Primates and philosophers how morality evolved pdf

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Atheism will need to be combined with something else, something more constructive than its opposition to religion, to be relevant to our lives. The only possibility is primates and philosophers how morality evolved pdf embrace morality as natural to our species. This book offered the first description of primate behavior explicitly in terms of planned social strategies.

Machiavellian Intelligence” that later became associated with it. Initially, all of this was highly controversial. Thus, the label of “reconciliation”, which De Waal introduced for reunions after fights, was questioned at first, but is now fully accepted with respect to animal behavior. Recently, De Waal’s work has emphasized non-human animal empathy and even the origins of morality.

But even his Bonobo studies are secondary to the larger goal of understanding what binds primate societies together rather than how competition structures them. Being both more systematically brutal than chimps and more empathic than bonobos, we are by far the most bipolar ape. Our societies are never completely peaceful, never completely competitive, never ruled by sheer selfishness, and never perfectly moral. Competition is not ignored in his work: the original focus of De Waal’s research, before he was well known, was aggressive behavior and social dominance. De Waal worldwide visibility by relating the insights he has gained from monkey and ape behavior to human society.

With his students, he has also worked on elephants, which are increasingly featured in his writings. We start out postulating sharp boundaries, such as between humans and apes, or between apes and monkeys, but are in fact dealing with sand castles that lose much of their structure when the sea of knowledge washes over them. They turn into hills, leveled ever more, until we are back to where evolutionary theory always leads us: a gently sloping beach. This is quite opposite to the view of some economists and anthropologists, who postulate the differences between humans and other animals. However, recent work on prosocial tendencies in apes and monkeys supports De Waal’s position. In 2011, De Waal and his co-workers were the first to report that chimpanzees given a free choice between helping only themselves or helping themselves plus a partner, prefer the latter.