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The Thinking Ape By Richard W. Byrne

The Thinking Ape
by Richard W. Byrne

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Intelligence is a product of evolution, opening the possibility that our nearest relatives - apes and monkeys - are also intelligent. Dr Bryne provides a detailed introduction to the differences and similarities between humans and other primates in their cognitive abilities.
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The Thinking Ape Summary

The Thinking Ape: Evolutionary Origins of Intelligence by Richard W. Byrne

"Intelligence" has long been considered to be a feature unique to human beings, giving us the capacity to imagine, to think, to deceive, to make complex connections between cause and effect, to devise elaborate stategies for solving problems. However, like all our other features, intelligence is a product of evolutionary change. Until recently, it was difficult to obtain evidence of this process from the frail testimony of a few bones and stone tools. It has become clear in the last 15 years that the origins of human intelligence can be investigated by the comparative study of primates, our closest non-human relatives, giving strong impetus to the case for an "evolutionary psychology", the scientific study of the mind.

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The Thinking Ape Reviews

...a thoroughly readable exploration of this fascinating topic, enhanced by numerous illustrations and photographs. * Ethology, Ecology & Evolution 7: 1995 *
Byrne has told us more about the intelligence of the great ape/human ancestor than we could hope to learn from the fossil record. * Mark Lake, University of Reading, Cambridge Archaeological Journal, Vol. 6, No. 2, October 1996 *
Byrne has provided both a readable review of primatology suitable for undergraduates, and an original and interesting thesis about the evolution of intelligence that will appeal to general readers as well as researchers in the field. * Cecilia Heyes, University College London, Nature, Vol 375, May 1995 *
Dick Byrne offers us an exceptionally readable potted guide to the issues and questions that have dominated thinking in this area. This is a book that is long overdue. Dick Byrne has done us a valuable service in providing an erudite, yet simply written, overview of the current state of knowledge in this area. This book sets the scene so clearly that it will surely prove to be essential reading for anyone embarking on the study of primate cognition and behaviour. * R.I.M. Dunbar, University of Liverpool, TREE, vol. 10. no. 10. October 1995 *
The good biological thinking that motivates....Byrne's book is a pleasure to absorb. More than this it is good to see evolutionary approaches to both functional and causal explanation in the behavioural sciences being given serious thought. * The Psychologist *
His account is eminently readable. Byrne puts difficult concepts into strikingly simple and stringent forms, yet on a level that requires some basic knowledge if one wants to follow every step. He never is tediously slow in argument...Byrne's is a fascinating and stimulating account. His risking to take a stand in favor of the thinking ape is counterbalanced by his cautious evaluation of differing interpretations. * Ethology 104, 353-360 (1998) *

Table of Contents

Introduction: the limits of fossil evidence ; 1. Taxonomy and the reconstruction of evolution ; 2. What is intelligence and what is it for? ; 3. How animals learn ; 4. Why animals learn better in social groups ; 5. Imitative behaviour in animals ; 6. Understanding how things work ; 7. Understanding minds: doing and seeing, knowing and thinking ; 8. What use is a theory of mind? ; 9. Planning and thinking ahead ; 10. Apes and language ; 11. Food for thought ; 12. Machiavellian intelligence ; 13. Testing the theories ; 14. Taking stock

Additional information

The Thinking Ape: Evolutionary Origins of Intelligence by Richard W. Byrne
Richard W. Byrne
Used - Very Good
Oxford University Press
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us.