Zitate von Frans de Waal

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Frans de Waal

Geburtstag: 29. Oktober 1948

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Fransiscus Bernardus Maria „Frans“ de Waal ist ein niederländischer Zoologe und Verhaltensforscher, der sich seit Anfang der 1970er Jahre speziell mit Schimpansen und Bonobos befasst, aber auch mit Makaken, Kapuzineraffen, Elefanten und Buntbarschen.

Zitate Frans de Waal

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„We would not be where we are today had our ancestors been socially aloof. What we need is a complete overhaul of assumptions about human nature. Too many economists and politicians model human society on the perpetual struggle they believe exists in nature, but which is a mere projection. Like magicians, they first throw their ideological prejudices into the hat of nature, then pull them out by their very ears to show how much nature agrees with them. It’s a trick for which we have fallen for too long. Obviously, competition is part of the picture, but humans can’t live by competition alone.“

— Frans de Waal
Context: Don’t believe anyone who says that since nature is based on a struggle for life, we need to live like this as well. Many animals survive not by eliminating each other or by keeping everything for themselves, but by cooperating and sharing. This applies most definitely to pack hunters, such as wolves or killer whales, but also our closest relatives, the primates. In a study in Taï National Park, in Ivory Coast, chimpanzees took care of group mates wounded by leopards, licking their blood, carefully removing dirt, and waving away flies that came near the wounds. They protected injured companions, and slowed down during travel in order to accommodate them. All of this makes perfect sense given that chimpanzees live in groups for a reason, the same way wolves and humans are group animals for a reason. If man is wolf to man, he is so in every sense, not just the negative one. We would not be where we are today had our ancestors been socially aloof. What we need is a complete overhaul of assumptions about human nature. Too many economists and politicians model human society on the perpetual struggle they believe exists in nature, but which is a mere projection. Like magicians, they first throw their ideological prejudices into the hat of nature, then pull them out by their very ears to show how much nature agrees with them. It’s a trick for which we have fallen for too long. Obviously, competition is part of the picture, but humans can’t live by competition alone. The Age of Empathy (2009), p. 6

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„I first saw them in 1978. At the time, I knew a lot about chimps, because I had been studying them. I saw the bonobos at a zoo in Holland, and I thought immediately, they're totally different.“

— Frans de Waal
Context: I first saw them in 1978. At the time, I knew a lot about chimps, because I had been studying them. I saw the bonobos at a zoo in Holland, and I thought immediately, they're totally different. The sense you get looking them in the eyes is that they're more sensitive, more sensual, not necessarily more intelligent, but there's a high emotional awareness, so to speak, of each other and also of people who look at them. On his first encounter with bonobos

„It is true that the chimpanzee is dominance-oriented, violent, territorial. But it's also cooperative in many ways, and so that side is sometimes forgotten. The bonobo is sensual, sensitive, sexual, a peacemaker, but also can have a nasty side, and that's sometimes forgotten.“

— Frans de Waal
Context: It is true that the chimpanzee is dominance-oriented, violent, territorial. But it's also cooperative in many ways, and so that side is sometimes forgotten. The bonobo is sensual, sensitive, sexual, a peacemaker, but also can have a nasty side, and that's sometimes forgotten. So both species are sort of the ends of the spectrum, and we fall somewhere in between. Clearly, we have both of these sides in us, and that's why I sometimes call us "the bipolar apes."

„If you look at human society, it is very easy, of course, to compare our warfare and territoriality with the chimpanzee. But that's only one side of what we do. We also trade, we intermarry, we allow each other to travel through our territory. There's an enormous amount of cooperation.“

— Frans de Waal
Context: If you look at human society, it is very easy, of course, to compare our warfare and territoriality with the chimpanzee. But that's only one side of what we do. We also trade, we intermarry, we allow each other to travel through our territory. There's an enormous amount of cooperation. Indeed, among hunter-gatherers, peace is common 90 percent of the time, and war takes place only a small part of the time. Chimps cannot tell us anything about peaceful relations, because chimps have only different degrees of hostility between communities. Whereas bonobos do tell us something; they tell us about the possibility of having peaceful relationships.

