Age of Empathy

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Book: The Age of Empathy: Nature's Lessons for a Kinder Society, by Frans de Waal (Harmony Books), 2009


" We often fancy that chimps and other nonhuman primates live in a state of constant competition and violence — an image, we fear, that also applies to human beings. In The Age of Empathy, leading primatologist Frans de Waal draws on decades of research to reveal that evolution has bequeathed capacities for empathy, compassion, and sharing to all primates, humans included. The really hard question: What conditions allow goodness to flourish? The Age of Empathy doesn’t attempt to design a human utopia, but it does suggest that attempts to build a more shareable society are necessary and natural. “In fact,” Dr. de Waal writes, “I’d argue that biology constitutes our greatest hope. One can only shudder at the thought that the humaneness of our societies would depend on the whims of politics, culture or religion.” (

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See also the book: Why We Cooperate