The renowned zoologist and ethologist, famous for his studies of aggressive primate behaviour, here argues that morality is grounded in biology. All ethical behaviour he contends is as much a matter of evolution as any other trait.
Part 1 Darwinian dilemmas: survival of the unfittest; biologicizing morality; Calvinist sociobiology; a broader view; the invisible grasping organ; ethology and ethics
Part 2 Sympathy: warm blood in cold waters; special treatment of the handicapped; responses to injury and death; having broad nails; the social mirror; lying and aping apes; simian sympathy; a world without compassion
Part 3 Rank and order: a sense of social regularity; the monkey's behind; guilt and shame; unruly youngsters; the blushing primate; two genders, two moralities?; umbilical versus confrontational bonds; primus inter pares
Part 4 Quid pro quo: the less-than-golden rule; mobile meals; at the circle's center; a concept of giving; testing for reciprocity; from revenge to justice
Part 5 Getting along: the social cage; the relational model; peacemaking; rope walking; baboon testimony; draining the behavioural sink; community concern
Part 6 Conclusion: what does it take to be moral?; floating pyramids; a hole in the head
Frans B. M. de Waal is C. H. Candler Professor of Primate Behavior in the Psychology Department and Director of Living Links, part of the Yerkes Primate Center, Emory University.
"Frans de Waal brings his own special questions perspective to one of the most puzzling and important questions of nature: the origin of human morality. Good Natured is a provocative and important book that demands serious attention: it will change the way we view ourselves and our place in nature"
– Roger Lewin