Pub. Date:
Harvard University Press
Clever as a Fox: Animal Intelligence and What It Can Teach Us about Ourselves / Edition 1

Clever as a Fox: Animal Intelligence and What It Can Teach Us about Ourselves / Edition 1

by Sonja Yoerg


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Dogs are smarter than cats, dolphins and chimps are more clever than both, and we who determine the rankings top the scale—or so we think. But are we thinking clearly? To appreciate the mental abilities of the owl and the pussycat, the tortoise and the hare, requires a commitment to unraveling the nature of intelligence—a tricky and controversial proposition that Sonja Yoerg sets out to explore in this learned, lucid, and entertaining book about our complicated, often erroneous notions about animal intelligence.

With forays into evolutionary biology, behavioral science, and comparative psychology, Clever as a Fox reveals the promise and pitfalls inherent in any attempt to assess animal intelligence. Along with the concepts we deploy to define and compare intelligence, Yoerg looks at the expectations and prejudices that cloud our judgment of the animal mind, perceptions shaped as much by Aesop and Disney as by direct observation of our fellow creatures. And because such perceptions are inextricably linked with judgments of value—ideas about animal mentality have much to do with which species end up on our laps and which on our plates—this deeply revealing look at how we think about animal intelligence should help us use our own intelligence more wisely.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674008700
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 04/15/2002
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Sonja Yoerg is an American author of contemporary fiction and nonfiction who grew up in Stowe, Vermont. Her books include Clever as a Fox, a non-fiction book about animal intelligence, the novel The Middle of Somewhere, and House Broken, her acclaimed debut novel. She currently lives in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia with her husband in a 1920s farmhouse.

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