Wild Minds by Sifu Marc Hauser
What Animals Really Think

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Synopsis

Do animals think? Can they count? Do they have emotions? Do they feel anger, frustration, hurt, or sorrow? Are they bound by any moral code? At last, here is a book that provides authoritative answers to these long-standing questions. Most pop-science books tend to anthropomorphize and romanticize animals, presenting them as furry little humans or as creatures that cannot think or feel at all. Marc 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. For example, do species that share food or travel in large groups have greater innate mathematical abilities? 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."
 

About Sifu Marc Hauser

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Marc Hauser, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at Harvard University, researches in Puerto Rico, and Uganda. He has been profiled by such programs as American Profiles and has been published in American Scientist and Discover, among others.
 
Published March 9, 2000 by Henry Holt and Co.. 320 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math. Non-fiction

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When it comes to animal behavior, Hauser (Psychology/Harvard) opts for the empirical high road over intuition every time: Anecdotes are sweet, and may prompt interesting questions, but he doesn’t go basing theories on them.

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Publishers Weekly

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Deeply skeptical of popular tales of altruistic dolphins, psychic dogs and cats, empathetic elephants and moralistic apes, Harvard animal scientist Hauser believes that such stories are fraught with assumptions and misleading comparisons between animal and human minds.

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