Radio Times

Primatologist Frans de Waal on the evolution of empathy

August 4, 2010


bonobo14 (2)Hour 2

World-renowned primatologist FRANS DE WAAL has spent years studying chimpanzees, bonobos, and capuchins.  While he has witnessed plenty of selfish and aggressive behavior, he has also watched primates cooperate, resolve conflicts, share food, laugh, and help each other.  De Waal argues that these interactions show that empathy, altruism, and morality are hard-wired in the primate brain – including the human primate brain.  This hour, Frans de Waal, Director of the Living Links Center at Emory University, talks about the evolution of empathy and what we can learn from primate cousins.  His most recent book is The Age of Empathy: Nature’s Lessons for a Kinder Society.

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