In this thought-provoking book, the acclaimed author of Our Inner Ape examines how empathy comes naturally to a great variety of animals, including humans. Frans de Waal, director of the Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center in Atlanta, believes that it’s just as natural to. The Age of Empathy: Nature’s Lessons for a Kinder Society is the last in a long line of books and papers Frans de Waal (, ,

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Published September 22nd by Crown first published January 1st Like Darwin, he believed that cooperative groups of animals or humans would outperform less cooperative ones. Developing an waal of this complexity, de Waal suggests, could actually combat one of the least helpful of human tendencies: The cat has nurtured at least aeg patients, sensing with uncanny accuracy when one is about to die.

The reality of empathy. But possession is only part of the story.

Frans de Waal’s The Age of Empathy.

De Waal, a renowned primatologist, knows the territory firsthand. He doesn’t draw big sweeping conclusions thankfully, he did not write a book called “How Chimpanzees Explain The World” or something like thatand is basically content to present some fascinating research and to suggest that we reconsider individualistic theories of society in its light.

The morning newspaper at my door screamed, “Why have we been left behind like animals? Jan 14, Patrick rated it it was amazing Shelves: He lives in Atlanta, Georgia. To reconcile this trend with good old Christian values, such as care for the sick and poor, may seem hopeless.


The Age of Empathy: Nature’s Lessons for a Kinder Society by Frans de Waal

I plan to get all Frans de Waal’s writings on my Kindle and read them soon. They couldn’t see their own capacity to change the situation. The “Age of Empathy” is really about several different emotions and traits thought pf be uniquely human like empathy, sympathy, self awareness, sense of fair play, and egalitaria Is it just me, or does current non-fiction contain way too many personal anecdotes.

You’ve got to love a book about primates that has chapter headings with quotes by Adam Smith and Immanuel Kant. Contrast the ease with which aggression, domination, and violence are attributed to our DNA. Although men are violent and territorial, men clearly do have empathy. This book is written in t This is the second book by Frans grans Waal that I read, and I like his work so much that he is fast becoming one agd my favorite non fiction writer.

I abe why he didn’t want to head off too far in that direction, though it’s definitely an interesting subject. The faith Danes ref. On my drive back to Atlanta, it occurred to me that this is the theme of our time: Tango so interesting pardon my little digression.

In the era of the “selfish gene,” any animal altruism gets recast as self-interest in disguise. Jun 13, Arash Kamangir rated it it was amazing. Overall, though, the key point I appreciated was that empathy began as did the more studied aggression and play as a physical response. Jan 02, Lauren rated it empthy liked it. Most of the apes want to be the first to put their hands on our food, because once they have it, it’s rarely taken away by others.


I found myself reverting to the academic in the first part, making note of many things to share with my fantasy class. Yet it is a mistake, given this waa of natural empathy, to assume that the trait is a tidy bundle that animals either have or don’t. This applies most definitely to pack hunters, such as wolves or killer whales, but also to our closest relatives, the primates.

We hardly need to think about them. Hard to live up to some of his other books.

The Age of Empathy: Nature’s Lessons for a Kinder Society

Oct 31, Tyler rated it it was amazing. Nov 02, Stephen rated it really liked it. Greater openness to parallels with animals makes life easier for the biologist, hence my decision to go to the next level and see if biology can shed light on human society.

He writes clearly and he plays fair. Where I come from, fingers belong in the dike-or at least that’s how legend has it. Which is why you are still wondering what happened to those poor baby baboons—and why we should hope de Waal continues to keep a wise eye on his chimpanzees. De Waal related a story about an alpha chimp who was blustering up to a big dominance display. Their higher speed requires, deeper tilt in turns and lack of coordination can be disastrous.