Animal Minds

Donald R. Griffin, Author
Donald R. Griffin, Author University of Chicago Press $32.5 (320p) ISBN 978-0-226-30863-0
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-226-30864-7
Hardcover - 376 pages - 978-0-226-30865-4
Paperback - 978-0-226-30866-1
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Vervet monkeys use special calls to mislead their neighbors. Beavers plug up leaks in dams, cutting pieces of wood to fit a particular hole. Honeybees employ symbolic gestures to communicate the direction and distance their sisters must fly to reach food. These are just a few of the striking examples of versatile animal behavior which, to Harvard zoologist Griffin ( Animal Thinking ), suggest that animals are cognizant of objects and events and experience conscious thoughts. In an involving, important, scholarly report that should force a reconsideration of animal studies, Griffin reviews animals' remarkable adaptability to novel challenges and their apparent ability to communicate thoughts to others. Drawing on a wealth of published research, he infers manipulative behavior in apes and foxes, fear in mantis shrimp, deception in fireflies and dreams in sleeping birds. This well-documented, understated argument presents a challenge to the reductionism of many behaviorists and cognitive psychologists. (Sept.)
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