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Wild Minds: What Animals Really Think

Marc D. Hauser

170 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0713994711 / ISBN 13: 9780713994711
Published by Henry Holt, 2000
Condition: Good Hardcover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Wild Minds: What Animals Really Think

Publisher: Henry Holt

Publication Date: 2000

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Good

Edition: 1st.

About this title

Synopsis:

Do animals think? Can they count? Do they have emotions? Finally, WILD MINDS provides authoritative answers to these long-standing questions. Most books tend to present animals either as furry little humans or creatures that cannot think or feel at all. Marc Hauser examines animal thought without these biases. "At last, a penetrating, entertaining, and up-to-the-minute book on the minds of animals. WILD MINDS should fascinate anyone interested in the nature of mind and the nature of animals,including our own species" - Steven Pinker "In this important book, Marc Hauser addresses one of the most vexing questions of behavioural science" - E. O. Wilson

Review:

Have you ever looked into a dog's eyes and wondered what is going on in his mind? Have you ever looked into a chimpanzee's eyes and wondered who is figuring out who? Are chimps capable of lying? Are they more "intelligent" than parrots? Do they have a sense of self? Do pigeons? In Wild Minds Marc Hauser explains how scientists are currently trying to resolve these and many other questions of animal cognition. In the rather disturbing manner of many popular science books these days, the reader is promised answers to a whole suite of questions at the beginning of the book, but is treated mostly to a raft of partially substantiated hypotheses (for the latter, read "science"). Never mind--Hauser's authoritative ruminations are fascinating, and the correct impression conveyed in the main body of the book is of a major intellectual work in progress. The remarkable ingenuity of researchers in designing experiments to test the intellectual abilities of their subjects comes across particularly strongly, although it can take some mental gymnastics on the part of the reader to keep all the details of these experiments in mind--screens, mirrors, dye marks and pieces of food are lowered, lifted, hidden and subjected to various sleights of hand with mind-twisting regularity. There is also more than a whiff of the lecture theatre about the book, which suggests that the author had more than the customary one eye on his academic colleagues and potential critics. Nevertheless, if you are seriously interested in animals and their mental capacities, Wild Minds is an extremely stimulating read. -- Chris Lavers

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