The Natural Science of the Human Species: An Introduction to Comparative Behavioral Research: The "Russian Manuscript"(1944-1948) / Edition 1

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edited from the author's posthumous works by Agnes von CranachHere Am I Where Are You?: The Behavior of the Greylag Goose was thought to be Konrad Lorenz's last book. However, in 1991 the "Russian Manuscript" was discovered in an attic, and its subsequent publication in German has become a scientific sensation. Written under the most extreme conditions in Soviet prison camps, the "Russian Manuscript" was the first outline of a large-scale work on behavioralscience. This translation contains a synopsis of all the ideas thatmade Lorenz famous as the founder of ethology, the study of comparative animal behavior.

Topics incl. natural science & idealistic philosophy, general attempts to define life, vitalism, mechanism, etc.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Written just after World War II, while the author was incarcerated in a Soviet prison camp, this so-called "Russian manuscript" was believed lost forever. Its rediscovery in 1991 and, now, its publication represent a major contribution to the history of science and the advancement of the behavioral sciences. This book contains some of the earliest formulations of the discipline that Lorenz called comparative behavioral research (i.e., ethology); its theories also portend the development of sociobiology and the new fields of behavioral and genetic psychology. He writes, "The route to an understanding of humans leads just as surely through an understanding of animals as the evolutionary pathway of humans had led through animal precursors." Lorenz also devotes almost equal attention to the "Philosophical Prolegomena" as to the "Biological Prologomena," arguing, in the process, for a synthesis between the sciences and the humanities as complementary expressions of human cognition. The text, edited by Lorenz's daughter, is full of literary excesses; although comprehensible to the lay reader, it is not particularly enjoyable to read. Still, such a book's value cannot be measured by its popularity alone. Important for any general science collection and indispensable for all academic or history of science collections.-Gregg Sapp, Univ. of Miami Lib.
The first book written by the later Nobel laureate and controversial biologist Lorentz (1903-89). He wrote his account of a new branch of biology, now called ethology, in Soviet prison camps at the end of World War II, but the manuscript was lost until it turned up in his library after his death. First published in 1992 by R. Piper GmbH & Co. KG, Munich as Die Naturwissenschaft vom Menschen: Eine Enfuhrung in die vergleichende Verhaltensforschung. Das "Russische Manuskript" (1944-1948). Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262621205
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/1997
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 382
  • Sales rank: 1,386,253
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Editor's Foreword
Translator's Foreword
What Is Our God?
Part One: Introduction to Comparative Behavioral Research
1 Natural Science and Idealistic Philosophy 5
2 Induction 5
3 The Consistent Hierarchical System in the Natural Sciences 39
4 On the Possibility of a Synthesis Between the Natural Sciences and the Humanities 53
5 General Attempts to Define Life 83
6 The Unique Historical Origins of Organisms and the Phylogenetic Approach 99
7 The Organism as an Entity and Analysis on a Broad Front 137
8 Finality 151
9 The Mind-Body Problem 157
10 Preconditions 179
11 Vitalism 185
12 Mechanism 195
13 The Implications of the Conflict Between Vitalism and Mechanism for Behavioral Research 209
14 The Inductive Basis of Comparative Ethology 213
15 Animal Keeping as a Research Method 221
16 The Origin of the Comparative Phylogenetic Approach in Behavioral Research 235
17 The First Steps in the Nomothetic Stage 241
18 The Research Personalities of Whitman and Heinroth and Their Findings 245
19 The Discovery of "Appetitive Behavior" by Welfare Craig 259
20 My Own Contribution to an Understanding of the Instinctive Motor Pattern 271
21 Erich von Holst's Discovery of Automatic Stimulus Production in the Central Nervous System 287
22 Implications for the Analysis of Related Phenomena 303
23 Conclusions 313
Bibliography 317
Index 325
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