Peacemaking Among Primates / Edition 1

Peacemaking Among Primates / Edition 1

4.6 3
by Frans B. M. De Waal, F. B. M. De Waal
     
 

ISBN-10: 067465921X

ISBN-13: 9780674659216

Pub. Date: 09/01/1990

Publisher: Harvard University Press

Does biology condemn the human species to violence and war? Previous studies of animal behavior incline us to answer yes, but the message of this book is considerably more optimistic. Without denying our heritage of aggressive behavior, Frans de Waal describes powerful checks and balances in the makeup of our closest animal relatives, and in so doing he shows that

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Overview

Does biology condemn the human species to violence and war? Previous studies of animal behavior incline us to answer yes, but the message of this book is considerably more optimistic. Without denying our heritage of aggressive behavior, Frans de Waal describes powerful checks and balances in the makeup of our closest animal relatives, and in so doing he shows that to humans making peace is as natural as making war.

In this meticulously researched and absorbing account, we learn in detail how different types of simians cope with aggression, and how they make peace after fights. Chimpanzees, for instance, reconcile with a hug and a kiss, whereas rhesus monkeys groom the fur of former adversaries. By objectively examining the dynamics of primate social interactions, de Waal makes a convincing case that confrontation should not be viewed as a barrier to sociality but rather as an unavoidable element upon which social relationships can be built and strengthened through reconciliation.

The author examines five different species--chimpanzees, rhesus monkeys, stump-tailed monkeys, bonobos, and humans--and relates anecdotes, culled from exhaustive observations, that convey the intricacies and refinements of simian behavior. Each species utilizes its own unique peacemaking strategies. The bonobo, for example, is little known to science, and even less to the general public, but this rare ape maintains peace by means of sexual behavior divorced from reproductive functions; sex occurs in all possible combinations and positions whenever social tensions need to be resolved. "Make love, not war" could be the bonobo slogan.

De Waal's demonstration of reconciliation in both monkeys and apes strongly supports his thesis that forgiveness and peacemaking are widespread among nonhuman primates--an aspect of primate societies that should stimulate much needed work on human conflict resolution.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674659216
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Publication date:
09/01/1990
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
310
Sales rank:
789,778
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.65(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Prologue

1. False Dichotomies

"Good" Aggression

"Bad" Peace

The Individual and the Group

Captive vs. Field Studies

2. Chimpanzees

The Arnhem Project

Reconciliation and Consolation

Sex Differences

A Coalition Breaks

Deadly Violence

Reflections on the Dark Side

Self-Awareness and Chimpocentrism

3. Rhesus Monkeys

Matriarchs and Matrilines

The Transfer of Rank

Aggression Levels

The Exploratory Phase

Implicit Reconciliations

Hard Evidence

Class Structure

Climbing the Ladder

4. Stump-Tailed Monkeys

Our Beauties

Orgasmic Reconciliations

Two Macaques

All-Embracing Unity

5. Bonobos

The "Pygmy Chimp" Is Neither

Wild Bonobos and Wild Theories

The Smartest Ape?

The Peanut Family

Games Bonobos Play

Kama Sutra Primates

The Sex-Contract Hypothesis

Sex for Peace

Epilogue

6. Humans

The Paucity of Knowledge

Degrees of Sophistication

Conditions of Peace

Children

Cultures

The Oath of the Elbe

Conclusion

Bibliography

Index

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Peacemaking among Primates 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is excellent for any general reader or 'primate lover' wanting a deeper knowledge of the politics of our closest ancestors. De Waal writes with a style that leaves no student, graduate, or general reader dissapointed. This book provides a great insight into the peacemaking habits of 4 groups of primates (including us humans) and stresses the need for researchers and the public alike to aknowledge the importance of both aggression AND peacemaking skills which govern, and are governed by, the roles of individuals in primate society. A wonderful call for a re-thinking of previous theories about agression and anger completely dominating society. Fantastic photos and persoanl accounts accompany the text.