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Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? (2016)

de Frans de Waal

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1,1134318,191 (3.94)42
Nature. Science. Nonfiction. From world-renowned biologist and primatologist Frans de Waal comes this groundbreaking work on animal intelligence destined to become a classic.What separates your mind from an animal's? Maybe you think it's your ability to design tools, your sense of self, or your grasp of past and future?all traits that have helped us define ourselves as the planet's preeminent species. But in recent decades, these claims have been erodedor even disproved outrightby a revolution in the study of animal cognition.Take the way octopuses use coconut shells as tools; elephants that classify humans by age, gender, and language; or Ayumu, the young male chimpanzee at Kyoto University whose flash memory puts that of humans to shame. Based on research involving crows, dolphins, parrots, sheep, wasps, bats, whales, and of course chimpanzees and bonobos, Frans de Waal explores both the scope and the depth of animal intelligence. He offers a firsthand account of how science has stood traditional behaviorism on its head by revealing how smart animals really areand how we've underestimated their abilities for too long.People often assume a cognitive ladder, from lower to higher forms, with our own intelligence at the top. But what if it is more like a bush, with cognition taking different, often incomparable, forms? Would you presume yourself dumber than a squirrel because you're less adept at recalling the locations of hundreds of buried acorns? Or would you judge your perception of your surroundings as more sophisticated than that of a echolocating bat?De Waal reviews the rise and fall of the mechanistic view of animals and opens our minds to the idea that animal minds are far more intricate and complex than we have assumed. De Waal's landmark work will convince you to rethink everything you thought you knew about animal?and human?intelligence.… (mais)
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» Veja também 42 menções

Inglês (38)  Holandês (4)  Francês (1)  Espanhol (1)  Todos os idiomas (44)
Mostrando 1-5 de 44 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
The field of animal intelligence has always interested me, I've read quite a bit on the subject and expected to enjoy this book. Sadly, this wasn't the case. I felt a real sense of being talked down to. One of the most glaring examples of this was the inclusion of the child like drawings used to convey the information de Wall was trying to get across. Did the author really think we need pictures to understand what he was saying? Maybe someone should write a book and call it Is Frans de Wall Smart Enough to Know How Smart His Readers Are?
( )
  kevinkevbo | Jul 14, 2023 |
I enjoyed this, with the caveat that I listened with maybe 70% attention rather than reading carefully. I feel like I'm dipping into an interesting conversation with this and several other books I've read recently, which is a lovely way to explore a topic. ( )
  Kiramke | Jun 27, 2023 |
I love his attitude and wish everyone would listen to him. But I’d like to see more storytelling skills in his writing. ( )
  stickersthatmatter | May 29, 2023 |
To answer the question: Some people are smart enough to begin to understand animal intelligence but most are caught up in human exceptionalism.

I think a lot of people who have worked with animals realise that they are much smarter than people in general give them credit for. Fields such as animal cognition have only recently really started taking off. This book gives some good insight into some of what we have discovered so far. As is the case of most animal cognition books, this book focusses largely on primates although the author does draw from other taxa.

This book is a little repetitive at times but it contains a lot of interesting studies. It also examines our limitations and unconcious biases when it comes to conducting such studies (for example, the differences in how children and animals re treated in comparative studies). Overall, this is a fun and informative read for those who are interested in just how smart animals are (and why bird-brain is a misnomer) and are curious as to how scientists dig into the minds of other species. ( )
  TheAceOfPages | Mar 21, 2023 |
Lots of great stories about the amazing capabilities of animals. It has always rubbed me wrong when people are derided for anthropomorphizing animals for describing their emotions or motivations, when often those explanations seem the most straight-forward. I loved the cross-over in ideas from other stuff I have read about our culture framing our scientific questions, which in turn frames our culture, and we often don't realize we are stuck in this rut. ( )
  bangerlm | Jan 18, 2023 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 44 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
... De Waal argues that we should attempt to understand a species’ intelligence only within its own context, or umwelt: the animal’s “self-centered subjective world, which represents only a small tranche of all available worlds.” There are many different forms of intelligence; each should be valuated only relative to its environment. “It seems highly unfair to ask if a squirrel can count to 10 if counting is not really what a squirrel’s life is about,” de Waal writes. (A squirrel’s life is about remembering where it stored its nuts; its intelligence is geospatial intelligence.) And yet, there’s apparently a long history of scientists ignoring this truth. For example, they’ve investigated chimpanzees’ ability to recognize faces by testing whether the chimps can recognize human faces, instead of faces of other chimps. (They do the former poorly and the latter quite well.) They’ve performed the ­famous mirror test — to gauge whether an animal recognizes the figure in a mirror as itself — on elephants using a too-small, human-size mirror. Such blind spots are, ultimately, a failure of empathy — a failure to imagine the experiment, or the form of intelligence it’s testing for, through the animal’s eyes. De Waal compares it to “throwing both fish and cats into a swimming pool” and seeing who can swim...
adicionado por rybie2 | editarNew York Times, Jon Mooallem (Apr 26, 2016)
 

» Adicionar outros autores (5 possíveis)

Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Frans de Waalautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Chemla, LiseTraductionautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Chemla, PaulTraductionautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
García Leal, AmbrosioTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Ghoos, ReintjeTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Haggar, DarrenDesigner da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Marin, CatherineAuthor photographerautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Mattarelliano, LouiseProduction managerautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Moolman, LislArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Pietiläinen, JuhaKääNtäJä.autor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Runnette, SeanNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Sloan, DanaDesignerautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Sodio, LiberoTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Sterre, Jan Pieter van derTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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Nature. Science. Nonfiction. From world-renowned biologist and primatologist Frans de Waal comes this groundbreaking work on animal intelligence destined to become a classic.What separates your mind from an animal's? Maybe you think it's your ability to design tools, your sense of self, or your grasp of past and future?all traits that have helped us define ourselves as the planet's preeminent species. But in recent decades, these claims have been erodedor even disproved outrightby a revolution in the study of animal cognition.Take the way octopuses use coconut shells as tools; elephants that classify humans by age, gender, and language; or Ayumu, the young male chimpanzee at Kyoto University whose flash memory puts that of humans to shame. Based on research involving crows, dolphins, parrots, sheep, wasps, bats, whales, and of course chimpanzees and bonobos, Frans de Waal explores both the scope and the depth of animal intelligence. He offers a firsthand account of how science has stood traditional behaviorism on its head by revealing how smart animals really areand how we've underestimated their abilities for too long.People often assume a cognitive ladder, from lower to higher forms, with our own intelligence at the top. But what if it is more like a bush, with cognition taking different, often incomparable, forms? Would you presume yourself dumber than a squirrel because you're less adept at recalling the locations of hundreds of buried acorns? Or would you judge your perception of your surroundings as more sophisticated than that of a echolocating bat?De Waal reviews the rise and fall of the mechanistic view of animals and opens our minds to the idea that animal minds are far more intricate and complex than we have assumed. De Waal's landmark work will convince you to rethink everything you thought you knew about animal?and human?intelligence.

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