The Bonobo And The Atheist In Search Of Humanism Among The Primates

Author: Frans de Waal
Editor: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393089193
Size: 11,15 MB
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In this lively and illuminating discussion of his landmark research, esteemed primatologist Frans de Waal argues that human morality is not imposed from above but instead comes from within. Moral behavior does not begin and end with religion but is in fact a product of evolution. For many years, de Waal has observed chimpanzees soothe distressed neighbors and bonobos share their food. Now he delivers fascinating fresh evidence for the seeds of ethical behavior in primate societies that further cements the case for the biological origins of human fairness. Interweaving vivid tales from the animal kingdom with thoughtful philosophical analysis, de Waal seeks a bottom-up explanation of morality that emphasizes our connection with animals. In doing so, de Waal explores for the first time the implications of his work for our understanding of modern religion. Whatever the role of religious moral imperatives, he sees it as a “Johnny-come-lately” role that emerged only as an addition to our natural instincts for cooperation and empathy. But unlike the dogmatic neo-atheist of his book’s title, de Waal does not scorn religion per se. Instead, he draws on the long tradition of humanism exemplified by the painter Hieronymus Bosch and asks reflective readers to consider these issues from a positive perspective: What role, if any, does religion play for a well-functioning society today? And where can believers and nonbelievers alike find the inspiration to lead a good life? Rich with cultural references and anecdotes of primate behavior, The Bonobo and the Atheist engagingly builds a unique argument grounded in evolutionary biology and moral philosophy. Ever a pioneering thinker, de Waal delivers a heartening and inclusive new perspective on human nature and our struggle to find purpose in our lives.

The Bonobo And The Atheist In Search Of Humanism Among The Primates

Author: Frans de Waal
Editor: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393073777
Size: 14,71 MB
Format: PDF, Docs
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In this thoroughly engaging book, leading primatologist and thinker Frans de Waal offers a heartening, illuminating new perspective on human nature. Bringing together his pioneering research on primate behavior, the latest findings in evolutionary biology, and insights from moral philosophy, de Waal explains that we don't need the specters of God or the law in order to act morally. Instead, our moral nature stems from our biology—specifically, our primate social emotions, which include empathy, reciprocity, and fairness. We can glimpse this in the behavior of our closest relatives in the animal kingdom: chimpanzees soothe distressed neighbors, and bonobos will voluntarily open a door to offer a companion access to their own food. Building on a wealth of evidence, de Waal reveals that morality is not dictated to us by religion or social strictures. Rather, it is the inevitable product of our biological nature.

The Ape And The Sushi Master

Author: Frans De Waal
Editor: Hachette UK
ISBN: 0786724536
Size: 16,11 MB
Format: PDF
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From the New York Times bestselling author of Mama's Last Hug and Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?, a provocative argument that apes have created their own distinctive culture In The Ape and the Sushi Master, eminent primatologist Frans de Waal corrects our arrogant assumption that humans are the only creatures to have made the leap from the natural to the cultural domain. The book's title derives from an analogy de Waal draws between the way behavior is transmitted in ape society and the way sushi-making skills are passed down from sushi master to apprentice. Like the apprentice, young apes watch their group mates at close range, absorbing the methods and lessons of each of their elders' actions. Responses long thought to be instinctive are actually learned behavior, de Waal argues, and constitute ape culture. A delightful mix of intriguing anecdote, rigorous clinical study, adventurous field work, and fascinating speculation, The Ape and the Sushi Master shows that apes are not human caricatures but members of our extended family with their own resourcefulness and dignity.

Nature S Nether Regions

Author: Menno Schilthuizen
Editor: Penguin
ISBN: 0143127063
Size: 15,51 MB
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What's the easiest way to tell species apart? Check their genitals. Researching private parts was long considered taboo, but scientists are now beginning to understand that the wild diversity of sex organs across species can tell us a lot about evolution. Nature's Nether Regions joyfully demonstrates that the more we learn about the multiform private parts of animals, the more we understand our own unique place in the great diversity of life.

Atheist Overreach

Author: Christian Smith
Editor: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190880945
Size: 16,65 MB
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In recent years atheism has become ever more visible, acceptable, and influential. Atheist apologists have become increasingly vociferous and confident in their claims: that a morality requiring benevolence towards all and universal human rights need not be grounded in religion; that modern science disproves the existence of God; and that there is nothing innately religious about human beings. In Atheist Overreach, Christian Smith takes a look at the evidence and arguments, and explains why we ought to be skeptical of these atheists' claims about morality, science, and human nature. He does not argue that atheism is necessarily wrong, but rather that its advocates are advancing crucial claims that are neither rationally defensible nor realistic. Their committed worldview feeds unhelpful arguments and contributes to the increasing polarization of today's political landscape. Everyone involved in the theism-atheism debates, in shared moral reflection, and in the public consumption of the findings of science should be committed to careful reasoning and rigorous criticism. This book provides readers with the information they need to participate more knowledgably in debates about atheism and what it means for our society.

