The Ape and the Sushi Master: Cultural Reflections by a Primatologist
What if apes had their own culture rather than an imposed human version? What if they reacted to situations with behavior learned through observation of their elders (culture) rather than with pure genetically coded instinct (nature)? In answering these questions, eminent primatologist Frans de Waal corrects our arrogant assumption that humans are the only creatures to have made the leap from the natural to the cultural domain.The book's title derives from an analogy de Waal draws between the way behavior is transmitted in ape society and the way sushi-making skills are passed down from sushi master to apprentice. Like the apprentice, young apes watch their group mates at close range, absorbing the methods and lessons of each of their elders' actions. Responses long thought to be instinctive are actually learned behavior, de Waal argues, and constitute ape culture.A delightful mix of intriguing anecdote, rigorous clinical study, adventurous field work, and fascinating speculation, The Ape and the Sushi Master shows that apes are not human caricatures but members of our extended family with their own resourcefulness and dignity.
What people are saying - Write a review
Review: The Ape and the Sushi Master: Reflections of a PrimatologistUser Review - Goodreads
I really enjoyed this book as someone who majored in biology in college and took a course on animal behavior. Sorry to hear what Konrad Lorenz was like politically (Nazi). Only problem was it seemed a ... Read full review
Review: The Ape and the Sushi Master: Reflections of a PrimatologistUser Review - Louis - Goodreads
An interesting book unfortunately marred by de Waal's refusal to understand, and perverse insistence upon misrepresenting, the metaphor of the selfish gene (and the general debate surrounding the unit ... Read full review
The Whole Animal Childhood Talismans and Excessive Fear of Anthropomorphism
The Fate of Gurus When Silverbacks Become Stumbling Blocks
Bonobos and Fig Leaves Primate Hippies in a Puritan Landscape
Animal Art Would You Hang a Congo on the Wall?
What Is Culture and Does It Exist in Nature?
Predicting Mount Fuji and a Visit to Koshima Where the Monkeys Salt Their Potatoes
The Last Rubicon Can Other Animals Have Culture?
The Nutcracker Suite Reliance on Culture in Nature
Cultural Naturals Tea and Tibetan Macaques
Human Nature The Way We See Ourselves