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Thinking Animals

Animals and the Development of Human Intelligence

Paul Shepard Foreword by Max Oelschlaeger

Publication Year: 1998

In a world increasingly dominated by human beings, the survival of other species becomes more and more questionable. In this brilliant book, Paul Shepard offers a provocative alternative to an "us or them" mentality, proposing that other species are integral to humanity's evolution and exist at the core of our imagination. This trait, he argues, compels us to think of animals in order to be human. Without other living species by which to measure ourselves, Shepard warns, we would be less mature, care less for and be more careless of all life, including our own kind.

Published by: University of Georgia Press

CONTENTS

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pp. ix-x

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FOREWORD

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pp. xi-xx

Reader beware! Many reasons might bring one to these pages, such as a love of animals, environmental concern, or an interest in human psychology, but few are prepared for either the radical inquiry or the remarkable range of evidence and subjects brought together here. Published originally in 1978, this book foreshadows Paul Shepard's...

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1. ON ANIMALS THINKING

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pp. 1-37

A world where people are beginning to crowd one another intolerably is a world too small for animals. Until recent centuries, big clusters of people were widely separated. In the towns some animals, such as pets, sparrows, and cockroaches, thrived, but the realm of the wild birds and mammals was between...

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2. THE MENTAL MENAGERIE

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pp. 38-75

The human brain is an evolutionary experiment made possible by primate society and predator ecology. Its most unique feature is the opening of mind and thought to the whole of experience. Its dual origin combines the interiority and social purposes of monkeydom with the attention to otherness of carnivores. The...

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3. AMBIGUOUS ANIMALS

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pp. 76-114

So far we have considered the natural species system as the model of concrete diversity and order. In nature animals do not grade smoothly from one kind to another, but form distinct groups of very similar individuals. Between species there is a gap that the animals themselves---and we---can recognize. We...

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4. IMITATING ANIMALS: THE CAST OF CHARACTERS

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pp. 115-147

One of the traits of modern society under widespread reform is its conventions for classifying people. The young, in particular, object to the catchbins of race and sex, to typing people as liberals, capitalists, WASPS, hippies, or criminally insane. The criticism is justly based on the repressive effects of such labels and...

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5. PRETENDING THAT ANIMALS ARE PEOPLE: THE CHARACTER OF CASTE

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pp. 148-212

G. B. Harrison, a Shakespearean scholar, once said, "A good department of English should include a diversity of creatures, like a good zoo, which is incomplete without its lion, giraffe, hip popotamus, and giant sloth, not omitting the indigenous fauna such as the viper and the skunk, who usually are also unbidden...

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6. THE AESOP ACCOUNT

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pp. 213-238

There is an island in our collective mental landscape---or seascape---with a fauna all its own, not of exotic species, or endemic forms, as the biologist would say, but having its own unique mixture. The island is the huckster's sea-mount, a part of the archipelago of commerce, a coral strand of magazine ads where...

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7. WHAT GOOD ARE ANIMALS?

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pp. 239-262

The land-use patterns that developed with Western culture are typically concentric around villages. As it spread north into Europe from the Mediterranean, agriculture repeated a design on the land. It was composed of zones around each human settlement. Close in, vegetables for the table were grown and...

NOTES AND REFERENCES

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pp. 263-270

INDEX

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pp. 271-274


E-ISBN-13: 9780820342344
E-ISBN-10: 0820342343
Print-ISBN-13: 9780820319827
Print-ISBN-10: 0820319821

Page Count: 296
Publication Year: 1998