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Apes, Language, and the Human Mind [NOOK Book]

Overview

Current primate research has yielded stunning results that not only threaten our underlying assumptions about the cognitive and communicative abilities of nonhuman primates, but also bring into question what it means to be human. At the forefront of this research, Sue Savage-Rumbaugh recently has achieved a scientific breakthrough of impressive proportions. Her work with Kanzi, a laboratory-reared bonobo, has led to Kanzi's acquisition of linguistic and cognitive skills similar ...
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Apes, Language, and the Human Mind

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Overview

Current primate research has yielded stunning results that not only threaten our underlying assumptions about the cognitive and communicative abilities of nonhuman primates, but also bring into question what it means to be human. At the forefront of this research, Sue Savage-Rumbaugh recently has achieved a scientific breakthrough of impressive proportions. Her work with Kanzi, a laboratory-reared bonobo, has led to Kanzi's acquisition of linguistic and cognitive skills similar to those of a two and a half year-old human child.
Apes, Language, and the Human Mind skillfully combines a fascinating narrative of the Kanzi research with incisive critical analysis of the research's broader linguistic, psychological, and anthropological implications. The first part of the book provides a detailed, personal account of Kanzi's infancy, youth, and upbringing, while the second part addresses the theoretical, conceptual, and methodological issues raised by the Kanzi research. The authors discuss the challenge to the foundations of modern cognitive science presented by the Kanzi research; the methods by which we represent and evaluate the abilities of both primates and humans; and the implications which ape language research has for the study of the evolution of human language. Sure to be controversial, this exciting new volume offers a radical revision of the sciences of language and mind, and will be important reading for all those working in the fields of primatology, anthropology, linguistics, philosophy of mind, and cognitive and developmental psychology.
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Editorial Reviews

Roger L. Mellgren
This book is worthwhile reading. It is provacative and entertaining. The issues it raises are fundamental. Are we different and above all other species? The authors scream 'NO'. You be the judge.
Applied Cognitive Psychology
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198026976
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 6/18/1998
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Georgia State University

York University, Toronto

College of William and Mary

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Table of Contents

1 Bringing up Kanzi 3
Kanzi: The Ape Who Crossed the Line 7
Would A Bonobo Learn Language? 11
Mother and Child 19
Kanzi Had Been Keeping a Secret 22
Morning Exploits 27
Travels in the Forest 36
Evening Tours 44
Living with Kanzi 46
Theory of Mind 55
Syntax Grasped 65
What Kanzi Tells Us 73
2 Philosophical Preconceptions 77
The Cartesian Revolution 79
Praedicet Ergo Est: It Predicts Therefore It Is 84
The Cartesian Mind as "Folk" Theorist 90
Cartesian Bifurcation versus Mechanist Continuity 94
Becoming a Person 99
The "Charm" of the Theory of Mind Thesis 105
The Cartesian Hierarchy of Psychological Concepts 113
The Ascent of Pan 119
"The Constitutional Uncertainty of the Mental" 128
3 Rhetorical Inclinations 139
"Sure, But Does He Really Understand What We Say?" 139
Evaluating Metalinguistic Claims: Logical Prerequisites 141
The Commonsense Picture of Communication 147
Animal Research and the Scarlet Letter 150
The Epistemological Conception and Its Methodological Legacy 153
Methodological Reductivism 157
Methodological Operationalism 163
Metalanguage as Cultural Technique 171
4 Beyond Speciesism 181
Apes Have Language: So What? 181
Our Shared Heritage 181
Primal Man 183
Wholistic Intelligence 187
Hierarchical Intelligence 188
Language and Mind 190
Linguistics and the Innateness Conundrum 192
The Problem Posed by Kanzi and Alternative Resolutions 194
The Issue of Intentionality 195
Social Constructionism 198
The Perspectival Shift Driven by Kanzi 199
Quine's Dilemma and Locke's Puzzle 201
Why Kanzi Could Not be Ignored 206
The Malleability of the Nervous System 208
The Achievement of Meaning - with Language 214
The Achievement of Meaning Unbuttoned: The Emergence of the Social Contract 218
The New Lens: Moving beyond Speciesism 225
Notes 229
References 233
Index 241
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2000

    Apes, Language, and the Human Mind

    Unlike like earlier research which tried to explicitly teach apes language, Sue Savage-Rumbaugh and her associates have created an environment that allows apes to acquire language. 'Apes, Language and the Human Mind' consist of four sections. The first section gives fascinating examples of the kinds of language ability Kanzi and the other apes are capable of. The second section gives a very interesting account of the science's attitude to other animals' languaging ability and the historical and philosophical reasons for it. This book will be exciting to anyone interested in psychology, cognitive science, linguistics, or theory of mind - but readers of all sorts will find this a fascinating step closer to uncovering some of the mysteries of the mind, both man's and ape's.

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