- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1st edition (March 25, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0393073777
- ISBN-13: 978-0393073775
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.1 x 9.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 200 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #448,826 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Bonobo and the Atheist: In Search of Humanism Among the Primates 1st Edition
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“Frans de Waal’s new book carries the important message that human kindness is a biological feature of our species and not something that has to be imposed on us by religious teaching.”
- Desmond Morris, author of The Naked Ape
“De Waal’s decades of patient work documenting the ‘building blocks’ of morality in other animals has revolutionized not just primatology but moral psychology. By revealing our commonalities with other species, he gives us more compassion for them and also for ourselves. It’s impossible to look an ape in the eye and not see oneself, de Waal tells us, and this beautifully written book is one long riveting gaze.”
- Jonathan Haidt, author of The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion
“Frans de Waal offers us a wealth of inspiring observations from the animal realm, combined with thoughtful reflections on the evolution of morality. He makes a convincing case for the natural foundations of a secular ethics that is fully independent of religion without being dogmatically against it.”
- Matthieu Ricard, Buddhist monk, scientist, and author of Happiness and The Quantum and the Lotus
“The perpetual challenge to atheists is that moral behavior requires religion―all that prevents tsunamis of depravity is a deity or two, some nice hymns, and the threat of hellfire and damnation. De Waal shows that human morality is deeply rooted in our primate legacy, long predating the invention of that cultural gizmo called religion. This is an immensely important book by one of our most distinguished thinkers.”
- Robert Sapolsky, author of Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers and Monkeyluv
“A well-composed argument for the biological foundations of human morality.”
- Kirkus Reviews
“This is a writer marshaling the evidence of his life, particularly his life as a scientist, to express a passionately held belief in the possibility of a more compassionate society.”
- Meehan Crist, New Republic
“A primatologist who has spent his career studying chimpanzees and bonobos, two of humanity’s closest living relatives, Mr. de Waal draws on a lifetime of empirical research. His data provides plenty of evidence that religion is not necessary in order for animals to display something that looks strikingly like human morality.”
- The Economist
About the Author
Frans de Waal has been named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People. The author of Our Inner Ape, among many other works, he is the C. H. Candler Professor in Emory University’s Psychology Department and director of the Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
Top customer reviews
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The fascinating part of this book is the authors personal accounts of his work with primate species, the sanctuaries, zoos and other scientists in similar or other animal behavioral fields. The similarities and differences between the primate social societies and our own are truly amazing. He concentrates mostly on morality, empathy, sympathy, altruism and a few other behaviours that many mistakenly deem as solely human attributes. If you love animals and love to learn about their behaviours. I definitely recommend this.
Many of the observations he did report, however, were well chosen to make his points and often charming.
Fascinating read, true page-turner and so convincing.