Beasts: What Animals Can Teach Us About the Origins of Good and Evil

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Bloomsbury Publishing USA, Jan 1, 2014 - Nature - 213 pages

In his previous bestsellers, Masson has showed us that animals can teach us much about our own emotions-love (dogs), contentment (cats), and grief (elephants), among others. In Beasts, he demonstrates that the violence we perceive in the wild is a matter of projection.

Animals predators kill to survive, but animal aggression is not even remotely equivalent to the violence of mankind. Humans are the most violent animals to our own kind in existence. We lack what all other animals have: a check on the aggression that would destroy the species rather than serve it. In Beasts, Masson brings to life the richness of the animal world and strips away our misconceptions of the creatures we fear, offering a powerful and compelling look at our uniquely human propensity toward aggression.

 

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BEASTS: What Animals Can Teach Us About the Origins of Good and Evil

User Review  - Kirkus

Masson (The Dog Who Couldn't Stop Loving: How Dogs Have Captured Our Hearts for Thousands of Years, 2010, etc.) explores evolutionary history and the animal kingdom for the origins of human violence ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - lostinalibrary - LibraryThing

We humans are just one of many apex predators, many of whom we compare our bad behaviour to – wolves, great cats, apes. Yet, none of these other animals come anywhere close to our level of violence ... Read full review

Contents

The Other
17
Elephant Trauma and the Promise ofa Better World
157
Human Traits Unique to
163
Traits Humans Have in Common with Other
169
What Humans Do to Other Animals
173
The Problem with Pinker on the Problem of Human Violence
175
Acknowledgments
181
Notes
183
36
194
Bibliography
201
Index
205
50
206
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About the author (2014)

Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, an ex-psychoanalyst and former director of the Freud Archives, is the author of numerous bestselling books on animal emotions, including Dogs Never Lie About Love and When Elephants Weep. He lives in Australia and Europe with his family. Visit his website at www.jeffreymasson.com.

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