Frans de Waal

Frans de Waal

Frans B.M. de Waal, PhD (born 29 October 1948, 's-Hertogenbosch), is a Dutch psychologist, primatologist and ethologist. He is the Charles Howard Candler professor of Primate Behavior in the Emory University psychology department in Atlanta, Georgia, and director of the Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center cite web |url= |title=How did we go from ape to airplane? Scientists turn to chimpanzees to solve the mystery of our cultural roots |accessdate=2007-08-20 |author=Andrea Thompson |date=2007-08-09 |publisher=MSNBC | ] and author of numerous books including "Chimpanzee Politics" and "Our Inner Ape". His research centers on primate social behavior, including conflict resolution, cooperation, inequity aversion, and food-sharing. In 1993, he was elected to the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, to the United States National Academy of Sciences in 2004, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, in 2008.


In 1977, de Waal received his doctorate in biology from Utrecht University after training as a zoologist and ethologist. His dissertation research concerned aggressive behavior and formation in macaques.


In 1975, de Waal began a six-year project on the world's largest captive colony of chimpanzees at the Arnhem Zoo. The study resulted in many scientific papers, and resulted in publication of his first book, "Chimpanzee Politics", in 1982.

In 1981, he moved to the United States for a position at the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center, and took his current position at Emory and the Yerkes National Primate Research Center in 1991.

His research into the innate capacity for empathy among primates has led de Waal to the conclusion that non-human great apes and humans are simply different types of apes, and that there is little difference between these species.

His book, "Our Inner Ape", examines human behavior through the eyes of a primatologist, using the behavior of common chimpanzees and bonobos as metaphors for human psychology.

De Waal was named one of "Time" magazine's most influential 100 people in 2007.

De Waal also works in the field of social psychology. De Waal is currently on the Editorial Board of Greater Good Magazine, published by the Greater Good Science Center of the University of California, Berkeley. His contributions include the interpretation of scientific research into the roots of compassion, altruism, and peaceful human relationships.Besides being a contributor, de Waal, also has an article on Empathy in Greater Good magazine. He further writes a column for "Psychologie", a popular Dutch monthly magazine.


"The possibility that empathy resides in parts of the brain so ancient that we share them with rats should give pause to anyone comparing politicians with those poor, underestimated creatures." [cite web |url= |title=Do Humans Alone 'Feel Your Pain'? |accessdate=2008-07-20 |author=Frans de Waal |work= |publisher=The Chronicle |date=2001-10-26 ]

"I've argued that many of what philosophers call moral sentiments can be seen in other species. In chimpanzees and other animals, you see examples of sympathy, empathy, reciprocity, a willingness to follow social rules. Dogs are a good example of a species that have and obey social rules; that's why we like them so much, even though they're large carnivores." [cite web |url= |title=Confessions of a Lonely Atheist |accessdate=2008-07-20 |author=Natalie Angier |date=2001-01-14 |work= |publisher=The New York Times Magazine]

"To endow animals with human emotions has long been a scientific taboo. But if we do not, we risk missing something fundamental, about both animals and us." from "Are We in Anthropodenial?"

elected bibliography


* "Primates and Philosophers, How Morality Evolved", 2006. ISBN 0-691-12447-7
* "Our Inner Ape". New York: Riverhead Books, 2005. ISBN 1-57322-312-3
* [ "Animal Social Complexity: Intelligence, Culture, and Individualized Societies"] , Edited with Peter L. Tyack. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2003. ISBN 0-674-00929-0.
* "My Family Album, Thirty Years of Primate Photography" 2003.
* [ "Tree of Origin: What Primate Behavior Can Tell Us about Human Social Evolution"] , Harvard University Press, 2001. ISBN 0-674-00460-4.
* "The Ape and the Sushi Master, Cultural reflections by a primatologist". New York: Basic Books, 2001. ISBN 0-465-04175-2
* "". Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000. ISBN 0-8018-6336-8.
* "Natural Conflict Resolution". 2000 (with Filippo Aureli)
* "". Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997. ISBN 0-520-20535-9 (with Frans Lanting)
* [ "Good Natured: The Origins of Right and Wrong in Humans and Other Animals"] . Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1996. ISBN 0-674-35660-8
* [ "Chimpanzee Cultures"] , Edited with Richard Wrangham, W.C. McGrew, and Paul Heltne. Foreword by Jane Goodall. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1994. ISBN 0-674-11662-3.
* [ "Peacemaking Among Primates"] . Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1989. ISBN 0-674-65920-1
* Chimpanzee Politics.Jonathan Cape, London 1982. ISBN 0-224-01874-4.


* 2006, " [ Self-recognition in an Asian elephant] ", "PNAS", vol 103, no 45, 17053-17057
* 2001, "Do Humans Alone 'Feel Your Pain'?" ( [] , October 26 2001)
* 1999, "The End of Nature Versus Nurture", "Scientific American", vol 281, no 6, p 94-99
* 1997, "Are We in Anthropodenial?", "Discover", pp. 50–53. July 1997.
* 1995, " [ Bonobo Sex and Society The behavior of a close relative challenges assumptions about male supremacy in human evolution] ", "Scientific American", vol 272, no 3, p 82-88


External links

* [ Living Links Center] , currently directed by Frans de Waal
* [] - 'Frans B. M. de Waal, C. H. Candler Professor of Primate Behavior', Emory University faculty homepage
* [] - 'Talking Primates with Dr. Frans de Waal' (August 25 2005 Blog ]
* [] - 'The Bookshelf talks with Frans de Waal', "American Scientist" (2001)
* [] - 'Frans de Waal, Comparative Primatologist' (includes mp3 audio clip; October 21 2004)
* [] - 'Natural Goodness', Paula Gordon
* [] - 'Profile of Frans B. M. de Waal', Regina Nuzz, "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences" (PNAS)
* [ de Waal's editorial contribution to social psychology in Greater Good magazine]
* [ online reading group discussion of Frans de Waal's "Our Inner Ape"]

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