Based on his latest book — Mama’s Last Hug: Animal Emotions and What They Tell Us about Ourselves — the legendary biologist and primatologist Frans de Waal continues his empirical and theoretical work on animal societies, politics, intelligence, sentience, consciousness and, now, feelings and emotions.
SCIENCE SALON # 57 | Skeptic
In this conversation Dr. de Waal and Dr. Shermer discuss:
- the difference between feelings and emotions
- the problem of “other minds” (how do we know what other people, much less animals, are thinking and feeling?)
- why it took a century since Darwin’s book on the evolution of animal and human emotions before scientists took up the mantle
- the push back from social scientists that Paul Ekman and other scientists, including de Waal, got for suggesting emotions evolved
- A.I. and emotions (can we program feelings into robots?)
- the six different emotions and why there are very probably more
- the nature/nurture debate in the study of emotions
- primate politics in U.S. elections: a biologist analyzes the Trump-Clinton debate #2
- is Trump an alpha male or a bully?
- the difference between sentience and consciousness
- animal rights and the future of factory farming.