Review of The Age of Empathy by Frans de Waal

In The Age of Empathy, Frans de Waal discusses what we can learn from animals about empathy and what empathy teaches us about human nature. He argues that empathy is much more a part of human behaviour than competition, conflict and self-interest and that these truths are shared by humans and across the animal kingdom.

His discussion ranges across many animals including aquatic mammals, birds, primates, rodents, and domestic pets. The focus is on social behaviours and just like humans, animals show herding behaviours, empathy, sympathy and even conflict resolution. This is a fascinating read that will help you understand how the positive aspects of human behaviour outweigh the negative ones and why that makes us not so different from other animals.

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