The Biological Mind

Author: Justin Garson
Editor: Routledge
ISBN: 1317676696
Size: 19,52 MB
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For some, biology explains all there is to know about the mind. Yet many big questions remain: is the mind shaped by genes or the environment? If mental traits are the result of adaptations built up over thousands of years, as evolutionary psychologists claim, how can such claims be tested? If the mind is a machine, as biologists argue, how does it allow for something as complex as human consciousness? The Biological Mind: A Philosophical Introduction explores these questions and more, using the philosophy of biology to introduce and assess the nature of the mind. Drawing on the four key themes of evolutionary biology; molecular biology and genetics; neuroscience; and biomedicine and psychiatry Justin Garson addresses the following key topics: moral psychology, altruism and levels of selection evolutionary psychology and modularity genes, environment and the nature-nurture debate neuroscience, reductionism and the relation between biology and free will function, selection and mental representation psychiatric classification and the maladapted mind. Extensive use of examples and case studies is made throughout the book, and additional features such as chapter summaries, annotated further reading and a glossary make this an indispensable introduction to those teaching philosophy of mind and philosophy of psychology. It will also be an excellent resource for those in related fields such as biology.

Darwin And His Children

Author: Tim M. Berra
Editor: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199309469
Size: 17,47 MB
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While much has been written about the life and works of Charles Darwin, the lives of his ten children remain largely unexamined. Most "Darwin books" consider his children as footnotes to the life of their famous father and close with the death of Charles Darwin. This is the only book that deals substantially with the lives of his children from their birth to their death, each in his or her own chapter. Tim Berra's Darwin and His Children: His Other Legacy explores Darwin's marriage to his first cousin, Emma Wedgwood, a devout Unitarian, who worried that her husband's lack of faith would keep them apart in eternity, and describes the early death of three children of this consanguineous marriage. Many of the other children rose to prominence in their own fields. William Darwin became a banker and tended the Darwin family's substantial wealth. Henrietta Darwin edited Charles' books and wrote a biography of her mother. Three of Darwin's sons were knighted and elected Fellows of the Royal Society: Sir George Darwin was the world's expert on tides, Sir Francis Darwin developed the new field of plant physiology, and Sir Horace Darwin founded the world-class Cambridge Scientific Instrument Company. Major Leonard Darwin was a military man, Member of Parliament, and patron of early genetic research. This book, richly illustrated with photographs of the Darwin family, demonstrates the intellectual atmosphere whirling about the Darwin household, portrays loving family relationships, and explores entertaining vignettes from their lives.

Conscience

Author: Martin van Creveld
Editor: Reaktion Books
ISBN: 1780234619
Size: 17,36 MB
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Many consider conscience to be one of the most important—if not the fundamental—quality that makes us human, distinguishing us from animals, on one hand, and machines on the other. But what is conscience, exactly? Is it a product of our biological roots, as Darwin thought, or is it a purely social invention? If the latter, how did it come into the world? In this biography of that most elusive human element, Martin van Creveld explores conscience throughout history, ranging across numerous subjects, from human rights to health to the environment. Along the way he considers the evolution of conscience in its myriad, occasionally strange, and ever-surprising permutations. He examines the Old Testament, which—erroneously, it turns out—is normally seen as the fountainhead from which the Western idea of conscience has sprung. Next, he takes us to meet Antigone, the first person on record to explicitly speak of conscience. We then visit with the philosophers Zeno, Cicero and Seneca; with Christian thinkers such as Paul, Augustine, Aquinas, and, above all, Martin Luther; as well as modern intellectual giants such as Machiavelli, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, and Freud. Individual chapters are devoted to Japan, China, and even the Nazis, as well as the most recent discoveries in robotics and neuroscience and how they have contributed to the ways we think about our own morality. Ultimately, van Creveld shows that conscience remains as elusive as ever, a continuously mysterious voice that guides how we think about right and wrong.

Big Gods

Author: Ara Norenzayan
Editor:
ISBN: 9780691151212
Size: 10,61 MB
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Looks at how the spread of organized religion helped civilization evolve from small groups of hunters and gatherers to large cooperative societies, and explores how such societies have risen in modern times without belief in gods.

Affective Relations

Author: C. Pedwell
Editor: Springer
ISBN: 113727526X
Size: 13,96 MB
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Exploring the ambivalent grammar of empathy where questions of geo-politics and social justice are at stake - in popular science, international development, postcolonial fiction, feminist and queer theory - this book addresses the critical implications of empathy's uneven effects. It offers a vital transnational perspective on the 'turn to affect'.