Good-Natured: The Origins of Right and Wrong in Humans and Other Animals

by Frans de Waal
Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1996. 368 pages.

In Good-Natured, the primatologist Frans de Waal takes morality as his topic, arguing that we are not the only animals that are capable of distinctively moral behavior. But Good-Natured is no dry philosophy text; it teems with striking and touching anecdotes (drawn from de Waal's own observation) of sympathy, reciprocity, and peacemaking among the primates, to say nothing of his excursions into fields as diverse as cognitive ethology, neurobiology, visual anthropology, evolutionary biology, and comparative psychology. By the author of Peacemaking among Primates and Bonobo: The Forgotten Ape.