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Species of Mind: The Philosophy and Biology of Cognitive Ethology Paperback – Jul 26 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 231 pages
  • Publisher: A Bradford Book; 1 edition (July 26 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262511088
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262511087
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.5 x 22.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #518,974 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

No one has ever contemplated what it is like to be a zucchini because zucchinis lack minds. But we certainly have wondered what it is like to be a predatory lion, or an echolocating bat or a brachiating monkey. That is because such animals presumably do have minds. But what kind of minds? Allen and Bekoff morph the disciplines of philosophy and ethology toprovide a lucid analysis of how animals think and what they think about. If you want a fun romp on the wild side of animal minds, read this book.

(Marc Hauser , Associate Professor, Departments of Anthropology and Psychology, Program in Neurosciences, Harvard University)

About the Author

Colin Allen is Professor of Philosophy at Texas A&M University. He is the coauthor of Nature's Purposes (MIT Press, 1998), Species of Mind (MIT Press, 1997), and The Cognitive Animal (MIT Press, 2001).

Marc Bekoff is Professor of Environmental, Population, and Organismic Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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How widely are mental phenomena distributed in nature? Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback
Starting from the concept of biological continuity Allen and Bekoff argue that "lower" animals may be intelligent too. One might distinguish a variety of intelligences including: i. purely reactive (reflex, radical behaviorist, table lookup) learning by evolutionary change only (learning being radically separated from performance system) ii. finite state machines (modifiable memory,
possibly with explicit world model/representation, possibly with
a time sense) iii. cooperative/social (communicative, specialists, language users) iv. conscious (self monitoring and
self modifying, possibly explicit representation of goals, possible utility/value model with possible value change), etc.
Allen and Bekoff note that "'lower' animals can outperform 'higher' animals on some cognitive tasks", what constitutes
superior intelligence depends upon the niche that the animal
occupies, it is not universal. I especially liked the chapter
on consciousness which the authors relate to the capacity to
detect misinformation and illusion.
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Format: Paperback
When I read Species of Mind for the first time it was my introduction to the topic of cognitive ethology and I had no background at all in this area. I wrote a review here indicating that I did not get anything out of it. I would like to retract that. What would have been more accurate would have been that I did not appreciate it because *I* was not prepared for it. I have since read extensively on the topic and have all of Marc Bekoff's books. I now appreciate the book and consider it indispensable. Allen and Bekoff are leading researchers in this field and this book is highly important if you want to get solid current information in cognitive ethology. I HIGHLY recommend this book and retract my previous inaccurate review.
...P>James O'Heare...
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
A great book (and a retraction of previous review) Sept. 1 2002
By James J. O'Heare - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
When I read Species of Mind for the first time it was my introduction to the topic of cognitive ethology and I had no background at all in this area. I wrote a review here indicating that I did not get anything out of it. I would like to retract that. What would have been more accurate would have been that I did not appreciate it because *I* was not prepared for it. I have since read extensively on the topic and have all of Marc Bekoff's books. I now appreciate the book and consider it indispensable. Allen and Bekoff are leading researchers in this field and this book is highly important if you want to get solid current information in cognitive ethology. I HIGHLY recommend this book and retract my previous inaccurate review.
...P>James O'Heare...
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Kinds of Intelligence April 17 2003
By Robert Jones - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Starting from the concept of biological continuity Allen and Bekoff argue that "lower" animals may be intelligent too. One might distinguish a variety of intelligences including: i. purely reactive (reflex, radical behaviorist, table lookup) learning by evolutionary change only (learning being radically separated from performance system) ii. finite state machines (modifiable memory,
possibly with explicit world model/representation, possibly with
a time sense) iii. cooperative/social (communicative, specialists, language users) iv. conscious (self monitoring and
self modifying, possibly explicit representation of goals, possible utility/value model with possible value change), etc.
Allen and Bekoff note that "'lower' animals can outperform 'higher' animals on some cognitive tasks", what constitutes
superior intelligence depends upon the niche that the animal
occupies, it is not universal. I especially liked the chapter
on consciousness which the authors relate to the capacity to
detect misinformation and illusion.
Academic book that fascinates Dec 29 2013
By lonebeaut - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Marc Bekoff, the co-author of this book, is a biologist and avid animal rights activist who has written a number of popular books advocating for more enlightened treatment of nonhuman animals. But "Species of Mind" is a more academic work that employs his specialty of cognitive ethology, which is the study of various aspects of the mentality of animals. Bekoff's co-writer is Colin Allen, a philosophy professor, and the two of them delve into the commonalities between philosophical theories of mind and empirical studies of animal cognition, urging further study of using these tools of all animal species. It sounds heavier than it really it. In fact, this book is quite an enjoyable journey through the minds of animals.


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