The Naked Ape: A Zoologist's Study of the Human Animal Hardcover – 16 Oct 1967
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Top Customer Reviews
Firstly, the author has a tendency to descend to political and social commentary, which tends to come across as a bit dated at times. In some cases it feels more like a view into the culture of 1967 than any profound insight into human nature. For example, he asserts that the "psychological damage" done to our territorial nature by "rows of uniformly repeated, identical houses" is "incalculable" - surely a social comment, not a scientific view. Nuclear war and population growth are mentioned more than once as real concerns - again, his analysis is a reflection of the time and place that the book was written. (He may well be right about his theories of course, and probably is in many places - it's just quite subjective).
Secondly, quite a lot of the book reads like a "just so" story. <Just So Stories (Wordsworth's Children's Classics)>. E.g. when discussing how humans feed, he describes how we like a few well-spaced meals rather than continual grazing. This is held as an example of our carnivorous ancestry. On the next page however, he describes how we do sometimes eat (sweet) inter-meal snacks. This doesn't present any problems though: hey presto! in this case we do it because of our primate ancestry. If you follow the same line of reasoning, you could conclude that we like sunbathing because of our reptile ancestry.
The chapter on animals seems the worst in this respect, sometimes almost laughably so.Read more ›
It was easy to understand and a very persausive argument, pretty much taking up where Darwin left off but in a much more understandable fashion while going into depth about why we react and act as we do.
Since I intially read this and the other books in the series, there has been some academic criticism about various assertions the book makes. Mainly about what it says about humans, our general behaviour patterns and the reasons for them.
However, for me it is still almost like a "bible" of scientific common sense in terms of it's explanation of many aspects of human behaviour that I still continue to experience in the real world today.I still feel Morris is "onto something" with his remarkable insights to the human condition, how it relates to the animal world and how we have managed to adapt our animal nature to the complex "man made" enormous cityscapes and nation groupings of humans today.
Whether as an argument for Human behaviour it will continue to makes sense in times to come I have no idea but compared to other explanations for human behaviour such as Freud and other "Psycho babble" it for me is much more plausible.
Read it! You may be suprised!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Read it before! But lost the original copy! Well worth a read!!!Published 11 months ago by JRW LOCKE
Book condition as described. I knew I would find this book interesting as I've long been a firm believer in the science involved but what I found surprisingly interesting was the... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Shrewlord
I had read it many years ago, very thought provoking book from an extremely knowledgeable man. I have bought the book again as an intended forthcoming Christmas present for a... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Yogi