Frans de Waal, Our Inner ApeFrans de Waal, Our Inner Ape
When people do evil things, we call them "animals", "inhuman". On the opposite, we talk about "profoundly human" persons, of "humanists", when their behaviors are more fruitful. We tend to consider the behaviors that we consider noble (generosity, empathy, reconciliation ...) as specific to our own species, as the fruit of a moral sense cut from the animal world.
 
  What if these human traits, whether it is violence or empathy and even morality, were an extension of other animal features, an evolutionary extension?
 
  This is the idea that Frans de Waal, an internationally renowned primatologist, defends in Our inner Ape: he object to the popular theories of human exception, as much when they consider human as a species "exceptionally bad", worse than the other species as when they consider human as an aberration of nature, a species that would have cut itself, by its technical progress, of an "originally innocent and peaceful nature."  
 
This book is not only a mine of information about the lives of great apes, but also a mirror presented to humans. Frans de Waal holds up this mirror in the hope that we may better understand the origin of our own instincts. He uses the incredible laboratory that primate societies are to present the social problems of the monkey that human is, a new way and to suggest other ways to begin to better manage them.