By: Eileen Crist
245 pages, B/w illus
Examines the literature of behavioural science, revealing how works with the common aim of documenting animal lives, habits, and instincts describe "realities that are worlds apart".
A tension is built into the foundations of the pursuit of knowledge about animal life, for it is heir to both the cartesian verdict of an unbridgeable hiatus between humans and animals and the Darwinian affirmation of evolutionary continuity. The consequence of an intelletual and cultural heritage of opposed visions of the relationship between animals and humans is that the problematic of animal mind--whether affirmed or refuted, celebrated or doubted, qualified or sidestepped--is ever present, perhaps even the heart of the matter, in behavioral writings. Representations of animal life, whether intentionally or not, are always addressing what is for Western thought a most engrossing mystery--the contentious topic of animal mind or animal consciousness. --From the Introduction "From anthorpomorphism to zoomorphism, Crist analyzes the language used to portray animal behavior in the behavioral science literature: from Darwin's stance of evolutionary continuity to ethologist Samuel Barnett's disavowal of studying anything other than observable behavior in 'realities that are worlds apart.'" --Book News
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