Clive Wynne Do Animals Think?

ISBN 13: 9780691113111

Do Animals Think?

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9780691113111: Do Animals Think?
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Does your dog know when you've had a bad day? Can your cat tell that the coffee pot you left on might start a fire? Could a chimpanzee be trained to program your computer? In this provocative book, noted animal expert Clive Wynne debunks some commonly held notions about our furry friends. It may be romantic to ascribe human qualities to critters, he argues, but it's not very realistic. While animals are by no means dumb, they don't think the same way we do. Contrary to what many popular television shows would have us believe, animals have neither the "theory-of-mind" capabilities that humans have (that is, they are not conscious of what others are thinking) nor the capacity for higher-level reasoning. So, in Wynne's view, when Fido greets your arrival by nudging your leg, he's more apt to be asking for dinner than commiserating with your job stress.


That's not to say that animals don't possess remarkable abilities--and Do Animals Think? explores countless examples: there's the honeybee, which not only remembers where it found food but communicates this information to its hivemates through an elaborate dance. And how about the sonar-guided bat, which locates flying insects in the dark of night and devours lunch on the wing?


Engagingly written, Do Animals Think? takes aim at the work of such renowned animal rights advocates as Peter Singer and Jane Goodall for falsely humanizing animals. Far from impoverishing our view of the animal kingdom, however, it underscores how the world is richer for having such a diversity of minds--be they of the animal or human variety.

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From the Inside Flap:

"Wynne's expert, lucid, sharply argued (and even witty) study provides a wonderful account of what is understood about how animals think and the serious challenges that face scientific study of these fascinating questions. It also offers very reasonable and suggestive thoughts about the place of humans within the rich and complex world of mental achievements and limitations."--Noam Chomsky, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

"I had more fun reading this book than I have had from any other book in a long time! It is clever, erudite, and accessible."--Jonathan Marks, University of North Carolina, Charlotte

"Clive Wynne has written a vitally important book. A fascinating and authoritative account of the latest research on animal minds, Do Animals Think? is also a much-needed corrective to the half-truths, exaggerations, and fairy tales that have become all too common in this field."--Stephen Budiansky, author of If a Lion Could Talk: Animal Intelligence and the Evolution of Consciousness

About the Author:

Clive D.L.Wynne is Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Florida. He is the author of Animal Cognition: The Mental Lives of Animals

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9780691126364: Do Animals Think?

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ISBN 10:  0691126364 ISBN 13:  9780691126364
Publisher: Princeton University Press, 2006
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