Marc Hauser

Wild Minds

When we see the behaviour of an animal, for instance an ant returning to its nest, we naturally tend to interpret it in terms of human behaviour. But how valid is this interpretation - can we say that animals think in the same way as humans? That is the question addressed by this book. Each chapter looks at an aspect of mind, such as self-awareness and explains what research has been done to study this aspect in animals. Thus our intuitive view of animal thought processes is critically examined via scientific studies. The book is well written, and will be enjoyed by anyone with an interest in the behaviour of animals.

Animal studies such as these can also tell us about ourselves. For instance studies of number sense can also be applied to babies, and so indicate whether such a sense is learned or intrinsic. Hauser treats claims that animals experience the same mental processes as humans with justifiable caution. However, sometimes he seems to take this a bit far, for instance in saying that to describe something as a punishment both the punisher and the recipient need to know what it is for - even in humans this is often not the case.

Amazon.com info
Paperback 336 pages  
ISBN: 080505670X
Salesrank: 1216535
Weight:0.7 lbs
Published: 2001 Holt Paperbacks
Marketplace:New from $30.43:Used from $1.99
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Amazon.co.uk info
Paperback 416 pages  
ISBN: 0141007184
Salesrank: 2688049
Weight:0.66 lbs
Published: 2002 Penguin Books Ltd
Marketplace::Used from £3.75
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Amazon.ca info
Paperback 336 pages  
ISBN: 080505670X
Salesrank: 2072874
Weight:0.7 lbs
Published: 2001 Holt Paperbacks
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 69.15:Used from CDN$ 0.73
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Product Description

Do animals think? Can they count? Do they have emotions? Do they feel anger, frustration, hurt, or sorrow? At last, here is a book that provides authoritative answers to these long-standing questions. Most popular science books t to misrepresent animals, presenting them either as furry little humans or as creatures that cannot feel at all. Marc D. Hauser, an acclaimed scientist in the field of animal cognition, uses insights from evolutionary theory and cognitive science to examine animal thought without such biases or preconceptions. Hauser treats animals neither as machines devoid of feeling nor as extensions of humans, but as independent beings driven by their own complex impulses. In prose that is both elegant and edifying, Hauser describes his groundbreaking research in the field, leading his readers on what David Premack, author of The Mind of an Ape, calls "a masterful tour of the animal mind."