Primates and Philosophers

Primates and Philosophers

Author: Frans de Waal

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9780691169163

Category: Science

Page: 232

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Can virtuous behavior be explained by nature, and not by human rational choice? "It's the animal in us," we often hear when we've been bad. But why not when we're good? Primates and Philosophers tackles this question by exploring the biological foundations of one of humanity's most valued traits: morality. In this provocative book, renowned primatologist Frans de Waal argues that modern-day evolutionary biology takes far too dim a view of the natural world, emphasizing our "selfish" genes and reinforcing our habit of labeling ethical behavior as humane and the less civilized as animalistic. Seeking the origin of human morality not in evolution but in human culture, science insists that we are moral by choice, not by nature. Citing remarkable evidence based on his extensive research of primate behavior, de Waal attacks "Veneer Theory," which posits morality as a thin overlay on an otherwise nasty nature. He explains how we evolved from a long line of animals that care for the weak and build cooperation with reciprocal transactions. Drawing on Darwin, recent scientific advances, and his extensive research of primate behavior, de Waal demonstrates a strong continuity between human and animal behavior. He probes issues such as anthropomorphism and human responsibilities toward animals. His compelling account of how human morality evolved out of mammalian society will fascinate anyone who has ever wondered about the origins and reach of human goodness. Based on the Tanner Lectures de Waal delivered at Princeton University's Center for Human Values in 2004, Primates and Philosophers includes responses by the philosophers Peter Singer, Christine M. Korsgaard, and Philip Kitcher and the science writer Robert Wright. They press de Waal to clarify the differences between humans and other animals, yielding a lively debate that will fascinate all those who wonder about the origins and reach of human goodness.
A Natural History of Human Morality
Language: en
Pages: 206
Authors: Michael Tomasello
Categories: Psychology
Type: BOOK - Published: 2016-01-04 - Publisher: Harvard University Press

Michael Tomasello offers the most detailed account to date of the evolution of human moral psychology. Based on experimental data comparing great apes and human children, he reconstructs two key evolutionary steps whereby early humans gradually became an ultra-cooperative and, eventually, a moral species capable of acting as a plural
Human Morality
Language: en
Pages: 150
Authors: Samuel Scheffler
Categories: Philosophy
Type: BOOK - Published: 1992 - Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand

'An immensely rich book.... The book is extremely careful, resourceful, and reasonable. It is essential reading for everyone interested in ethics.' -Mind
Primates and Philosophers
Language: en
Pages: 232
Authors: Frans de Waal
Categories: Science
Type: BOOK - Published: 2016-03-22 - Publisher: Princeton University Press

Can virtuous behavior be explained by nature, and not by human rational choice? "It's the animal in us," we often hear when we've been bad. But why not when we're good? Primates and Philosophers tackles this question by exploring the biological foundations of one of humanity's most valued traits: morality.
Human Character and Morality
Language: en
Pages: 164
Authors: Stephen D. Hudson
Categories: Character
Type: BOOK - Published: 1986 - Publisher: Routledge & Kegan Paul Books

Books about Human Character and Morality
Evolved Morality: The Biology and Philosophy of Human Conscience
Language: en
Pages: 276
Authors: Frans de Waal
Categories: Science
Type: BOOK - Published: 2014-02-20 - Publisher: BRILL

Morality is often defined in opposition to the natural "instincts," or as a tool to keep those instincts in check. New findings in neuroscience, social psychology, animal behavior, and anthropology have brought us back to the original Darwinian position that moral behavior is continuous with the social behavior of animals,