Good Natured: The Origins of Right and Wrong in Humans and Other Animals by Frans B. M. De WaalGood Natured: The Origins of Right and Wrong in Humans and Other Animals by Frans B. M. De Waal

Good Natured: The Origins of Right and Wrong in Humans and Other Animals

byFrans B. M. De Waal

Paperback | October 15, 1997

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To observe a dog's guilty look.

to witness a gorilla's self-sacrifice for a wounded mate, to watch an elephant herd's communal effort on behalf of a stranded calf--to catch animals in certain acts is to wonder what moves them. Might there he a code of ethics in the animal kingdom? Must an animal be human to he humane? In this provocative book, a renowned scientist takes on those who have declared ethics uniquely human Making a compelling case for a morality grounded in biology, he shows how ethical behavior is as much a matter of evolution as any other trait, in humans and animals alike.

World famous for his brilliant descriptions of Machiavellian power plays among chimpanzees-the nastier side of animal life--Frans de Waal here contends that animals have a nice side as well. Making his case through vivid anecdotes drawn from his work with apes and monkeys and holstered by the intriguing, voluminous data from his and others' ongoing research, de Waal shows us that many of the building blocks of morality are natural: they can he observed in other animals. Through his eyes, we see how not just primates but all kinds of animals, from marine mammals to dogs, respond to social rules, help each other, share food, resolve conflict to mutual satisfaction, even develop a crude sense of justice and fairness.

Natural selection may be harsh, but it has produced highly successful species that survive through cooperation and mutual assistance. De Waal identifies this paradox as the key to an evolutionary account of morality, and demonstrates that human morality could never have developed without the foundation of fellow feeling our species shares with other animals. As his work makes clear, a morality grounded in biology leads to an entirely different conception of what it means to he human--and humane.

Frans B. M. de Waal is C. H. Candler Professor of Primate Behavior in the Psychology Department and Director of Living Links, part of the Yerkes Primate Center, Emory University.
Title:Good Natured: The Origins of Right and Wrong in Humans and Other AnimalsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:368 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0 inPublished:October 15, 1997Publisher:Harvard

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0674356616

ISBN - 13:9780674356610

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Table of Contents


Darwinian Dilemmas

Survival of the Unfittest

Biologicizing Morality

Calvinist Sociobiology

A Broader View

The Invisible Grasping Organ

Ethology and Ethics

Photo Essay: Closeness


Warm Blood in Cold Waters

Special Treatment of the Handicapped

Responses to Injury and Death

Having Broad Nails

The Social Mirror

Lying and Aping Apes

Simian Sympathy

A World without Compassion

Photo Essay: Cognition and Empathy

Rank and Order

A Sense of Social Regularity

The Monkey's Behind

Guilt and Shame

Unruly Youngsters

The Blushing Primate

Two Genders, Two Moralities?

Umbilical versus Confrontational Bonds

Primus inter Pares

Quid pro Quo

The Less-than-Golden Rule

Mobile Meals

At the Circle's Center

A Concept of Giving

Testing for Reciprocity

From Revenge to Justice

Photo Essay: Help from a Friend

Getting Along

The Social Cage

The Relational Model


Rope Walking

Baboon Testimony

Draining the Behavioral Sink

Community Concern

Photo Essay: War and Peace


What Does It Take to Be Moral?

Floating Pyramids

A Hole in the Head





From Our Editors

Frans de Waal, a Dutch-born zoologist specializing in primate behavior, takes on those who have declared ethics uniquely human. Making a compelling case for morality grounded in biology, he shows that ethical behavior in humans and animals alike is as much a matter of evolution as any other trait. photo inserts

Editorial Reviews

[Good Natured] is a tour de force and a landmark in the growing field of cognitive ethology....[It] is an example of the very best in popular science writing. De Waal skilfully weaves together anecdotes, theories and data to create a text that is thought-provoking and a pleasure to read.