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The Naked Ape: A Zoologist's Study of the Human Animal (Anglais) Broché – 5 octobre 2017

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Description du produit

Revue de presse

"Readable, surprising and provocative" (The Times)

"I really enjoyed The Naked Ape by Desmond Morris. It was published in 1967 and is often a very amusing zoological perspective on human beings. The chapter on sex is hilarious" (KT Tunstall Independent)

"Stimulating" (Arthur Koestler)

"Thought-provoking...Morris has introduced some novel and challenging ideas" (Natural History)

"Fascinating" (Sunday Times)

Présentation de l'éditeur


Here is the Naked Ape at his most primal - in love, at work, at war. Meet man as he really is: relative to the apes, stripped of his veneer as we see him courting, making love, sleeping, socialising, grooming, playing.

Zoologist Desmond Morris's classic takes its place alongside Darwin's Origin of the Species, presenting man not as a fallen angel, but as a risen ape, remarkable in his resilience, energy and imagination, yet an animal nonetheless, in danger of forgetting his origins.

With its penetrating insights on man's beginnings, sex life, habits and our astonishing bonds to the animal kingdom, The Naked Ape is a landmark, at once provocative, compelling and timeless.

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7 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 The book has aged with me 19 décembre 2012
Par desertwiffie - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
I really enjoyed this book when it first came out but now, of course, I'm older and have a larger point of reference. I still find it well written and entertaining but it all means something different to me now. For one thing, I find it peculiar that there is a lack of information on what a father does or doesn't contribute toward the outcome of an offspring. It appears this author believes that how a child will turn out is entirely dependent on the mother. If she does something too little, or does the same thing too much, she will irretrievably warp her poor child, and do it all by herself. I wonder if I actually believed that back then? Probably. But now, and several adult children later, I don't.
This author apparently believes there isn't a single human (or animal) behavior that can't be explained in some logical way. All you have to do is look for the potential meaning in every benign activity (or lack of activity) and then you will recognize what it really means. In the end I was reminded of the Freudian quote - "sometimes a cigar is just a cigar".
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 An enlightening book by a very enlightened man 4 janvier 2014
Par Naturalist - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
I had read "The Naked Ape" by Desmond Morris and greatly enjoyed it. In January of 2014, I wrote the following review of it:

"I enjoyed this book tremendously. It's very instructive, full of new insight, and beautifully written. I especially liked the author's interpretation of the origin of the concept of God. Very highly recommended."

Then, I recently read "The Human Zoo" by the same author, which is a distinct book from The Naked Ape. When I tried to review this book (The Human Zoo) on 9/18/2014, I found that I couldn't because for some strange reason Amazon links the two books together, so a review for The Naked Ape appears for both books. So, I was told that I had already reviewed The Human Zoo, while I know for sure that I hadn't, because I hadn't read it until recently.

When I contacted Amazon's Customer Service to let them know about this mix up, I was told about this linkage and that I can edit my review. However, if I edit my review, it'll again appear on both books, which is very strange.

Anyway, I gave The Naked Ape five stars and reviewed it as above. Now, I give The Human Zoo four stars because although I enjoyed it, I didn't enjoy it as much as The Naked Ape. In The Human Zoo, I especially enjoyed Morris's discussion of human sub-species, in-groups vs. out-groups, population control, imprinting and mal-imprinting in the Animal Kingdom, the phenomenon of bond confusion in the human animal, and his discussion of the Stimulus Struggle principles # 3 and 6. I also liked very much his discussion of inventiveness and creativity.

What I didn't like was his interpretation of homosexuality as being caused exclusively by social factors, ignoring the most obvious genetic cause. I also don't agree with him when he says, ". . . of course, brief and fleeting homosexual activities occur for the vast majority of both sexes at some point in their lives, as part of general sexual exploration." I think this is a total exaggeration.

Finally, I also found his discussion of male fashion cycles somewhat lengthy and boring.
4 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Several Outdated Concepts But Some Still Very Relevant Ideas 8 avril 2017
Par Janice H. Kasten - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
There are several errors in this book. As was true of Morris’s earlier book, The Naked Ape, most can be attributed to the lack of scientific data available at the time that The Human Zoo was published (1969). However, I can find no reason for his constantly comparing humans to monkeys and never comparing them to chimpanzees. Chimpanzees, not monkeys, are the closest relatives of homo sapiens. As far as I know this was well known long before the book’s 1969 publication.

The most notable error due to lack of scientific data was the claim that our species began its differentiation from the other apes because we were forced to transition from herbivores to omnivores. He claims that the need for the meat of other animals required males to hunt in packs and this in turn had two extremely consequential effects upon our ancestors. First, the hunt required greater coordination of effort among the males which probably enhanced brain size. Second, since the hunt required males to be away from the remainder of the community, the male needed to be certain that the female was attached to him and not mating with another male and producing an infant that was not his; hence, the development of monogamous relationships. At that time it was not known that chimpanzees, our closest relatives, are omnivores. Jane Goodall’s observations proved that chimps eat meat as well as plants and that they organize hunting parties to capture prey. The males being away on hunting trips did not result in monogamous relationships among chimps. Female chimpanzees are notoriously promiscuous.
A second notable error due to lack of scientific data is his assertion that homosexuality is due to mal-imprinting. An example of mal-imprinting is a duck emerging from an egg and seeing a human instead of its mother. The duck henceforth follows the human as it would its mother. He is unaware of the biological evidence that, although homosexuality can be the result of experience, it can also be the result of a different biochemisty.

