Baboon Metaphysics has ratings and 17 reviews. Richard said: Baboons are a fascinating branch of the family tree. We humans have big brains, complex. In Charles Darwin jotted in a notebook, ‘He who understands baboon would do more towards metaphysics than Locke.’ “Baboon Metaphysics” is Dorothy. Baboon Metaphysics: The Evolution of a Social Mind is another addition to Dorothy Cheney’s and Robert Seyfarth’s continuing research into nonhuman primate.

Author: Kanos Fegrel
Country: Lesotho
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Software
Published (Last): 15 May 2008
Pages: 445
PDF File Size: 19.64 Mb
ePub File Size: 4.54 Mb
ISBN: 195-7-66547-507-7
Downloads: 8442
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Kazratilar

The question Cheney and Seyfarth ask, however, is more demanding: Feb 12, Kim rated it it was amazing. They learn that for baboons, just as for humans, family and friends hold the key to mitigating the ill effects of grief, stress, and anxiety. This ability is a must in a world where tomorrow can not be predicted. Published May 15th by University of Chicago Press.

Baboon Metaphysics: The Evolution of a Social Mind

One big similarity is their feeling of grief for a lost loved one. By baaboon cognitive view, the rats had formed some kind of mental representation of the relation between a particular act and a specific type of food.

Their arguments are fascinating and compelling, and their lively writing often made me laugh aloud. May 22, John Wylie rated it it was metaphysice. Of course I am aware of the Alpha concept, but I never really gave thought to other species having hierarchies and what implications that has for human attempts to live without hierarchy.

Seyfarth and Dorothy L.

Tolmanwho argued that learning is not just a mindless link between stimulus and response. The lives of males are nasty, brutish, and short. If brain tissue is energetically expensive, the cheapest way to evolve a specialized skill may be through a small number of especially dedicated brain cells rather than a larger, general-purpose brain.


More readable than their previous book, Baboon Metaphysics is a brilliant analysis of the cognitive abilities and worldview of monkeys as contrasted with that of people. The authors aim to understand the intelligence that underlies this social organization. Though there’s no proving such a thing, they suggest that the evidence points towards baboons being able to work with abstract concepts, particularly in the area of social behavior and comprehension.

You may purchase this title at these fine bookstores.

The detailed descriptions of experimental methods employed to determine what is going on in the heads of the baboons are impressive, but a bit heavy going unless you are interested in this for academic reasons. Such numbers force baboons to form a complicated mix of short-term bonds for mating and longer-term friendships based on careful calculations of status and individual need.

Baboon Metaphysics: The Evolution of a Social Mind | NHBS Academic & Professional Books

In what ways are her thoughts and behavior like ours, and in what ways—other than the obvious lack of language and tools—are they different? But it has done so in the cheapest, most energy-efficient way possible—by selecting specifically for navigational skills.

Key chapters in this volume: They also consume animal foods like insects, rodents, fish, shellfish, hares, birds, vervet monkeys, antelopes, and human infants. Anything we think or do can ultimately be traced to our experience. Food must be found and defended, predators evaded and sometimes attacked. The latter discussion notes what differences could lead to humans having a theory of mind that baboons do not possess.


Overall, worth the read, but be prepared to skim some parts. As I wrote previouslyit’s by two primate researchers who have done some very extensive studies of baboons and are assessing the results of those studies to get at the question of whether baboons possess intelligence, self awareness, awareness of others, and any kind of ethical system. Using innovative field experiments, the authors learn that for baboons, just as for humans, family and friends hold the key to mitigating the ill effects of grief, stress, and anxiety.

The last couple of chapters on language theory seemed a departure from the approach of the rest of the book.

Baboons evolved in a tropical ecosystem. Human and Animal Cognition Language and Linguistics: The question Cheney and Seyfarth ask, however, is more demanding: Indeed, through the ages baboons have evoked as much if not more repulsion than admiration.

It has value in helping us to understand baboons in their own terms; it helps think about the position of humans in nature and why we are unique as all species are unique ; it provokes reflection on the ability to reflect on oneself and others and try to understand why we behave as we do.