The Age of Empathy: Nature's Lessons for a Kinder Society Paperback – 15 Sep 2011
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Kindness and co-operation have played a crucial role in raising humans to the top of the evolutionary tree… We have thrived on the milk of human kindness. --The Observer
There is a widely held assumption that humans are hard-wired for relentless and ruthless competition... Frans de Waal sees nature differently as a biological legacy in which empathy, not mere self interest, is shared by humans, bonobos and animals. --Ben Macintyre, The Times
De Waal s writing is appropriately warm, engaging and empathetic... as de Waal affirms, the more we learn about nature, the more richly we're able to imagine a better society. --The Independent
About the Author
Frans de Waal is a Dutch-born biologist and one of the world s most respected primatologists. In 2007 Time magazine selected him as one of the World s 100 most influential people.
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Top Customer Reviews
One of the most interesting aspects of the book is the description of similarities between the behaviour of children and primates. Experiments with monkeys and chimpanzees display amazingly parallel behavioural tendencies with that of human infants. The dominant theme is a shared aversion to perceived injustice. This finding is consistent with the field of evolutionary psychology of course. But reading de Waal's book is both exciting and instructive of how very deep some of our emotional roots lie within evolutionary history.
The author draws a number of political conclusions from the evidence he presents. His conclusions are consistent with a humanist philosophy. While I personally am able to relate to the conclusions, I have to admit that the ideas are only partially developed.Read more ›
A highly readable,informative, enlightening and intelligent book which looks in detail at animal behaviours over many years, considers much relevant research, and makes us consider again, that we are not the only species which experiences empathy. Also. anyone reading this cannot continue to believe that animal welfare, whether in zoos , theme parks or our intensive or non organic farms, is not paramount, as all living creatures to some degree have awarenesses of other animals hitherto unesplained. Essential reading for these times , where a little more empathy for our fellows would not be a bad thing.Finally, we have to oomprehend that we have inherited our capacity for empathy as part of our evolution, as empathy pays, in the survival game.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
From all points of the compass, as Thoreau once said, I found this book to be insightful. However, I was amazed that the author did not include in the gentle spirit of animals the... Read morePublished on 1 Aug. 2010 by Jenny Lee Bates