our brutish natures and catalogues the growing evidence that disproves them." The Guardian "The chimp and bonobo stories in de Waal's writings are, as always, entertaining and charming." --Prospect

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9780393073775: The Bonobo and the Atheist: In Search of Humanism Among the Primates

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ISBN 10:  0393073777 ISBN 13:  9780393073775
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company, 2013
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Book Description WW Norton Co, United States, 2018. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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. Seller Inventory # KNV9780393347791

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Book Description WW Norton Co, United States, 2018. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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. Seller Inventory # KNV9780393347791

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