A third notable error is related to the first error cited above. It is the claim that homo sapiens are a monogamous species. Even if one denies that monogamy is the result of our ancestors’ progression from herbivore to omnivore, we can still assert that homo sapiens are monogamous; however, the data does not indicate that. Polygyny is still the norm in many parts of the non-Western world. It did not become the norm in the Western world until a few centuries before Christ, but even then, concubinage and sex with slaves was acceptable. If one looks at current Western societies, almost 50% of marriages result in divorce, and while married, sexual relations outside of marriage are frequent.
Lastly, he sees sexual symbols almost everywhere. He states that the Christian cross is a phallic symbol. Does the man not know that tying or nailing a person to a cross or stake was a common form of Roman execution!

Despite these errors I think the author discussed several important and valid ideas. First, it warned of the disastrous consequences of over population. It is literally putting the survival of our species at risk.

Second, he discusses how animals act erratically and destructively in the unnatural setting of an enclosed area such as a zoo. He analogizes the problems present in animal zoos to the problems present in large cities. He states that although the cramped cities are unnatural to our species and create a multitude of problems, they still are a hub of creativity and that we must develop some means of reducing their destructive qualities. I agree with his analysis. I am not a fan of large cities. They are unfriendly and indifferent places, but I still see in them an energy and a hunger to create that is not present in my small, caring, albeit complacent community. Although I would never want to live in New York City or Los Angeles, I appreciate that this is where the movers and shakers of society reside.

Third, he discusses how humans are tribal creatures. They contrive a set of practices to which members of the group must adhere in order to be accepted. I am acutely aware of this trait because I have never been a part of a click or a group and have been ostracized by the various groups because of it, in particular, with regards to what I believe to be good public policy. My beliefs in this area do not adhere strictly to Democratic Party policies or to Republican Party policies. Republicans castigate me as being a liberal Democrat and Democrats castigate me as being a conservative Republican. But beyond my personal experiences the need to adhere to a tribal identity has profound consequences, particularly in the realm of foreign policy. Both Montesquieu and Tocqueville warned that people adhere to the mores and institutions to which they have grown accustomed and when one society attempts to introduce its form of government to another society, that new form of government, no matter how noble or just, will most likely be rejected, particularly, if that society has a very different history and different values. We saw this tragically manifested in the Middle East when we attempted to implement democracy. Now these countries are in a state of anarchy.

Lastly, I greatly appreciated his emphasis on our being of the animal kingdom and that the powerful animal urges are still present within us. When I argue with people that the tendency for males to dominate and for females to submit is not only present in the vast majority of the great apes, the family of which we are a member, but still present in the homo sapien biology and that it is a tendency which both genders must fight against, people resent it, saying such tendencies are merely a creation of society. I say, as does the author, Desmond Morris, on the last page of The Human Zoo “we tend to forget that we are animals with certain specific weaknesses and certain specific strengths. We think of ourselves as blank sheets upon which anything can be written. We are not. We come into the world with a set of basic instructions and we ignore or disobey them at our peril.”
5.0 étoiles sur 5 This book has been a significant influence on the thinking of a generation 3 décembre 2016
Par Scorp - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
Desmond Morris's 1967 book takes a zoological view of our species.

Some of his examples now seem a little dated in the age of smartphones and the internet of things, but the essence of what he says still holds true (and will hold true for millenia).

It certainly help in distinguishing those aspects of human behaviour that are cultural from those aspects of human behaviour that are speciel.

I first read this book back in the 1960s, and I still rank it as one of the 10 most important books that I ever read.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Cities and Zoos 24 mai 2013
Par Rod Matthews - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
In this book, Desmond Morris continues his look at humans from a zoologist's point of view. This time he looks at how the naked ape responds to the complex situation they have developed for themselves ... civilisation. From tribes to super-tribes, bringing with it the issue of status to super-status, Desmond Morris builds a compelling position about how we are constantly trying to fine tune our lives as we struggle with the contrast and balance between our evolutionary psychology/biology and the environment in which we have developed for ourselves.
I particularly enjoyed the chapters on `In-Groups and Out-Groups,' `The Stimulus Struggle' and the `Childlike Adult.' There is some great stuff in there.
It was also very interesting to read it again considering Desmond Morris wrote it in 1969 and over 30 years later his analysis still largely seems to hold. This seems to only further support his thesis that 10,000 years of civilisation is a small percentage of our biological evolution of (depends how you define it) between 200,000 and 4-8 million years.
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