[[ Free pdf ]] The Naked Ape: A Zoologist's Study of the Human AnimalAuthor Desmond Morris – Kairafanan.co

Reading this book again after 37 years, I was pleasantly surprised at the relevant impact this book still has Perhaps reading it after nearly four decades of experience as a member of its target species, points in it seemed to ring true There are probably some aspects of this book which have been called into question by subsequent research findings, but in general the materials on the human evolutionary biology and psychology I ve read in the meantime seem to support Morris s positions.When first published, this book was considered revolutionary because it attempted to describe the species homo sapiens from an objective zoologist s perspective The chapters on sex and rearing were shocking to some in the way they dispassionately described these aspects of human behavior There are other sections of the book, however, that begin to spread into the fields of sociology and psychology and therefore involve human interpretation The discussion of these topics the evolution of religion in particular is where this book has become somewhat obsolete, as the recent interest in human evolution has increasingly focused on the development of vastly increased intelligence and the capacity for abstract thinking This capacity which allows empathy and the assessment of future outcomes, and yet is limited in the acceptance of eventual non existence i.e., death has come to be seen as a major factor in human evolution, though is hardly mentioned in this book.It is still well worth reading and shook up my assumptions about human existence once again. People are animals Our behavior has evolutionary roots even many behaviors we define as cultural have their basis in our prehistoric dog eat dog, survival of the sexiest past.There, that s the thesis perfectly sound and very interesting The book falls apart in the details though sweeping generalizations and odd assumptions about sexual behavior and gender roles and cultural supremacy without any supporting proof Just ideas and theories that seem almost comically colored by the author s dated biases.His ideas sometimes lean dangerously towards social Darwinism minority cultures with bizarre practices are aberrations in human evolution, and their behaviors can be dismissed as irrelevant to the discussion of human behavior The majority s he means White Northern Europeans, not East Asians, of course cultural practices represent the evolutionarily successful norm I am intrigued by the mythical, biological and prehistoric roots of human behavior like the story that men are silent because their prehistoric ancestors needed to hunt mastadons with stealth, while women are chatty thanks to their communal berry gathering ancestresses Maybe that s ridiculous I want to read a book that presents and backs up these theories with actual data So, not this book. Morris makes a great song and dance about the outrage with which his book was first received Why are people so resistant to contemplating, in the cool light of scientific objectivity , their animal nature , he asks However, Morris claim to neutrality is highly suspect he urges us to learn from and accept the picture he presents of human beings, sayinghomo sapiens has remained a naked ape in acquiring lofty new motives, he has lost none of the earthy old ones This is frequently a cause of embarrassment to him, but his old impulses have been with him for millions of years, his new ones only a few thousand at the most and there is no hope of shrugging off the accumulated genetic legacy of his evolutionary past He would be a far less worried and fulfilled animal if he would face up to this factHe contrasts the biological view with that of anthropologists, whose methods he treats with derision, since they have tended to give attention to exceptional, often fairly isolated societies His comments on this subject are not encouraging.The simple tribal groups that are living today are not primitive, they are stultified the naked ape is essentially an exploratory species and any society that has failed to advance has in some sense failedThis amounts to a ringing endorsement for imperialist appropriation and hegemony He compares such biological failures with the ordinary successful members of the major cultures.As well as anthropologists, he has issues with psychologists who have, laudably stuck to mainstream specimens but these have unfortunately been aberrant or failed in some respect he quotes an unnamed practitioner from the field in question approvingly We have tackled the abnormals and we are only now beginning, a little late in the day, to concentrate on the normals Apparently this horrifically ableist language is unproblematic because we are dealing with the human animal as a mere meaty hunk of biological data here, not with personhood.As usual, my heckles are raised by the use of the male pronoun for humans in general, and I usually try hard to make allowances for old fashioned conventions here, but in this case he is indicative of Morris stance His naked