Marc (editor) Bekoff The Smile of a Dolphin

ISBN 13: 9781842010143

The Smile of a Dolphin

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9781842010143: The Smile of a Dolphin
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Do animals experience sorrow? Do they know joy? Scientists have long been divided on the issue. Many, informed by the likes of Rene Descartes, who viewed animals as automata, and B.F. Skinner, who reduced the animal mind to a system of stimulus and response, say no. Others, including Charles Darwin, reply in the affirmative, and this book is a resounding endorsement of their position.

Editor Marc Bekoff, a biologist at the University of Colorado, assembles anecdotal memoirs by some 50 scientists touching on such matters as love, fear, anger, joy, grief, pride, and shame. His contributors include Alexander Skutch, Frans de Waal, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, and Michael W. Fox; their subjects number animals from nearly every continent and ecosystem. The memoirs are highly instructive; we learn from them, for instance, that dolphins lack the muscles to smile, that the pig's squeal is a highly successful defensive mechanism, and that elephants are subject to episodes of depression. More substantially, the essays, taken as a whole, show that the emotional life of animals is not only rich, but also as various (and unpredictable) as that of humans; after reading them, you'll likely not look at chimps or hyenas--or dolphins, for that matter--with quite the same eyes.

Although most animal lovers won't need to be convinced of the reality of animal emotions, this book provides plenty of ammunition for anti-Cartesian debates. And apart from all that, it's a lot of fun. --Gregory McNamee

About the Author:

Marc Bekoff, professor of organismic biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, is the author or editor of twelve books, including Species of Mind (with Colin Allen); Animal Play (with John Byers); Nature’s Life Lessons: Everyday Truths from Nature (with Jim Carrier) and Strolling with Our Kin. A former Guggenheim Fellow and a Fellow of the Animal Behavior Society, Dr. Bekoff is the recipient of the Society’s Exemplar Award for major, long-term contributions to the field of animal behavior.

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Marc (editor) Bekoff
Published by Discovery Books (2000)
ISBN 10: 184201014X ISBN 13: 9781842010143
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