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The Thinking Ape: The Evolutionary Origins of Intelligence

By: Richard Byrne

264 pages, 42 b/w photos, 23 illus

Oxford University Press

Paperback | Feb 1995 | #40590 | ISBN: 0198522657
Availability: Usually dispatched within 2-3 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £38.99 $51/€44 approx
Hardback | Dec 1995 | #40589 | ISBN: 019852188X
Out of Print Details

About this book

Human cognition, thinking, and language did not appear in modern humans, rather it evolved, as adaptations that aided survival. In the last fifteen years, studies of primates have dramatically changed our views, showing that precursors of human cognition have a much longer evolutionary history than once believed. This book integrates the various evidence into a new synthesis that backed with molecular evidence on our genetic relationship with non-humans makes a case for an `evolutionary psychology'.


Introduction: the limits of fossil evidence; 1. Taxonomy and the reconstruction of evolution; 2. What is intelligence and what is it for?; 3. How animals learn; 4. Why animals learn better in social groups; 5. Imitative behaviour in animals; 6. Understanding how things work; 7. Understanding minds: doing and seeing, knowing and thinking; 8. What use is a theory of mind?; 9. Planning and thinking ahead; 10. Apes and language; 11. Food for thought; 12. Machiavellian intelligence; 13. Testing the theories; 14. Taking stock

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