ape is a male and his lifestyle is characteristic of the species and shaped its evolution He describes how males became hunters and thus developed sophisticated cooperative, communicative and planning skills There must be something missing from this picture, as female humans have equally well developed abilities in these areas and they are strictly excluded from hunting in Morris account Perhaps child rearing, which they are credited with, made equal demands, but in that case why is hunting the primary influence rather than infantilism and childcare On the fascinating subject of how homo sapiens became hairless I prefer this description to Morris term naked which he claims is neutral, but obviously connotes clothing , he outlines various theories I m most interested in the aquatic ape hypothesis, and keen to read about it next, but Morris favours a hunting related hypothesis, which leaves the hairlessness of female humans unexplained Morris fondness for hunting is much in evidence, in the lack of mention afforded to the food gathering practices of our probably mainly female ancestors, description of carnivores vs omnivorous primates, his derision for vegetarians, and most importantly in his description of work as the direct modern analogue of hunting Thus, women ought not to work hunt their biologically correct place is at home caring for the young All male clubs and sporting activities are obvious extensions of the need to hunt I m grateful to Morris for thereby explaining why women have no interest in sports, athletic pursuits or group socialising activities.This book apparently caused much offence with its frank descriptions of sexual activity Morris admits these are based on studies in North America, but claims this is fine because that culture is biologically large and successful and therefore representative of the naked ape in general Morris account of intercourse is clinical and anyone hoping for stimulation had much better check out the erotica section Most novels are far sexier and infinitely enjoyable on every other level too What offends me is his unabashedly homophobic stance He explains homosexual behaviour, which must be normal since all mammals engage in it, as adolescent exploration and an inevitable consequence of young people spending time in unisexual groups such as boys schools but long term homosexuality is an aberrant fixation Grudgingly he admits that permanent homosexuals are valuable non contributors in the present context of the current population explosion, which he regards as a serious coming crisis so yeah, a Malthusian too.These regressive views on sexuality were commonplace when Morris wrote the book in 1967, but when he was invited to update it in 1994, he saw no reason to change anything but the figure he originally gave for the size of the population Man s sic essential biological nature can change only over evolutionary time scales, he might say And there s the rub Morris is an essentialist, for whom biology is destiny However hard we try to twist and distort our true nature, we will keep returning to the animal truth.This position has generally been rejected by philosophers and social scientists, with good reason Since zoology is a field of study undertaken by socialised humans, its premises are culturally constructed and determined I am not trying to deny physical reality or suggest that nothing can be learned from research, but we can t seriously talk about facts isolated from culture, as Morris tries to do The simple example of his account of taste sensation is instructive He repeats the fact that we detect four tastes and the fact that different parts of the tongue are sensitive to each of them Both of these facts are wrong they are mistaken interpretations which other cultures have not shared This reminds me of a lecture I once heard, in which we were asked to state the number of our senses Pliny said five, and it s become a cultural commonplace, but that s all it is Consider the sense of touch , in our five sense framing made to cover hot cold, pain, proprioception and contact detectionMorris says that as his book is intended for popular consumption it would be silly to include references Except on the rare occasions when he actually indicates that research has shown etc, I have to assume that this book is educated speculation His procedure is to reverse engineer primitive humans based on a white male North American interpretation of what is observed in the species today, supplementing this with our knowledge of prehistoric environmental conditions, the famously patchy fossil record and comparisons with primates and predators And why not The effort is worthy and the results interesting, though I believe they have been much contested since first published Where Morris oversteps the mark is in attempting to apply his picture of our ancestors, gained from studying modern humans, to show us modern humans where we are going wrong Call me culturally indoctrinated Morris, but I think that s called circular reasoning.Morris claims that he wants us to embrace our biological nature, and poses