„Don’t believe anyone who says that since nature is based on a struggle for life, we need to live like this as well. Many animals survive not by eliminating each other or by keeping everything for themselves, but by cooperating and sharing.“

— Frans de Waal
Context: Don’t believe anyone who says that since nature is based on a struggle for life, we need to live like this as well. Many animals survive not by eliminating each other or by keeping everything for themselves, but by cooperating and sharing. This applies most definitely to pack hunters, such as wolves or killer whales, but also our closest relatives, the primates. In a study in Taï National Park, in Ivory Coast, chimpanzees took care of group mates wounded by leopards, licking their blood, carefully removing dirt, and waving away flies that came near the wounds. They protected injured companions, and slowed down during travel in order to accommodate them. All of this makes perfect sense given that chimpanzees live in groups for a reason, the same way wolves and humans are group animals for a reason. If man is wolf to man, he is so in every sense, not just the negative one. We would not be where we are today had our ancestors been socially aloof. What we need is a complete overhaul of assumptions about human nature. Too many economists and politicians model human society on the perpetual struggle they believe exists in nature, but which is a mere projection. Like magicians, they first throw their ideological prejudices into the hat of nature, then pull them out by their very ears to show how much nature agrees with them. It’s a trick for which we have fallen for too long. Obviously, competition is part of the picture, but humans can’t live by competition alone. The Age of Empathy (2009), p. 6

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„We do not always act the way economists think we should, mainly because we're both less selfish and less rational than economists think we are. Economists are being indoctrinated into a cardboard version of human nature, which they hold true to such a degree that their own behavior has begun to resemble it.“

— Frans de Waal
Context: In 1879, American economist Francis Walker tried to explain why members of his profession were in such "bad odor amongst real people". He blamed it on their inability to understand why human behavior fails to comply with economic theory. We do not always act the way economists think we should, mainly because we're both less selfish and less rational than economists think we are. Economists are being indoctrinated into a cardboard version of human nature, which they hold true to such a degree that their own behavior has begun to resemble it. Psychological tests have shown that economics majors are more egoistic than the average college student. Exposure in class after class to the capitalist self-interest model apparently kills off whatever prosocial tendencies these students have to begin with. They give up trusting others, and conversely others give up trusting them. Hence the bad odor. "Our Inner Ape: A Leading Primatologist Explains Why We Are Who We Are" (2005), p. 243

„Clearly, we have both of these sides in us, and that's why I sometimes call us "the bipolar apes."“

— Frans de Waal
Context: It is true that the chimpanzee is dominance-oriented, violent, territorial. But it's also cooperative in many ways, and so that side is sometimes forgotten. The bonobo is sensual, sensitive, sexual, a peacemaker, but also can have a nasty side, and that's sometimes forgotten. So both species are sort of the ends of the spectrum, and we fall somewhere in between. Clearly, we have both of these sides in us, and that's why I sometimes call us "the bipolar apes."

„Our societies are constructed around the interface between those two, so we need both actually.“

— Frans de Waal
Context: I would say there are people in this world who like hierarchies, they like to keep people in their place, they like law enforcement, and they probably have a lot in common, let's say, with the chimpanzee. And then you have other people in this world who root for the underdog, they give to the poor, they feel the need to be good, and they maybe have more of this kinder bonobo side to them. Our societies are constructed around the interface between those two, so we need both actually.

„They give up trusting others, and conversely others give up trusting them.“

— Frans de Waal
Context: In 1879, American economist Francis Walker tried to explain why members of his profession were in such "bad odor amongst real people". He blamed it on their inability to understand why human behavior fails to comply with economic theory. We do not always act the way economists think we should, mainly because we're both less selfish and less rational than economists think we are. Economists are being indoctrinated into a cardboard version of human nature, which they hold true to such a degree that their own behavior has begun to resemble it. Psychological tests have shown that economics majors are more egoistic than the average college student. Exposure in class after class to the capitalist self-interest model apparently kills off whatever prosocial tendencies these students have to begin with. They give up trusting others, and conversely others give up trusting them. Hence the bad odor. "Our Inner Ape: A Leading Primatologist Explains Why We Are Who We Are" (2005), p. 243

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