the zoological perspective as ideologically neutral, but it s obvious that as well as homophobia, misogyny and racist imperialism, this book is drenched in the ideology of biological morality , the agenda of the gene My genes regard me as an instrument for their replication, and everything else I do and feel and think is irrelevant to them Their motive is identical to the motive of a virus My glorious birthright, as a human being, is the ability to choose otherwise. This was one of the most upsetting books I have ever read Fifteen years of age, I approached Morris with a vague, general interest in animals, i.e zoology His book was popular and available in the Park Ridge public library where I read it.Fifteen and never been kissed Well, that is not quite true In first grade I was kissed by Lisa That happened in her garage up Butte Lane from our house in the Meadowdale development It was, it is unforgettable A willowy blonde, she wore a powder blue smock over a white shirt Between that and her matching white knee socks there was a provocative inch or two of scuffed skin The kiss was tender, mutual, a bare wisp of a touch then her little brothers and sisters who had been spying on us started to snigger and it was over A few days later Lisa and Susan Whitaker got into a fight over me at the Oak Ridge School playground That was it I joined George and some other guys in a girl hating organization devoted to such manly pursuits as watching old Three Stooges films on television again and again.Nine years later and I was obsessed with girls, obsessed Small for my age 4 11 entering high school , they were all taller and had been taller for quite some time I had loved one of them, Nancy Stinton, from sixth through eighth grade, carrying half her books home for her daily, but nothing had happened and, indeed, it was probably just enough to see her smile, to have the twenty minute conversation after school.But by fifteen, it was getting to be too much The girls in junior high had already started, some of them, to date high school guys and some of those guys were six feet tall and proudly stubbled Now I was in high school, watching couples prominade from class to class, surrounded by beautiful women, most of them older than me God, I d never grow up Yeah, an interest in animals, in zoology I wrote, hah , the book said Naked and it had the silhouette of a nude man on the cover and a chapter entitled Sex and another entitled Comfort that s why I read what I hoped would be an informative piece of highbrow pornography.It was indeed informative horribly so Morris, as if reflecting my worst fears, seemed to relate everything, everything to sex, to sexual attraction, to reproduction of the species Women Everything about women was to attract and mate with men Everything Why do women wear high heels Because it elevates their rumps for penetration Why do women wear lipstick To suggest the blood engorgement of labial arousal And on and on and on It was terrible I was doomed. 1349. I spent a year in Marbury, a non authoritarian school modelled on Summerhill It was all too weird for words Next time any of you wonder why I don t know what continent Spain is in, or why places that are further away have times that are closer orkeep in mind that my geography text book for the year was The Naked Ape Well, I say it was that sort of school like it s to blame for my appalling ignorance of geography If only I d chosen a normal school instead But truth be told, the next year I did chose an ordinary school Methodist Ladies College and blow me down if the maths teacher didn t turn out to be a girl who made us do things like write poetry Your maths assignment for today is to write a poem in the style of Jabberwocky It s moot whether my maths is worse than my geography Sigh I wouldn t mind so much if my poetry was any good. Pelo uguale potere Acuta e pungente analisi di Morris sull animale uomo L opera si prefigge l obiettivo, in chiave scientifica ed umoristica, di metterci a nudo dal punto di vista dell evoluzione, del carattere, dell educazione sessuale e dell impatto avuto sull ambiente.L uomo , in fin dei conti, un animale che si elevato rispetto ad altri, ma rimane pur sempre legato a istinti e pulsioni primordiali che qualunque societ o legge mai potr cancellare del tutto.Morris gioca benissimo con queste tematiche, proponendo anche alcune teorie che si riallacciano a ricerche scientifiche esterne il discusso rapporto Kinsey, tanto per fare un nome , le quali arricchiscono un opera forse datata sotto certi aspetti, ma comunque edificante e ricca di spunti. 200.. . This Work Has Become A Benchmark Of Popular Anthropology And PsychologyZoologist Desmond Morris Considers Humans As Being Simply Another Animal Species In This Classic Book First Published In 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, Socializing, Grooming, Playing The Naked Ape 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 Mans Beginnings, Sex Life, Habits And Our Astonishing Bonds To The Animal Kingdom, The Naked Ape Is A Landmark, At Once Provocative, Compelling And Timeless